As part of the marketing automation blog series, today I will be digging deeper into the world of customer service automation (CSA).
Automating your customer service gives businesses the ability to provide a great customer experience at the exact moment they need help and advice.
This can be the difference between a happy and dissatisfied customer.
It can also be the difference between accessing a potential hot lead and a competitor swooping in before you.
Another amazing benefit of CSA is the fact that because it takes the burden off your sales or service team to answer time-consuming queries, they consequently have more time for the high-quality one-to-one interactions that important, sales-ready leads need.
A Quick Overview of Customer Service Automation
According to Accenture, poor customer experience caused 47% of customers to stop doing business with at least one company last year.
Automation technology can be implemented by businesses to combine their current customer service offerings with an automated system.
This means that your customer service can run 24/7 meaning customer queries are responded to speedily, even during out-of-office hours.
This puts your customer service on autopilot but also makes it easier for customers too.
They can gain unhindered access to your information, pricing, and resources, at a time that suits them best.
The technology includes AI, chatbots, and automated help centres, but there are many software providers out there which basically can automate any task you can think of.
In this blog I will give you my top tips for your business for automating your customer service and doing it well!
Automate your FAQs
Frequently asked questions (FAQs) are called that because they are frequently asked!
So- don’t be constantly replying to these customer queries, have a chatbot or AI powered FAQ section on your website so these questions can be asked and answered immediately.
An automated FAQ section will also then suggest similar questions to answer those questions your website visitor doesn’t even know they have yet.
The more niggles or doubts answered means the greater understanding – and therefore trust- they will have in your business and product.
Don’t try and pretend your chatbot is a real person
Trying to hide the fact you are using automated customer service is a big no-no.
The whole point of CSA is to help your customer not hinder them.
Customers will know themselves if they have a complex question then they will need to talk to a person over the phone or email.
But customers that have simple to answer questions will be pleased to know they can use your chatbot, there is nothing embarrassing about it.
They will relish in the fact that finally someone is providing them the information they want in a self-sufficient and fast way.
Use your customer service automation for lead nurturing
Automated customer service such as chatbots, when integrated with appropriate software, can actually generate leads for you.
Not only does it detect struggling customers that might need additional support, but it also highlights really engaged and keen leads who are wanting to know more about your offering.
These people are screaming out for a phone call with your sales or support team, and it is all captured through the power of automation software.
Automate the follow ups
During the process of turning a lead to a customer, follow ups can help improve the frequency or speed of conversion for your business.
Automating these can be the difference between a missed and successful sale.
The issue with follow ups is that the faster it happens after the initial enquiry, the more effective it will be in making sure that lead doesn’t dry up -or worse – go elsewhere.
This can be hard to do in person, when you have a hundred other things to do, but automating it takes the task out of your hands.
Another aspect of automated follow ups is that they can support your current customer base.
Sending useful information about your product or service just as a customer signs up for it actively provides them with customer support and is that initial step to building a strong customer relationship.
You can send them useful help articles or data sheets that could come in handy.
You can also use the automated follow up system to send out customer experience surveys just before the end of the customer life cycle, making sure that crucial feedback is gathered to improve your service provision where needed.
Trigger a transfer to a human service rep
Automated customer service can only go so far, and when an issue becomes complicated, its more than annoying to be stuck talking to a robot.
Having a trigger that flags a customer enquiry when it goes above the chatbot’s pay-scale means that human input can be seamlessly involved and overcome the automation’s limitations.
Its good to start the conversation with customers through automation and when the time comes transfer it to meaningful human interaction.
Although AI is a supersmart technology, if mishandled, it can lead to customer dissatisfaction, which is the opposite of what we are trying to achieve.
Make your number and email available too
CSA is great for lessening your team’s work burden, but it doesn’t replace your customer service system as a whole.
For some customers a phone call is all they want so make sure your contact numbers or email is easily visible on your website for those who prefer the traditional method.
This will show your company is flexible but also accessible when the time comes.
InsynthMarketing is a leading UK construction marketing agency based in Shifnal in the West Midlands.
Theyuse the latest inbound marketing techniques such asconstruction inbound marketing, to support buildingproduct companies to grow their business by proactively driving sales lead generation activity.