Automated customer service – The What, The Why and The How

introduce and maximise automation for better results

In our previous blog post, we explained why customer relations are important in ecommerce and gave you examples of how to improve them. In this post we’re going to explain why it’s a good idea to involve automation in your customer service.

Nowadays, a journey to buying starts at home, online. Right from the time customers land on your product, every initial interaction can mould their experience and end decision.

Most of us think about our own experience as a customer and those situations where we needed to call customer service, with all the frustration involved in the process. From no one picking up the phone, a consultant transferring you from one department to another which can seem like an hour-long wait, to an agent that just doesn’t understand what are you saying (or the opposite). These are all examples of the common headaches that can be resolved by proper customer service automation. Not to mention that history has shown plenty of examples of how no brand is safe from the “bad customer service experience turned PR nightmare” situations.

Customer service automation is helping businesses achieve outcomes such as a 30% reduction in customer service costs, a 39% rise in customer satisfaction, and 14 times higher sales.  * According to flamingo.com.co

Customer service automation is actually not a new idea or practice. The term customer support automation (automated customer service) can be traced back all the way to the early 1960s. It refers to a wide range of techniques, methods, and procedures that are purpose-built processes aiming to reduce (or eliminate) the need for human involvement. Automated customer service is used for any type of customer service that uses tools to automate workflows or tasks. Ultimately, success comes through a collaborative process between the person providing support and the person receiving it.

Popular forms of customer service automation are keyword chatbots/email bots and AI chatbots that use pre-defined rules or artificial intelligence (AI) to help customers either with achieving tasks or resolving problems quickly.

British supermarket Ocado uses support automation AI to intelligently route 10,000+ daily emails to the right agent. It takes into account the topic, sentiment and the priority needed for a response. This makes sure the frustrated customer who had an issue with their online order is treated differently than someone who is providing positive feedback on the website.

AI (Artificial Intelligence) is transforming customer service positively. AI can respond right away to customers. This will always be faster than any human. Not only that – this instant response is available all the time no matter the time zone. These two factors alone are already making automation more convenient.

The automotive industry knows that a big part of the decision is made online. For an industry as huge and complex as automotive, with ginormous amounts of data, automation is the way to go. AI-powered automation tools can gather key information from a customer. Examples are account number, current needs or details around the issue they are facing. AI can also be used for account verification. Every day bots are confirming security questions or matching account numbers to birthdays. This optimises the agent’s time (or even removes the need for a live agent), ultimately getting a customer’s issue resolved quicker.

Even if the customer has already purchased a product from you, this does not mean the end of the customer experience. In fact, especially for new customers, this is just the beginning. From here your customer service should prove its worth. Audi for example allows customers to watch live while their car gets serviced. It’s recorded either by a member of the team who keeps the customer in the loop or by AI bot and a camera. This allows customers to feel important, to feel that they are part of what goes on behind the scenes which is building trust.

The ecommotors platform allows you to automate many of the customer services tasks and messages that are part of a great delivery – and customer – experience.

If you want to grow your aftermarket presence or for a no-obligation introductory discussion, please contact us.