There was a time before when everyone could smoothly go to a local store and take their time to choose the perfect birthday gift for someone. Now, no one has a choice but to do that on a webshop. If you break a cup from a beautiful set that you own and want to replace it, you will also have to do that online. We’re using some simple scenarios to illustrate, but it also applies to more complex issues. With stores still closed and as a direct effect of the pandemic, people spend more time online now than ever before. However, seeking contactless human interaction is not easy for everyone. People may feel lost and stressed depending on the queries. And that makes us wonder if customer support teams are ready to deal with the pressure. They must adapt and improve their basic strategies to this new context that became a reality for everyone.
Moreover, we cannot forget that agents are humans. And the pressure they have can be overwhelming. Automation for customer support is pretty convenient to spare the workload. Nonetheless, customers are not the greatest fans of chatbots. So why companies keep using automation? Because if done correctly, it can be a goldmine!
It’s known that customers look for support when they struggle, either because they seek information or need a solution for a problem they have encountered. Moreover, according to a recent report from Infobip, 74% of customers find messages sent from businesses lack a personalized, human touch. They want to be heard and feel like someone is paying attention to what they have to say.
This highlights the need to find some balance between automated services and agents working in real-time. We’ll discuss how to do that in this article.
What Are the Good and Bad Things About Automation?
Before we discuss how to improve automation for customer support, it is fundamental to point out the perks and the disadvantages of choosing this path. Firstly, we can highlight how amazing it is that nowadays a computer can easily gather lots of data. Furthermore, it allows the use of tags that can help manage a database – and guide agents who will search for information there.
By using chatbots, customers can get an answer at any time they need in a few simple steps. It’s also less expensive, as you won’t need multiple agents to handle the chats. Through chat support, it’s possible to guide customers through the F.A.Q. too. However, there are some counterparts. It’s harder to solve complicated issues, and although you are careful with the words you choose in the first place, they are still automated. There’s a fine line between sounding programmed and natural.
If your customer keeps following instructions from a robot without the option to talk to a real person, they will probably leave the website and try to find what they are looking for somewhere else. Hence the importance of working with multiple channels.
Choose the Right Channel for Customer Support
Initially, we must find a way to communicate at the right time and through the proper channels. Is your target customer more into WhatsApp, e-mail, or both? It’s essential to show that you understand them and know the most about what they are looking for. In this way, you’ll be able to deliver answers that matter, building a personalized approach. We moved towards a reality where people have the will to try out different channels. Technology isn’t a monster anymore, but each generation has its preferences. And it’s the role of each business to communicate correctly to their target audience. However, knowing that customers have more affinity for everything digital right now, companies bet more and more on omnichannel communication.
If your company has a chat service, then it may be time to use WhatsApp for Business too, or the other way around. If your target group is mostly on Facebook, then you should invest in Messenger. Depending on your customers’ profile, it may be the case to improve the communication through e-mail or SMS. There’s a significant interest in investing in multiple channels, and a conversational service provider like Conversation24 gets you covered on that.
Nevertheless, we can’t ignore the importance of building a workflow to better use those various channels. Automation is here to help you manage, escalate and redirect conversations. Make sure that your agents are aware of that!
Focus on What Is Relevant
Independently of the channel, nobody wants to be spammed. Customers expect businesses to bring them relevant content. Infobip’s report showed that thirty-one percent of people were more likely to engage with companies that understood their desires regarding goods and services. Remember when we talked about data? They are precious tools to understand your customers’ wishes and the best ways to top their expectations.
According to the report, those are the top 3 content that consumers love to receive on their mail:
- Discounts and sales details (52%)
- Information when a new product or service becomes available (35%)
- Notifications on transactions and payments (31%)
Yes, you just read our thoughts. It’s possible to automate those categories of information. With simple e-mail, SMS automation, or template messaging on WhatsApp business API, you can let your customers know about sales, tell them that the order is confirmed, and let them know when it has been shipped. They appreciate this kind of attention. Lastly, a precious piece of advice for those who own eCommerce: consider automation to alert customers when a size or a specific product comes back in stock.
Let Customers Be Sure That You “Heard” Them
Customer support is all about letting people know that someone read their words. Customers don’t expect to be left in the dark when they write you. Allow automation to help you by sending an automatic reply. In this manner, they feel reassured that you received their request. And you will have the time to work on the answer they expect to receive soon. Moreover, include some relevant links that can help them at the end of the automatic message.
Know When to Use Canned Responses for Customer Support
According to the service you offer, you can map what the most common questions from customers are. Based on that, it’s possible to build a knowledge base and use canned responses to save time. It’s efficient and a lifesaver during high season. However, it’s best to find a way to adapt them quickly. After all, if you rely 100% on canned responses, you risk ending up sounding a bit robotic. Pay attention to your customer’s replies and adapt your answers accordingly. Did they mention their name, for example? You can then ask if they need help with anything else by adding the name of the customer at the end of the sentence. It can be done with the slightest detail and your customers will be delighted!
Are you ready to improve your customer support team’s skills by adding some good and performing automation? Then give it a go!