Great Tips For Automating Customer Support

Businesses are infusing more technology in their operations. It is faster and more efficient, reserving their employees to do more complex tasks that would require human intervention. Even though it can be very expensive, these systems can future-proof the business in terms of providing customer support.

ATMs (Automated Teller Machine) is an example of automating customer support. The machine can help customers change PIN, checkbook reorder and balance inquiries. It works without being controlled by an employee while the customer is using it. These machines have been around for decades and bank clients have seen how it was improved over time.

What is Automation?

Based on a company offering automation services, “ automation ” is defined as the application of programs, technology, robotics, and/or processes that will not require a lot of human interaction. In applying it to customer service, it is the use of technology that makes customer requests faster. If you have observed from the definition, automation has minimal human input but still required in their application.

Some believe that the future of customer support does not need any person to control it. However, until that is not fully achieved (a person is still required in troubleshooting the automated service), here are some tips in automating customer support.

1. Human Touch is Still Important

Even though the objective of automating customer support is to have less human interaction, remember to infuse some human characteristics into the technology especially in applying emotions to a machine or system.

Given the above example, ATMs show their respect by greeting the user (based on the card inserted) with a flashing message on the screen like “ Hello, Mr. ABC. ” To show empathy if the service cannot be processed, a message will prompt saying “ Sorry, (followed by the message). ”

This may look like a small detail, but this helps make it feel that the machine is meant to interact with humans. It lessens the feeling that customers are being pushed to seek help with a machine. To help give technology a more personalized approach, use templates that mimic employee’s inquiries and responses.

2. Share Troubleshooting Techniques

Customer support is needed by people who have encountered issues with products and/or services that they have purchased. Instead of making these customers visit the store or contact for help right away, include a ‘help’ section on the website (or through an app, if available).

It should be directed to a list of concerns that can be easily identified while being user-friendly. Some companies use a digital flowchart to guide customers in understanding each troubleshooting step.

Aside from promoting customers to use self-help, automation can issue tickets for concerns that would take time to resolve. This also helps employees at the back end to see the issues that need to be prioritized. The system can send updates to customer’s preferred communication channels (such as e-mail or SMS) or a link where they can see the progress.

3. Constant Review

Not all automation services can provide accurate results or resolution. Continuous review is required to reveal what could go wrong and what is already going wrong. Before launching it and aligning with the current customer support service process, make sure to check every customer scenario possible and look at the effects on both the recipient and the system.

The best way to know if automation is doing well is to ask for feedback. Some systems may still require employee intervention. See how it affects employees and know their opinion upon first use. The company may also ask for customers’ feedback to see what could be done better on their next visit.

4. Plan for a Backup

This is an important pointer to consider when checking with the automated systems provider because technology is like humans. There are days where humans can’t perform well due to different factors such as being physically sick or emotionally unstable.

Comparing to an automated customer support channel, it will come to a point where it won’t work due to a system glitch or problems in the power supply. Thus, it will need a backup plan that will consist of a group of employees.

There are companies that have fully integrated their customer support system with automation. Instead of having humans serve as a backup, they have another automated system that can serve as a replacement. This could be a more expensive option but will ensure that customers will not be affected when system issues happen.

5. Constant Improvements

Smartphones are a product of technology and the perfect example of how constant improvements are needed overtime. Phones that are ten years older do not work the same way today, where manufacturers even drop the support on their older models. The same goes with automated customer support systems – a provision for constant improvements should be included.

Check for an automation service provider that will be able to support future changes or that can adapt to technological advancements. You may check with the company for some samples of their clients who were able to adjust to changes easily.

If you are looking into a systems provider that is new to the business, ask for their provisions for future improvements. Check for this option as it will take away the hassle of changing to a new systems provider when new technology arises. New systems take time before implementation will be completed.

Choosing a systems provider that will provide a smooth transition to automating customer support services may need careful decisions and considerations. The most important tip is to always look at what will be the best option for the customers in relation to the cost involved in maintaining these systems.

Automating customer support systems may not be smooth sailing at first, but once it is working according to plan, the company will realize how great is to automate support systems. It will not just help the customers, but employees will be able to focus on new clients.

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