One of the number one issues that plague the business world is that there are one too many customers but not many customer service representatives. This leads to SLAs not being met and response times being evidently too high. So what can brands do when their inbound inquiries are skyrocketing? The simple answer is automation. And many companies have begun making use of chatbots and the likes to respond to at least touch base with their customers at a faster time in order to increase their average response time. It is not hard to understand why companies prefer these to real people though. It is fast and quite affordable.
In the meantime, research shows that the customers of today prefer to be responded to personally and nearly 40% of the consumers drop off a chat when they realize they are not talking to a human being. Why is that? Because people want quick answers for sure but they want efficiency too and they do not expect the machine to do the trick for them. Customers of today want a more humane and real customer service which is complete with empathy, sympathy, and efficiency.
This is a tricky situation, however, and how does a brand decide the best way to attend to the influx of customer support requirements without the manpower or with the customer service skills of a robot? This is where brands must find the perfect balance between the two such that the customer service representative has the time to attend to real issues that a customer might have in an empathetic and real manner while the automation attends to basic queries and concerns. While this combination sounds perfect and likes the ideal solution it is not hard to see that this is a slightly difficult feat to achieve. We have deduced three must-do things when it comes to optimizing the best of both worlds.
1. Profile all your customers
Before your tasks become easy, you must do a lot of hard work. Analyze and understand your customer segment. Learn their behaviors and patterns and keep a keen eye on them to ensure that you are able to deduce the subject lines of incoming queries to judge the gravity of it. In the meantime, you can use automation to acquire all the necessary data each of these subject lines might require, so that when an agent is put through the task of solving the issue is easier and much faster without much back and forth. For example, when a customer has a concern with regard to order delivery, the automated segment of the customer service section must ask for basic details such as order number and nature of the query. So when the case reaches a customer service representative, they can automatically pick on the subject matter and investigate right from the start.
2. Customers can solve their problems too
Intelligent brands have now begun creating smart wiki pages for their customer service sections such that, a consumer is required to feed in a query and is presented with troubleshooting steps. Once a customer performs these steps, the chances of the error being fixed are high. But if issues persist then the next automatic course of action is to trigger a service request to a human representative who can then handle it. Why is this important? Well, firstly, it is a great way to make use of automation. This allows for simpler errors to be addressed at the grassroots level thus allowing the customer service representatives to utilize their skills and time in more real-time queries that require more attention. Secondly, customers, today love solving their own problems rather than spending time talking to representatives.
3. Route smartly and save time
Amazon has a very extensive support channel that has an enviable team with incredible customer service skills. However, the most incredible thing the team has done is included automation at the routing level. Remember, Amazon is a global company and thus queries can be regarding various countries, delivery, return, damages, refunds, delays, misuse, and so on and so forth. If all of this were routed to one place, this would be a giant mess. However, the e-commerce giant simply allows for a very intelligent re-routing system that automatically pushes regional queries to each regions bucket. Furthermore, each type of query has a separate queue and each of these, based on the reason codes picked by the customer, is bucketed into the respective service buckets. This way, a specialized team attends to one type of concerns only thus making the process not only faster but also very efficient in terms of the perfection in responses owing to the experience.
All these three suggestions are heavy on customization that allows for a human touch in places where it is necessary and apt. In most cases, companies mess up the order by either allowing for a complete human interaction or for a complete bot interaction and while either might serve one purpose, it does not seem like a plausible solution to the current day’s requirement.