automated customer service

Customer Service – To Automate, or Not to Automate, That Is the Question

It is fascinating how ancient Greek philosophy that arose in the 6th century B.C. is still applicable to today’s society. One of these ancient concepts — “Golden Mean” — gives a perfect advice when it comes to customer service innovations.

“Golden Mean” refers to the idea that one should maintain an optimal middle point between the two extremes. But how exactly does it help us when we’re talking about customer service?

Today, various industries around the globe are going digital and promote automation for the purpose of improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the customer service. As a matter of fact, Gartner reports that 85% of customer interactions will not include a human agent by the year 2020.

While such practices have various positive impacts, one should tread lightly as it might also harm the “human interaction” factor of customer service, which to this day remains a vital part.

If you are wondering whether you should automate your customer service or not, we have an answer for you, and it is — Yes and No…

(Don’t get confused just yet, because this is where the “Golden Mean” concept comes in.)

There are some aspects where automated and AI-powered customer service will significantly improve your performance, but there are also parts that need to preserve the “human touch” so that you are seen as a genuine business.

We will show you which aspects of the customer service you should automate and which aspects you shouldn’t, for creating an ideal customer service experience.

Aspects to Automate

automated customer service

As mentioned above, automation has many benefits and it is important to use all of those benefits to your advantage. For that reason, we will show you which parts of your customer service needs to be automated.

1. Welcome Emails

Every day, we receive dozens of automated welcome emails that we don’t even bother to read. But then, why did we include them in the list?

The problem with the example above is that those emails are done poorly. They try to mask the fact that the text is automated and try them to look as if the email was written personally. We’ve seen so many automated emails that we’ve got immune to the automated style of writing and can identify these emails instantly.

The trick to using automated emails to your advantage is to make it serve as a medium between your business and a customer for a future “human interaction”. Do not try to hide the fact that the email is not personally written. Welcome emails are an important part when you are building a relationship with your customer because it is your first contact with them.

Make your automated emails in such a way that show your client’s that you are ready to provide a human support when they will need to. It will leave your customers with a feeling that you care while saving up your time from writing tons of emails.

2. Registration

Make sure you get rid of the pen-and-paper registration forms! In the digital age, such registration forms are “headaches” for both customer and you. Listen to what the customer says: a research found that 90% of responders preferred an online registration.

Online registration helps you with the processing of information and facilitates the management of the visitors.

3. Customer Support Responses (To Some Extent)

Remember that the more customer has to wait for the response, the worse it is for you. Look, we all have busy lives and certainly do not appreciate our time being wasted while waiting for the customer service answers.

Implementing an automated response will help you to save time and clean up the stockpiled inquiries. However, the lack of customer empathy and impersonal approach most probably will leave your customers unsatisfied.

That is why your customer service representative will need to get back to the customer after the automated response as soon as possible. Follow up on the issue and ask about the additional information.

Aspects NOT to Automate

personal customer service

Now, we know how time-beneficial and helpful automation can be in everyday customer service operations. However, keep one thing in mind – Customer relationships cannot be hacked!

“The greatest technology in the world hasn’t replaced the ultimate relationship building tool between a customer and a business; the human touch.” Shep Hyken

So here are the lists where you should not consider automating.

1. Greet Your Customers Personally

If there is one thing that you should not automate, greeting your customer would be exactly that. Studies have shown that the initial 10 seconds are the determining factor whether the customer will continue shopping with you when they enter the store.

Having a representative that will personally greet a customer with a pleasant smile will do wonders for impacting your customers positively. Do not let automated service get in your way, and charm your customer with a personal “hello”!

2. No Place for Technology When Onboarding Customers

Successful customer onboarding is one of the most vital parts of a customer-business relationship. It is so much valued by customers that they are ready to pay more to a business that provides better service.

Make sure you don’t save up money and employ automated services when it comes to customer onboarding. Regardless of innovativeness of the technology a real human interaction will not be substituted in this area. Only a real human interaction will satisfy your customer in this aspect.

Establish a real emotional bond with your customers when onboarding and watch them coming back to you, telling their friends about your business and your revenues increase.

3. Beware of Automating Service Interactions

When a customer interacts with your business, they likely have a problem to be solved. But problem-solving is not the only thing that will make your customer loyal; they need an extra added value which is an emotional bond that technology simply cannot provide.

Even though automated responses will cost you less than a human agent, that’s no way to save your money. In the long run, you will benefit more in terms of customer satisfaction and loyalty when your customer service representatives build positive relationships with clients, compared to the so-called “cold” responses provided by bots.

How Can We Be of Help?

Now, you might be wondering if there is a solution out there that will use automation to its advantage while maintaining the human factor. And the answer is, finally, YES!

Qminder does not only serve as a queue management system but also provides powerful insights into the mind of your customers.

What’s more important, Qminder brings automation to your company where customers can sign in themselves, while also maintaining the “human interaction” factor. You have the freedom of greeting your customers by their name and building a genuine and sincere trust with them.

The Golden Mean Approach

customer service approach

So now you understand how “Golden Mean” idea can be used in your company when it comes to automation.

Understand what advantages the automation brings to you and which aspects of your business need to stay “Human”. Every company operates in a specific manner so you might find some additional factors where automation will be of a big help as well as identifying some aspects where automation would not be a good option.

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