Turning your brand into the most desired go-to option for customers has become more challenging than ever. People continuously demand more control over the time spent interacting with your product or using your services. Even worse, most users can only afford to wait half an hour for a response before waving the red flag at your brand.
So what can you do to get on the good side of your customers?
It’s simple! Automate your customer support and have highly intelligent bots attend to their various needs. Customers always want things done quickly, such as finding quick fixes for issues that have bugged them for years. This explains why they will switch in packs to rival brands that provide quicker support.
In this article, you will find out more about customer support automation and its potential benefits.
What Is Customer Support Automation All About?
Customer support automation involves leveraging modern technology to help customers seek solutions in real-time with little or no human intervention. This results in quicker responses, less work for human agents, higher customer satisfaction, and increased business productivity.
Customer support automation gained more priority among business owners with the advent of COVID-19. Due to the risk of contamination, most companies had to cut back on the amount of support they could provide through human agents. Thus, keyword-based chatbots, Interactive Voice Response (IVR), email automation, and optimized Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) have become the norm.
With the introduction of machine learning, AI chatbots can now handle complex queries and provide accurate answers.
10 Benefits Of Automating Customer Support For Your Business
Think of the possible problems faced by your customers, such as an undelivered product after the proposed delivery time. Or a monthly auto-debit subscription plan that won’t cancel even after repeatedly pressing the “stop my subscription” button. Any of these complaints require a swift response.
By automating your customer support, you can solve these problems as efficiently as possible while also building a community based on trust. Additional benefits of customer support automation include:
1. Quick Response
The average customer support via a live chat takes about 48 seconds of response time at most. This response time, however, is completely impractical for businesses with high call volumes and message queries. Occasionally, customers complain of delayed support for up to eight days.
Since time and speed are crucial factors needed for any business to succeed, an automated support system that can respond immediately is required. At the speed of light, AI chatbots and auto email responders that are personalized will help provide the right answers to customers’ queries.
Quick response means a better user experience. And this will positively impact your business productivity while also creating a positive referral chain through your satisfied customers.
2. Efficient Allocation Of Queries To Call Agents
Automated customer support systems filter through pools of queries and redirect customers to respective agents for a live chat when necessary.
Most call centers make use of an automated call distribution (ACD) to create a smooth transitioning experience for customers making inquiries or complaints through phone calls. ACD directs inbound calls to the best agent available by utilizing previously stored data on cloudtalk.
Also, the data collected from an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) is employed. Other factors used by ACD for call support include the queue length and available agent’s expertise.
3. Reduced Operational Cost
Employing more staff to handle the never-ending stream of customer inquiries might seem like a good idea. But when you factor in the cost of employment and training, staffing will turn out to be the most ineffective option.
For small and medium enterprises without a sufficient budget, this is a huge problem.
Investing in end-user automated support systems is preferable if you want to lower operational costs without compromising the quality of your customer service. Introducing an automated customer support system reduces the need for incessant employment and office space expansion.
Thousands of customers can also be served simultaneously by the same chatbot application.
4. Effective Problem Solving Channel
Automated support systems, especially AI chatbots, leverage past data collected from customers’ queries to provide more accurate solutions. Through continuous machine learning, these bots can compare previous records and determine the best response to give.
Since automated customer support systems are dynamic in their ways of managing queries, they can reduce the need for human intervention. Most customers can get their questions resolved without having to speak with a human representative.
While AI chatbots and other automated customer support systems cannot fully replace humans, their role in providing quick solutions through pre-designed FAQs and dynamic algorithms will always be indispensable.
5. Increased Efficiency And Customer Satisfaction
Since a bulk of the repetitive tasks are handled by tech tools like chatbots, your employees are able to dedicate their time to more complex and highly prioritized queries.
Frequently asked questions that have pre-made strings of answers will always be assigned to these automated support systems. Other automated tasks include the collection of customers’ details like names and possibly emails.
As a result, response time is shortened, and customers get their answers as fast as possible. The satisfaction of both your employees and customers will result in increased overall productivity.
6. 24/7 Support
One of the greatest advantages of automated customer support is that it is always available. Regardless of your business timezone, customers can always get instant answers to their problems.
Service downtime can occur at any time, even on weekends. By providing support outside of working hours, you will be able to stay ahead of your competitors.
Although more complex queries might need to be redirected to a live agent, the personalized first-instance response will leave a good impression on your customers.
7. Flexible Integration
Integration of customer support programs and AI automation tools with human agents for customer support is flexible. Both parties work together to execute a series of tasks complementarily without contradicting each other.
When a customer reaches out to the customer support chatbox, a chatbot takes over and responds to the strings of queries. By comparing the queries with existing information in the database and utilizing advanced machine learning features, the chatbot can provide an answer immediately.
Most of the time, automation tools reply with already inputted answers that correspond to the inputted keywords. If the chatbox is unable to provide an answer due to limited information, then the customer is redirected to an agent. And interestingly, there is no need to create another chat wall for this.
This seamless redirection provides customers with a great experience.
8. Less Need for Outsourcing
Outsourcing is a common business practice engaged in by many companies. It involves hiring a third-party company or agent to perform some tasks originally dedicated to in-house staff. During the outbreak of COVID-19, several industries had to enlist the help of non-staffs to improve delivery and assist with customer service.
While outsourcing the role of customer support is advantageous, the money spent is simply not worth it in the long run. And there are so many other disadvantages, such as cultural barriers and differences in time zones.
In contrast to this, flexible customer support and using Al tools used for automation can work past the barriers of culture and time zone differences. Moreover, the cost of acquiring automation software is relatively low compared to the cost of outsourcing tasks or hiring more manpower.
9. Higher Returns On Investment
Return On Investment (ROI) is one of the most important indexes put on constant watch by every business owner. ROI determines the financial ratio or profit margin in relation to the amount invested. At times, continuous staffing to meet the increasing demands for good customer support might lead to a lower ROI.
On the other hand, automation reduces the need for more manpower, provides good customer support, and increases ROI.
Automation software and other AI tools only need to be acquired once from the software provider. Other than the initial acquisition cost and a low maintenance fee, there is rarely a need to invest more than necessary.
To further reduce costs, software companies offer automation software as a service (SaaS). This way, you only need to pay for the service used on a subscription basis. As a result, less money is spent on offering good customer support through automation.
The modern technological breakthroughs in machine learning make it possible for each customer to be addressed on a personal level. This is in contrast to the popular belief that automation leads to a lack of personalization.
Email auto-reply tools can personally address each mail receiver with their initials, for example, “Hi Lakewood” instead of the usual bland “Hi there”. Personalization brings customers to another level and replaces the robotic feeling with something more authentic and human.
Thanks to the rapidly growing adoption of digital tools by most businesses, people find it easier to register their complaints or make inquiries without having to visit the traditional mortar and brick customer support office.
For increased customer retention rate and user satisfaction, businesses need to employ the use of automated customer support. Moreover, customer support automation will increase productivity and help your brand top the competition.