Today, customers have more opportunities to communicate with brands and companies than ever before. As a result, many customer service teams must go above and beyond to meet their requests and address potential concerns. Customer service automation is one way to ensure customers remain satisfied with your services without overworking your employees.
Here’s how you can elevate your company’s reputation and expand your customer base through automation, all while maintaining team productivity and efficiency.
The Importance of Customer Service
Generally, customer service is the act of listening to your customers, answering their questions, showing you value their opinions, and listening to their feedback. These are some of the vast benefits effective customer service can bring:
Better customer retention: Customer retention refers to a business’s ability to turn once-off customers into repeat customers. Retention rate is the measure of how successful you are at doing this. Your rate is lowered when customers stop returning to you and switch to a competitor. Customer service is the key to keeping customers on your side and making them feel heard and rewarded for it. Your client service reminds customers that they are making the right choice by choosing to come back to your company.
Improved brand image: Brand image is how customers perceive your brand based on their interactions and experiences. The better your brand image, the easier it is to keep customers happy. Client service plays a major role in keeping your brand image healthy as it involves direct communication. When customers use your customer services to answer queries and give feedback, they are talking to your brand. One wrong move can change their perception. However, the right move can strengthen their perception of you.
Greater customer loyalty: Customer loyalty is closely linked to your retention rate and brand image. A loyal customer will defend your brand compared to competitors and choose you above other options. Your customer’s loyalty improves when they like your products, brand, and the experiences they have with them. Customer service can turn a happy customer into a loyal one. They will then recommend your company, which can attract more leads and even turn them into loyal customers.
Building consumer-brand relationships: For a customer to become loyal, there needs to be a connection between them and your brand. Meaningful consumer-brand relationships are built on trust and respect. If you show your consumers respect and give them a reason to trust you, they will form a bond. Sending follow-up emails, social media communications, and customer services are examples of how this can be done. Customer services reinforce these bonds with good experiences and interactions.
Increased referrals and better reviews: People who have good experiences with a brand are more likely to recommend it. Customer service can turn a negative review into a positive one and a one-time customer into a loyal fan. The way they treat consumers and see to their needs is the key. When someone leaves a negative review or comment, addressing it quickly and effectively can make them leave a new positive comment. Turning negative reviews into positive ones is a sign of a good customer service system.
Enhanced competitiveness: Happy customers are a great way to spread good word of mouth. They are more likely to engage in posts, share good experiences, and recommend products. When your customer service interactions are able to create a good impression, give the right information, and solve problems, it leads to more happy customers. This is why customer service is an important part of your marketing arsenal.
Types of Customer Service
These are the most common and useful types of customer service:
Social media support: Social media is a top way for brands to interact with consumers directly. The way you handle customer service on social media is imperative to your success and popularity on the platform. Knowing when to chat with customers in private and when to showcase your solutions is important. Unattended complaints and queries can reflect on you poorly, but responding to them properly can do a lot of good.
Email support: One of the first types of digital customer service, email support is a reliable way of privately dealing with a matter and giving a customer your full attention. When you handle questions and complaints promptly and professionally, you can turn a customer into a lifelong patron of your company.
Phone call support: Customers have been urged for decades to call hotlines if they have any queries or concerns. Phone communication provides a one-on-one opportunity where customer service team members can give their full attention. When phone calls are handled properly, customers will be more willing to trust your company and make use of your offerings.
Live chat support: Live chat is a service usually hosted on a company’s website and handled by a dedicated team or an agency. This tool has become commonplace, as it lets customers ask questions and get their answers in real-time. It’s an efficient use of the customer’s time and keeps them interested in pursuing their answers without getting distracted.
Interactive voice support: Interactive voice support is a type of automated customer service. When a customer calls your customer service hotline, the automated voice directs them through a series of steps based on their issue. This is a good way of organizing your customer service teams and helping customers get to the department most relevant for resolving their issues.
What Is Automated Customer Service?
Automated customer service is when customers are given the support and answers they’re looking for via automated tools. This approach can be achieved through automated emails, chatbots, phone calls, and support tickets. Using automation is a less time-consuming way of managing customer service, as it lets teams handle certain manual tasks with customer service automation software.
Automation software uses artificial intelligence (AI) to perform repetitive manual tasks that might otherwise slow down an employee’s workflow. It can directly provide customers with assistance by answering questions and providing tutorials. Alternatively, it can tag support tickets to be sorted and sent to the right person. This process significantly reduces the amount of manual intervention required and gives employees the chance to focus on more complex tasks, streamlining their workflows.
