Many companies in a variety of fields have begun to value of automation. As the graph below shows, there are four types of automation services including sales force automation, marketing automation, customer service automation, and financial service integration.
While some tasks are easier to automate than others, customer service automation has some particular challenge that must be satisfied to still retain customers and continue sales growth. As a result, this article will focus exclusively on the benefits that companies can obtain through customer service automation.
One of the two largest reasons why companies lose a consumer is that the company does not respond in a timely enough manner to issues faced by the consumer. This and other statistics show that speed of service is one of the most important factors for a large number of customers, which automated customer service is particularly helpful in satisfying. This is just one reasons of many, however, why automated customer service helps companies grow. There are many benefits behind the implementation of automated services, which include the six advantages depicted in the following graph.
The recurring theme behind many of these advantages is that while human interaction with a company representative is diminished, there is also a significant reduction in company error and redundancy which helps companies to better provide seamless customer service to consumers.
While it is not untrue that many consumers prefer face to face interaction with a company, another large group of consumers prefer interaction that meets one of several other values. The chart below emphasizes just some of the various elements that consumers prefer.
Automation is able to help meet many of these needs for consumers. Because automation involves the same process repeated multiple times. Implementing this data across multiple channels helps to create consistency. Key data gleaned from automation greatly helps to inform staff about important issues. Clear communication is obtained because companies are able to focus on creating a standardized but customizable interaction for consumers.
Benefit # 1 - A Better Streamline
Automated customer service skills allow departments to increase their focus on how the team achieves various goals. For example, many customer service departments have begun to use largely pre-written replies to respond to questions that are commonly asked by consumers. Boomerang is just one of the companies that supports the use of pre-written replies by businesses.
To reduce other problems, many companies write knowledge bases or frequently asked question documents that tackle the problems associated with a product that are most often experienced by consumers.
By avoiding time to respond to the same question multiple times, customer service departments are allowed to focus on other issues resolving more unusual problems in the best manner possible.
The result of solving difficult problems is that companies can create success stories which both heighten engagement in employees and builds long lasting relationships with consumers as well as established good word of mouth for the company.
In relationship to seamlessness, being able to better streamline how issues are decided, companies are able to provide a customer service experience for consumers that contains many less obstacles.
Benefit # 2 - Reduces Obstacles for Consumers
Many consumers are hesitant to contact customer service because they are afraid of long wait times and frustrating interactions.
Other companies have found that automation can help resolve this hesitancy in customers through the implementation of interactive voice recognition.
This type of automation lets consumers interact with a program that responds to the customer’s voice and then forwards the customer’s call to the correct department.
Many voice recognition programs decrease customer satisfaction which increases the number of consumers that are satisfied with their interactions and eventually provides a larger sales base for the company.
Other companies rely on other types of predictive analytics including call recording to determine how consumers use a product and interact with various departments at a company.
The effect of automation as a result is that companies also gain an understanding of how to keep customers content and can then use this knowledge to create promising consumer experiences in the future. Without as many obstacles, companies are able to provide consumers with a much more seamless experience.
Benefit #3 - Reduced Costs
Statistics reveal that a three member staff is able to save 600 hours each week through the implementation of an automated system. An alternative to the substantial cost associated with hiring a larger staff to meet a growing company’s needs is automation. After all, not all companies have the finances to afford such a substantial increase in size. There are several elements depicted in the next chart in which companies can significantly reduce costs by using automation.
These are just some of the financial reduction that companies realize through automation. Often times, customer automation allows a company in some situation to operate as efficiently as if the company had hired a large amount of employees.
It should be noted that while some automation services are expensive, other programs are available to companies for a subscription cost.
Other companies decide to even further reduce expenses by utilizing cloud technology, which eliminates the costs associated with maintaining hardware.
Reduced costs for automation have the result of many companies being able to use these methods to provide seamless services to consumers.
Benefit # 4 - Incorporating A New Generation
The Millennial generation is expected to soon represent a larger part of the consumer market than Generation X. The Millennial generation tends to be self-reliant and resourceful which means that many Millennial consumers prefer to resolve their problems through automation.
Many millennials who are likely to resolve issues through automation also feel bonded with a company after solving a problem in this manner. There are several other elements that distinguish the shopping habits of millennials from other generations. Some of these characteristics include the traits depicted in the following chart.
In addition to commonalities, a large number of companies are currently engaged in the process of trying to determine other characteristics of millennials so that it can be determine how to best create a seamless service that meets this generation’s needs. While it still remains uncertain how to create this type of relationship, automated services appear to be one of the best steps for creating this type of environment for consumers.
Benefit # 5 - Faster Purchases
One of the most substantial chances involved with the introduction of automated customer services is that customers are often able to make much faster purchases. Automation helps to avoid long queues that arise during peak hours. Many consumers enjoy this speediness, which results in automation greatly increasing a consumer’s satisfaction levels. Not only are companies are able to more quickly resolve issues that are faced by consumers, however, companies also are able to better record details about obstacles faced by consumers and implement solutions into the company’s operations to avoid these difficulties occurring for consumers in the future.
The graph below depicts each element of customer service which is able to occur faster when customer service is provided.
It is important to realize that this is not a one time pattern but instead a repeat pattern that can exist throughout a company’s history. Because a more content consumer is more likely to stay with a company, companies ultimately find that speeding up service results in that company being able to greatly increases its sales. A large number of customers also desire this type of seamless, fast purchase that requires less effort to be divested on the part of a company.
Benefit # 6 - Easier for the Company To Improve
Business require the ability to determine success and failures to grow. Being aware of how consumers respond to a business through accurate business data allows companies to create a strategy for improvement. Customer service automation involves specific work processes which are managed to satisfy a certain established criteria.
There are key metrics recorded during this process that can provide companies with an idea about how to create a strong business strategy that will best help the company to continue to grow. Ultimately, key metrics allow companies to best understand what consumers value and how to provide strong seamless service.
Ways That Companies Integrate Automated Customer Service
Companies have chosen to provide automated customer service in several different ways. These services as depicted in the following graph fall into of four categories based on the level of automation or live support that a company selects to provide support services to consumers.
While each type of automation falls into one of these categories, some of the specific types of business structures that companies select for automation include:
Autocomplete Agents. These artificial intelligent agents help company representatives who are in the process of solving a consumer’s issues. Only companies who have a large body of similarly resolved problems are likely to use these agents.
Automated Responses. Encompasses in this category are companies that use computer to solve a large number of consumer requests while keeping human interaction at a low.
Provides of Platform Infrastructure. This group includes companies that offer platforms that can be adopted by customer service departments.
Social Marketing Solutions. This category includes companies that offer social marketing management opportunities that companies who are interested in growing business through the use of social channels.
Software Based Centers. Companies in this category opt to provide either standalone virtual assistance or virtual assistance in combination with a customer service representative. These options are preferable to companies who want to greatly alter the customer service experience for consumers. Social media automation is one of the leading ways in which companies have discovered automation can be very beneficial. The chart below depicts just some of the benefits from this method of automation.
Ticket Routing Optimizers. This category includes companies that offer consumers ticket routing automation to increase the efficiency with which the company responds to consumer problems.
Automation Creates a Base for Seamless Operations
Automated services let companies determine how an exchange can proceed with as a few obstacles as possible for a consumer. There are also several benefits that are created by the automation process which include the categories depicted in the following chart.
Additionally, automated services let companies provide strong support services at a great speed and number to consumers, which helps companies grow in size and ultimately because consumers are satisfied, companies increase significantly in number of sales.