In order for you to provide the best customer service, it should all be delivered by highly trained, elite-level customer service reps, right?
You’d think so. But that’s not always true!
According to a study by McKinsey, organizations that opt to revamp their customer experience with the help of technology can expect to see outsized returns of up to 40% across cost reduction, customer satisfaction, and growth.
In this article, we’ll show you exactly how you can leverage automation. To help you get started, we’ve outlined 5 ways you can automate some elements of your customer service offering.
However, you cannot (and perhaps, should not) automate everything!
So, first, let’s look at when it makes sense to use customer service automation and when a human-first approach is more appropriate.
When to automate vs. when not to automate
Advancements in technology, such as generative AI, mean that automated and digital-touch customer experiences are here to stay.
Not only do they dramatically improve the overall experience for your customer, but they also help you do so at scale.
Yet, 55% of people still prefer customer service delivered by humans, and ultimately business is all about relationships – so where do you draw the line?
Let’s zoom in.
With up to 48% of the mistakes being made by your customer service agents being caused by the fatigue that comes from dealing with repetitive tasks – it’s this ‘busy’ work that should be a prime candidate for customer service automation.
Automating this repetitive work can help you:
reduce the number of mistakes made,
increase the amount of time your CS team can spend actually helping your customers.
To help you understand when to use customer service automation, we’ve put together a comparison table:
Now that we’ve got that cleared up, and you know about how to use automation effectively, let’s take a look at the 5 methods you can use to overhaul your customer experience.
Method 1: Prioritize, categorize & assign tickets automatically
When it comes to scaling customer service through automation, one of the first areas you’re probably going to want to address is your helpdesk.
Traditionally, your helpdesk will see an influx of tickets that your team then has to manually triage, assess, prioritize, and assign.
While this enables you to do a thorough job of controlling the flow of tickets, it is, without a doubt, a time-consuming and repetitive process.
This is where AI and automation can help to overhaul your ticket management processes for faster ticket routing in 3 key ways:
Auto-prioritization. Using AI, you can automatically prioritize inbound tickets based on SLA levels, as well as their severity or subject matter.
Sentiment analysis. AI can also use its understanding of support tickets to instantly categorize them, helping you easily produce metrics based on ticket types.
Auto-assign. You can also configure your helpdesk to automatically assign your freshly prioritized and categorized tickets directly to designated expert agents on your CS team.
By automating these 3 simple yet time-consuming tasks, you’ll free up your support team to spend more time directly servicing your customers.
Method 2: Process standard tickets on autopilot
One of the key reasons you should be adding a layer of automation to the way you operate your helpdesk is because it’s so repetitive.
Every customer thinks they’re having a unique issue with your product or service. But, ultimately, you’ll be seeing the same common support requests come through time and time again.
Chances are your team has a whole bunch of customer service email templates that you used to copy and paste as a shortcut to answer them.
Well, what if you could do that – but automated?
Turn your templates into a set of FAQs that customers can find in your helpdesk. This way you’ll be able to send quick-fire automatic replies for all your most common questions.
This alone makes it far more efficient to support your customers, without having to waste time reinventing the wheel for each and every ticket response.
Focusing on automated responses allows you to not only increase the productivity and efficiency of your team but also serves as a way to boost internal metrics and KPIs such as ‘first response time’ as a result.
Method 3: Eliminate repetitive tasks with automation
A staggering 70% of workers believe that the biggest opportunity for automation is to reduce the time wasted on repetitive work.
And since we already know that 48% of the mistakes CS agents make are down to the fatigue that comes from dealing with repetitive tasks. It’s clear that there is an urgent need to reduce wasted time, increase staff morale, and make sure your customer service resources are being used to their maximum effect.
To get started with workflow automation, you first need to spend some time identifying the repetitive and time-consuming tasks that should be automated.
Once you have the list, you’ll be in a position to build automated workflows using ‘If-this-then-that’ logic.
By that, we simply mean that ‘if’ something happens (e.g. a ticket is closed by a customer) ‘then’ something else happens – for example, they’re sent a CSAT (Customer Satisfaction) survey request.
Once you have your automated workflows up and running, make sure to regularly review them to see if they can be improved upon further. You should also review your manual processes to understand if any more of them can be automated, too.
Method 4: Help your customers help themselves
The majority (88%) of customers expect automated self-service when they interact with a business.
Indeed, customers value being able to help themselves, as it’s usually quicker than even the fastest support teams. And they can do it at any time of the day or night without waiting for office opening hours.
By taking advantage of self-service options built into the best customer service software, you can offer an extremely high level of ‘on-demand’ service for your customers.
Typically, you can expect to be able to create a digital service experience for your customers based on the following resources:
Having this additional support available automatically to all ‘logged-in’ customers offers substantial benefits for 3 key stakeholders:
Customers – they can get help effortlessly at a time that suits them.
Staff – they can concentrate on the most critical support tickets.
Company – they can save substantial costs by reducing support spend.
Of course, you don’t want automated self-service support to be your only option, but you should strongly consider including it as part of your customer service mix.
Method 5: Instantly translate foreign languages
As your company grows, you’ll begin to work with customers from outside your area – and eventually with customers internationally.
The challenge with this growth comes from the fact that servicing customers in different regions generally means that there will be times when you’ll need to be able to support other languages.
In fact, 75% of consumers have indicated that they would become repeat customers if a brand offered multilingual customer care.
Typically, as a company hits scale and makes a strategic decision to specifically target and serve particular countries or regions, they’ll localize their website and employ service agents with the relevant language skills.
But what if you don’t yet have enough customers in that country to justify that level of investment?
That’s where AI can help!
By instantly translating foreign languages, it allows your customer service team to look after your customers automatically wherever they are.
This gives you the opportunity to service those customers effectively and professionally before you’re ready to make region-specific hires, saving the company money and keeping your customers happy at the same time.
Improving your customer service offering through automation is a huge opportunity for any business.
If you automate customer service effectively, you stand to be rewarded with improvements in efficiency, cost savings, and increased levels of customer satisfaction.
However, people still buy from people, and many customers still expect human-touch customer service as well as automated or self-service options.
To help you get started on your customer service automation journey, we’ve looked at 6 key areas you can focus on now while still retaining a high quality of service for your customers.
Ticket management – using AI to prioritize, categorize, and assign tickets
FAQs and automated responses based on common customer questions
Automated workflows – using ‘if this, then that’ options to manage repetitive tasks
Automatic integrations to allow a 360-dgree view of customer data in one platform
Instant translation options for foreign languages using AI
Because we know how important it is to have easy-to-use automation options baked into your customer service software, we’ve built SuperOffice Service from the ground up with automation at the heart of the product.