What Customer Service Automation Can Do
These are the many things you can use your customer service automation software to maximize the way you help your customers:
Knowledge base automation is when you teach your AI and automation software how to analyze, organize, and deliver self-service content. In the context of customer services, your AI’s knowledge base determines how it answers queries. Your chatbot will use the data from its knowledge base to provide relevant information in real-time. It will link customers to pages and articles they need. It will also use its knowledge base to understand the questions being asked and the language being used.
Your automated knowledge base can link to FAQ pages, tutorials, videos, release notes, troubleshooting, articles, product guides, and anything else on your website and beyond. Knowledge bases handle the brunt of your online customer service interactions. This gives your reps and agents more time to focus on other tasks.
Customer service AI chatbots are usually implemented on a company’s website or social media pages. An AI chatbot is a tool programmed to self-learn when introduced to new information. This information can be in the form of words, questions, dialogues, images, and queries. Because they learn over time, the clarity and success of their output improve as they interact with more queries. This is how machine-learning chatbots work.
The other type of AI chatbot is rules-based. Rules-based chatbots use a flowchart of rules that they follow to the letter. They are best used for straightforward tasks like sharing basic information, answering FAQs, and providing links.
When certain conditions, known as triggers, are met, your AI will carry out pre-set triggered actions. You can program what these triggers are and the designated responses. For example, you can set your automated workflow to deliver opt-in incentives when submitting an online form. If you promise customers who fill in a survey a coupon, your automation will ensure it is taken care of every time. This removes a lot of repetitive work for your client service representatives.
Triggered actions are a major perk of having an automated workflow. It can help with keeping track of data you can use for future customer service efforts. For example, if a question with certain keywords is asked, then a triggered action could be to make a tally of those words. This is a great way to answer customers’ questions before they even ask for an efficient customer experience.
Customer relationship management (CRM) process automation
CRM software is used for a variety of customer service tasks. It can send follow-ups to customers based on their behavior. If a customer abandons their cart, your CRM software will send them a message. It can also be used to provide and manage support tickets. These workflows take a lot of tedious manual work away from your reps so they can focus on bigger things.
Lead scoring is one of the most valuable things you can do with CRM automation. This is when the program ranks leads based on specifications like the likelihood to convert. It is determined by user interest and behavior on your website. You can then use it to perform certain triggered actions accordingly. For example, if someone shows a lot of interest in a particular item, it might share something that will help them make a decision to act, like giving them a coupon or relaying product specs.
Email automation is when your automation software uses preset rules to send emails to customers or leads based on their actions. Manually sending and personalizing emails for leads is a thing of the past. Instead of tailoring each email message you send out, you only need one template. The email automation software will take care of the rest, from changing the messaging to suit the name of the lead and their interests to sending them out to the right people.
Benefits of Customer Service Automation
The benefits of customer service automation have helped many companies take their customer service departments to new levels. These are the benefits you can expect by choosing to automate customer service:
Boosts customer satisfaction: Automated customer service delivers quick responses to customers. Every touchpoint you offer can be optimized to deliver efficient customer service, from social media responses to immediate chatbot replies. Delivering fast, helpful responses ensures customers feel like they’re a priority and can trust your company’s services.
Avoids human error: To err is human, and even highly-trained and experienced agents can make mistakes. By automating your customer support systems, you can avoid the risk of human error altogether. Answers are generated and handled by a bot that will always provide the right information, give the right answers, and guide customers to the right places. Automation provides laser-focused support for each case opened. When one agent would have to focus on multiple queries at a time, automation allows each customer to receive full attention.
Increases efficiency: Every time a new query is started, the automation software does its best to answer the customer’s question fully. The generated answers will provide the exact information needed to answer the query, making the process more efficient for the customer and allowing customer service agents to streamline their daily workflows. If the customer still has questions, the AI can direct them to the right customer service agent, giving the agent full context of the issue and allowing them to reach a resolution faster.
Improves customer retention rate: Your customer service chatbot could be one of your customer’s first contact points. Your automated communications will give customers the information they are looking for quickly. This will help them make a decision and form an impression. Returning customers can explore more of your offerings by interacting with your chatbot. Your automated customer service bots can improve your retention rate by improving existing relationships and creating strong new impressions.
Supplies 24/7 support: Through automation, customers can get the answers they’re looking for at any time. Teams may not need to operate around the clock, as the automation software is always working and can likely deliver the information and responses needed.
Creates a unified brand voice: Generated answers can be created to match your brand’s tone of voice and personality. Even though a machine generates the responses, you can still maintain a unified brand voice through every interaction customers have with your company.
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Customer service is just one of the many parts of your business that automation can redefine and expand to maximize your efficiency, deliver the best results, and drive progress. Our Business Compass software solution helps you find opportunities within your business that our automation tools can redefine.
Find out more about our many products and the solutions we can offer you. Contact us today and start your business’s next stage of evolution with automation.