Now more than ever, customers value speed and convenience. They also expect their experiences with businesses to be contextual and meaningful.
Thankfully, when customers expect quick action, automation puts you a step ahead. It also creates better human experiences by freeing up agents for higher-value work.
Businesses that automate processes while maintaining a human touch create more loyal customers. They also enjoy operational efficiencies that have a big impact on their bottom line.
So, how can you make sure to maintain a good balance between human and automated customer service? Here are 7 best practices to help you get it right.
1. Think of automated customer service as a collaborative effort
Automated customer service works best when it's approached as a collaborative tool. When done right, it frees up your human resources for higher-value work.
The purposed of automated customer service should be to optimize human agents, not replace them. Freeing up human agents to handle the complex issues allows them to become a greater asset to the organization. They’ll be able to hone problem-solving skills and focus on more rewarding conversations.
This helps employees feel engaged, challenged, and valued. It also helps businesses decrease employee churn rates, which is a big issue in customer service.
2. Start with big impact, low effort items
Chances are, you already know which queries you want to automate. You'll want to start with processes that are repetitive and fairly predictable.
If you're like most businesses, 20% of your FAQs generate 80% of your traffic. Those are the processes that are ripe for automation.
Your conversational strategy doesn't need to include every single question a customer might ask. In fact, doing so would be a high effort, low impact task.
3. Make customer satisfaction a top priority
Of course, automation will save you time and money. But, more importantly, it will help you deliver stellar customer service.
90% of customers rate an “immediate” response as important or very important when they have a customer service question. So, focus on automating situations in which speed matters most.
Similarly, don't try to automate situations in which human input is essential to understand, negotiate, or otherwise solve the issue. Identify areas where your customers value human service most and avoid automating them.
4. Aggregate service channels
A common issue with automated customer service is that information exists in silos. This prevents true omnichannel service.
Siloed channels can also lead to customer frustration. If your customers are repeating themselves or repeating processes, there's a good chance you might lose them.
Good conversational solutions (like the ones we build at Hubtype) aggregate messaging channels in one simple dashboard. They have all of the standard helpdesk features and analytics you’d expect. This also makes it easy to share information across communication channels.
5. Make live help available if needed
When interacting with a chatbot or conversational app, it's important to give your customers a way to get human support when needed. That's true even for the most intelligently designed automated customer service solutions.
With Hubtype, our clients can seamlessly route questions to humans if needed. After a human resolves an issue, they can even pass the conversation back to a chatbot. This creates a well-oiled customer service machine, ready to take on anything.
6. Don't overcomplicate it
Automated customer service requires varying levels of technology. Many companies assume that AI or Machine Learning will be needed to solve their use case. But, in reality, they'd be better off using simpler automated customer service tools.
While AI can complement a conversational strategy, it is usually not needed as a core focus. More often than not, our clients find that rule-based bots are flexible enough to handle their use cases.
7. Focus on continuous improvement
When it comes to automated customer service, definitely don't "set it and forget it." In the beginning, you're going to learn a lot about your customers based on where they need additional support.
Unsolved use cases are opportunities to increase customer satisfaction and operational efficiency. Ask your customers for feedback and always keep improving.
Ready to take your automated customer service to the next level?
Get in touch with Hubtype and start making conversational technology work for you.