The advantages of automated customer service (and how to get started)
In this age of rapid growth and fierce competition, automated customer service has become an ally for businesses looking to grow.
In this guide, you’ll dive into the many advantages to automated customer service, from saving time and money to elevating your customers’ experience.
You’ll also learn about some of the best practices to help you get started on your automation journey.
So, sit back and read on to find out what makes customer service automation a game-changer.
What is automated customer service?
Nowadays, business automation is the secret sauce for streamlining all your operations, from accounting to customer service.
Customer support automation lets you reduce human involvement in tackling customer queries, freeing up your team’s time to focus on high-priority cases.
When a business starts growing, the demand for support grows with it. That’s where customer service automation swoops in, offering a budget-friendly solution to scaling support.
To jump on the customer service automation bandwagon, you can turn to tools like:
- Live chatbots.
- AI-powered self-service portals.
- Automated email responses.
- Interactive voice response.
What are the advantages of automated customer service?
Saves time and money
As your business grows, you can put the brakes on hiring more staff, shrinking your office space needs, and boosting your customer lifetime value.
Now think of all those time-consuming common questions that flood your customer support team’s inbox every day.
With automation, you free up your agents to address complex issues that require their unique human touch more quickly.
Reduces human error
Even the most talented service agents can slip up, especially when doing the same tasks repeatedly.
Stress and fatigue contribute to 48.8% of human errors, which can snowball over time and cost your business.
That’s where automated customer service comes in.
Chatbots and other automated tools learn from customer inquiries and store heaps of knowledge, solving simple queries without a problem.
Provide 24/7 support
With automation, you can offer tireless support 24/7, no matter where your customers are or their time zone.
Smart chatbots can collect information and then pass the baton to a human agent for the perfect resolution to complex queries.
Lets you serve customers their way
These are customer experience expectations that businesses need to meet.
Automated customer service is a win-win situation as it also reduces the pressure on agents to meet unrealistic service times.
What are the cons of automated customer service?
Although there are numerous advantages to automated customer service, you must also consider the limitations business automation has. Here are a few of them.
Unable to solve complex issues
AI has come a long way, but isn’t yet ready to solve all of our business problems.
For example, when it comes to sensing frustration or sarcasm from customers, many AI solutions just don’t get it.
Most AI-based customer service systems are limited to handling simple questions, like billing dates or how-to queries.
Lacks human touch
No matter how flashy they seem, AI systems lack the warmth, personality, and emotions that come with chatting with a real person.
In the best-case scenario, customer service automation systems steer customers towards solutions.
But less sophisticated systems might send customers to irrelevant articles, leading to a bad experience, bruised brand trust, and even escalations that require human intervention.
What are some automated customer service examples
Now that you’ve looked at the pros and cons, it’s time to consider their real-world applications. Below are some automated customer service examples.
Email automation is a lifesaver for businesses receiving extensive inquiries and support requests.
Intelligent algorithms automatically scan emails for common keywords associated with specific types of queries. The inquiries are then instantly categorized so that agents can prioritize responses.
You can send quick and logical replies with automated templates, while cutting manpower in half. This type of efficiency is one of the biggest advantages to automated customer service.
Auto-responders can instantly notify your customers of their place in the queue or provide additional information.
These automated functions reduce customer dissatisfaction due to long response times.
Live chat and chatbots
One of the most popular automated customer service examples are chatbots. They offer quick and accurate solutions to customer queries, lightening the load on your hardworking human agents.
Chatbots tackle customer concerns using pre-written responses for frequently asked questions or sifting through existing resources like knowledge bases or past conversations.
And when a customer’s question surpasses a chatbot’s capabilities, they’re seamlessly connected to an available agent, effectively reducing holding times.
A knowledge base allows users to access essential resources like:
- Frequently asked questions (FAQs).
- How-to guides.
- Troubleshooting tips.
Providing customers with 24/7 access to helpful information is one of the greatest advantages to automated customer service.
In addition to freeing support agents’ time, knowledge bases enhance customer satisfaction by promoting self-sufficiency.
What are some best practices to automate customer support?
- Pinpoint automation opportunities: Examine your current customer support processes and identify repetitive and time-consuming tasks.
- Choose the right tools: Pick tools that meet your business needs and integrate seamlessly with your existing systems. Consider factors such as ease of use, scalability, and the advantages they offer.
- Maintain a human touch: Ensure your customers can reach a human agent when needed.
- Update your knowledge base: Regularly review and update your knowledge base to remain accurate and relevant. This also improves the effectiveness of chatbots and self-service portals.
- Monitor success and gather feedback: Track key performance indicators (KPIs) to evaluate the success of your automated customer service efforts. Gather feedback to continuously refine your customer experience strategy.
How to get started with automated customer service
1. Implement live chat
With AI-powered live chatbots, customers get answers to their questions 24/7.
Select a live chat solution that integrates with your existing systems and you can personalize to suit your brand’s tone and style.
2. Promote self-service solutions
Encourage customers to use self-service options like knowledge bases, FAQs, and community forums. By making information readily available, you empower themto solve problems independently and save time for both parties.
Make sure your self-service resources are up-to-date, user-friendly, and cover various topics relevant to your customers’ needs.
3. Create templated responses
Simplify support by creating templates for common customer inquiries for your team to quickly respond while maintaining that personal touch.
Templated responses are one of many automated customer service examples that blend automation with human interaction.
4. Collect feedback after each interaction
Request customer feedback after support interactions to improve your automation efforts. Tools like surveys, ratings, and analytics help you identify improvement areas and make data-driven decisions to deliver the best possible experience to your cusotmers.
5. Use CRM to automate customer service
A customer relationship management (CRM) system can help you track customer interactions and automate various aspects of customer service.
By centralizing customer data, CRMs let you to:
- Provide personalized support.
- Simplify communication.
- Better manage your support team’s workload.
Choose a CRM solution that integrates with your existing applications and use features like automated workflows and reporting to enhance your customer service operations.
Meet Method, your next employee of the month
Method is your go-to solution for exceptional customer service and lasting client relationships.
Its seamless two-way sync with QuickBooks or Xero ensures that your customer data is always accurate.
With Method’s easy-to-use customer portals, your clients can:
- Review their account information.
- Keep track of orders and process payments online.
- Send inquiries or support requests.
- Manage communication preferences.
By enhancing communication and ensuring a smooth experience, Method strengthens your customer relationships, encouraging them to return and share their positive experiences with others.
See how you can free yourself from the chaos of your day-to-day operations with Method.
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