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Improving Customer Experience with Automation

For any business owner, one of the best things that you can do is make your customer support service as good as it can be. While a good business often believes its product/service is good enough to avoid customer support queries, great businesses have a customer service standard to match their products. However, when time is of the essence, you might wish to consider using automation for customer experience improvement.

How, though, could you be using automation to help make sure that anyone getting in contact with your business can get the answers they require?

Start moving things along

When you are looking to make customer service more impressive, it has to be quicker. Taking hours – even days – to respond to an opening customer query is a poor look. By 2020, it’s expected that just 15% of customer support interactions will be human-handled: that makes sense.

Automation allows for most basic problems – returns, repairs, replacements – to be handled without a member of staff having to get involved. If you wish to minimise support staff costs whilst making sure customers get faster responses and automated resolutions to key issues, start using automation to improve the wider customer experience.

Stop limiting support hours

A major mistake of many a business is to have customer support hours in line with your opening hours. With the help of automation, you can have a 24/7 support network that handles all but the most challenging tasks without anyone having to intervene.

This could see you turn around response rates into minutes, not days. While it will allow for simple queries to be handled without any input, it will allow customers to feel like you care. If you respond quickly, they know that you want to find a resolution, and will appreciate that.

Start sending automated responses

A major improvement to any modern customer service platform that is automated, though, is automated responses. Send an automated message to let them know that their query is being received and dealt with. It lets them know that you have take their words into consideration and are now taking action on what they have said.

Also, if there are likely to be any delays to a response, automated messages allow you to make that clear. From making clear about customer service hours to other issues, you can remove the annoyance around waiting times on responses.

Let customers serve themselves

Today, self-service is a major part of retail and commerce. Customers often don’t want to have to sit and talk to an agent; they just want a refund/replacement etc. – this is why you have to make self-servicing possible.

Make it so by ensuring that they can handle things like returns etc. through a system that means they do not have to talk to anyone. From having them include the RMI number to ensuring your system is notified of an incoming return/refund/replacement request, this ensures that customers spend less time waiting for a response, and more time getting a resolution.

 

With these factors in mind, you should be able to quickly transform the quality of your customer experience. Customers will feel more valued, and your business will seem far more professional and on-the-ball. With enough customer support staff to take over the minority or more personal concerns, you can start to make sure that all customers receive the best possible experience. 

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The Top Trends in Customer Service in 2019

For many years now, the customer service industry has been in a period of significant change. That constant adjustment has seen many customer service norms we grew up with consigned to the dustbin of history. Today, customer service in 2019 is very much different to how it was even in 2018. With that in mind, it pays to understand and grasp the top trends in customer service in 2019. The problem is, where do you start?

Let us help you work out what the most important trends to follow with regards to customer service are.

People want faster resolutions

One problem with customer service in the past is that it was acceptable for a period of 48-hours to pass before the first reply. Now, anything beyond a couple of hours is going to leave someone tapping their timepiece, waiting for you to get a response to them.

So, make sure that you get used to the art of solving the entire issue within 48-hours; two working days to merely begin parlay isn’t acceptable, even if it was the norm once.

Customers want a personal approach

Making sure that every customer on your service comes with a full profile for you to look through is essential. Why? Because your staff will be expected to know who this person is; what they bought, what they looked at on your site etc.

If your business is not doing enough to personalise customer service, you will lose business. People want you to know who they are; they bought from you, so they expect your undivided attention.

Customers no longer want to explain themselves

Moving on from the above, when a customer is contacted regarding a query they have made, they expect you to know what it is already. A customer now knows how much data a business holds about them; they expect you to use that data to know what their problem is before they tell you.

The most common trend, then, comes from customers who want you to know what the problem is – and what the solution is – before you even talk.

AI is becoming more important

More and more businesses are now using AI to help make sure that they can do all of the above. It should make it easier for you to ensure that people get a more customer-centric, specific message delivered to them. Expand out over time; AI for customer service is still growing, but it has a huge amount of potential.

Start small, build big

Many companies make the mistake of trying to edit their entire customer service philosophy in one go. We recommend adding in small amounts of technological adjustment, more information per customer to each customer profile etc. – start small and build up the customer experience solution over time.

 

Good customer service needs buy-in from the business executives. As such, gradually improving the customer service platform is far more likely to receive financial and executive backing. Keep that in mind: a wholesale change has to be made, but can it really be made all at once without lasting damage? 

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How to Elevate Your Phone and Email Support

As a business, one of the single most important things that you can have in-house is a quality level of e-mail and phone support. Many businesses suffer from a lack of quality when it comes to their support system. If you are unsure about what changes to make to improve upon your present support platform, we have some ideas that you can utilise below.

If you are intending on making changes to any part of your business, make it your support platform. What, then, do you need to change for a more robust support network?

Make service emails a priority

One of the biggest mistakes that many businesses make is they do not prioritise answering customer emails. Emails are still by far and away one of the best ways to get in touch with your business: failing to prioritise it as a form of communication is very poor business sense.

Indeed, you should also make sure that you allow customers to know that A) you received their email and B) you will respond in-person ASAP. Many companies can be hours, even days, before they even respond to a customer: without even letting them know the e-mail was received in the first place. An automated response to every e-mail is a good way to let the customer know that you are on the case.

Make service responses more efficient

As mentioned above, many companies have shockingly poor response times. A response time can be as much as 12+ hours in the business world. You might be surprised to find out that customers don’t like waiting half-a-day for a response!

Make sure that you take the time needed to repair and improve the speed of response. Making use of additional e-mail support staff to help get answers back within an hour or two is much, much more likely to improve customer confidence in your ability to service their needs.

You still need phone agents

While many companies are cutting back on the use of phone agents as they have live chat systems, it’s nowhere near strong enough to do it all on its own. A computer AI can never match a human for their ability to solve problems, provide empathy, and let the customer know that the problem is being handled. As such, having phone agents who can immediately contact a customer regarding their query is going to show an immediacy and urgency that chat boats cannot show.

Don’t start cutting down the number of phone agents you have: this will help to avoid waiting times to speak to support staff, and will avoid giving people a scripted, unprofessional, impersonal customer support experience.

Make everything more specific to the person

Before a single reply is given to a customer, though, make sure the phone/e-mail support agent has looked over their file. What is the problem? What could they be getting in touch over? Have your staff look at the problem prior to picking up the phone/sending an e-mail response.

If you do that, you make sure that your responses are going to be much more personal in relation to the problem. Giving people cookie-cutter responses to their problems will not produce the positive response you think it might!

 

Make everything more personal; five minutes of reading over each customer profile prior to answering their query can go a long, long way to improving workplace performance.