Career Woman

6 Rules for using automation in your customer service


You’ve heard a lot about using automation to do customer service, but you maybe you have heard just as many horror stories as success stories. Voicemail mazes, unwatched email queues, and irritating template responses are sure to drive customers away.

Is it possible to do automated versions of customer service functions right, or is this all just a pipe dream made up by tech companies? Believe it or not, there is some silver lining in those clouds of confusion, but you need to apply some guidelines to how you use this automated power.

1. Automate behind the scenes

Don’t start with replacing your current manual customer service system, start by creating automated tools to help your reps do their jobs faster and better. Give your customer service department a boost by giving them better tools like a CRM for customer data, or a customer service system that gets you to the right person through a single question.

Remember this simple phrase: Add tools, don’t replace people. You will always need people staffing your customer service department. They answer the tough questions customers have trouble even explaining. They create a human contact between your company and your customers. That can’t be automated, so let them do it and give them tools to make it easy and organized.

2. Automate to your audience

As technology becomes more integrated into our lives, and introduced at a younger and younger age, customers will begin to behave differently. Millennials are much more interested in finding their own solutions without asking for help, so emphasize FAQs and self-help resources if your customer base is mostly young.

People who were introduced to technology later in their lives learned to talk to people when they had problems to be solved. If you have many customers in this demographic, emphasize your person to person interactions instead of online resources. Tailor your automation strategy to meet the needs of your specific customer base.

You should also be keeping track of your customer’s on-page interactions online, as you can gain invaluable data from you customers. By utilizing the best WordPress analytics plugins, you can see what content people are interacting with the most, and what content actually attracts your customer to your site. This data can help your grow your information pool for your customers. If people take interest in a topic, keep doing related content and adding to your FAQ.

3. Automate where computers are faster

Many tasks can be performed much quicker and more accurately by automation than by people. Much of the analysis necessary to give preemptive advice to struggling customers can only be done quickly enough by computers. Find new ways to automate general responses to popular questions, tutorials, and other resources that help customers contact the right person to answer their questions.

Remember that quick response time and quick solutions are the most important factors for customers’ view of customer service levels. The faster the better is the rule here. Look for places where automation is faster, but make sure you still provide an human element in the mix.

For example, would you send out a thousand individual emails, or would you load a csv into an email marketing platform and make one email that goes to all off those addresses?

4. Automate simple repetitive tasks

Many easy questions can be answered with automation and these are also some of the most commonly asked questions. The ones your customer service staff are bored with. It’s tedious to answer the same simple questions over and over again, but automation doesn’t get bored with this.

Move those tasks your staff are bored with because they are so simple to an automation system to handle them. It makes sense to ensure you have seamless software integration such as with Kayako. Free up your people for more complex problems and more indepth research. It will give them a more challenging and exciting job while providing the right fit for your customers too. A win-win scenario.

5. Don’t force automation on customers

 Some customers aren’t comfortable with automated response systems, and some simply understand their questions are too complex for an automated answer. Don’t force them to wade through your automated system before getting to a live customer service rep. Make it easy to shortcut that path and get directly to a person when they need to.

Your automation system should never be a maze or a barrier to your customers reaching your staff. It should act as an alternative for questions or situations where automation can do as well, or better, at solving their problems. Never try to eliminate your need for people and never force your customers to an automated solution.

6. Always test and ask for feedback

 As processes change, your automation should change with it. Does it? Do you regularly test your automated systems to see they are performing as expected, and in a way that benefits you and your customers? Scheduled testing, simple checks daily or weekly, and more comprehensive tests a bit further apart. Your goal is to catch problems or outdated information before your customers are inconvenienced by it.

A rule of testing is you can never catch all the bugs. Solicit feedback from your customers on how well you customer service systems are performing, both human staff and automation. It’s rare for customers who have a bad experience in customer service to volunteer information, but when they do, act on it. If you don’t, they might just leave and take their business elsewhere. Reach out to your customers and ask for their experiences. See if you can salvage damaged relationships by fixing problems as soon as customers have them rather than keep them waiting.

Following these principles when setting up automation for your customer service will help you deliver the best of both worlds. The speed and accuracy of computers with the expertise and empathy of a human staff.

About Business Woman Media

Our women don’t want to settle for anything but the best. They understand that success is a journey involving personal growth, savvy optimism and the tenacity to be the best.We believe in pragmatism, having fun, hard-work and sharing inspiration. LinkedIn

Recommended for you

What Do You Think?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *