How customer service can cooperate with an era of automation

The boom of automation has posed several new dilemmas as well as opportunities that both businesses and individuals might face. It has in large part been welcomed with open arms as it can truly facilitate day-to-day work. However, it also poses concerns as in how it might replace certain tasks or even complete workforces.

The concerns of course have some basis in reality as some jobs most likely are to be absorbed by the ever-increasing automation. But if your job is centered around customer service, don’t fret.  Automation will play a role here in helping it be more efficient, but it can never truly surpass the service a real human touch can provide.

The real question we need to tackle here is how we can use automation coupled with our social skills to enhance customer experience all in all. If we were to collaborate with the world of automation, how can we provide an even better experience for our customers?

Building relationships

While your new automation system might help you find an immediate answer to a very precise question, it can’t necessarily read between the lines. In customer support, you always have to navigate between observations and unspoken clues. Educated guesses here might just not do the job in tricky customer errands. Human creative problem solving will play a crucial role here in being able to be that extra attentive to what customers are asking for.

This not only helps supply better answers, but it can really help in building valuable customer relationships. In a world where there are countless options to choose from, a great customer experience really sets businesses apart in retaining loyal customers. And sure, your AI might be able to recite every single product detail, but it can’t form a connection from that one instance like a human can.

Conversation

While we might talk to or have a laugh at our dear Alexa, real conversation is almost impossible to encapsulate in code. AI might be better than us at analyzing data and presenting fact-based answers. But the thing that takes customer relationships to the next level is plain good ol’ conversation. Humor can play a great role in this as it can suffice as a great ice breaker in tricky situations. It also goes to show that you’re just like the customer in trying to navigate communication.

Empathy

So, first thing’s fist; conversation gets the customer journey going. But building a true customer relationship requires empathy. Basically, showing that you’re a human just like anyone else. Let’s say a customer accidentaly ordered the wrong thing, an AI response might just be that it can’t be returned, no questions asked. But you on the other hand, are able to maybe find a creative solution to the problem while understanding that we sometimes simply make mistakes.

While we do recognize that maintaining a positive spirit while working in customer service can be tough at times while dealing with impossible situations or angry customers. You can really collaborate with automation here, that helps you with the nitty gritty work, while you can focus on building the relationship. By being able to skip the mundane interactions that tend to fizzle out the fun in your job, you can focus on improving your social skills that are much more valuable to the clients.

Creative solutions

Even the most tech savvy machines often lack in emotional tuning, something that is essential in customer service skills. While problem solving is part of the automation world, it can’t really go the extra mile in tapping into listening skills in order to get the bottom of impossible situations. As mentioned above, maybe a customer accidently typed something wrong, ordered the wrong thing, forgot about a discount. AI would probably only leave them with an answer similar to “I’m sorry to heart that”, only leaving customers more anxious than before as they recognize that it’s a bot that can’t comprehend the real question.

Problem solving skills, positive language and patience are what truly can help to make customers feel heard and like you’re on their side. While you sometimes can’t solve their issues, just actively listening and even trying to get to the root of the issue can really help in maintaining a customer relationship here. And as businesses increasingly enter the modern era of automation, being human actually makes you stand out. We can recognize that no matter how fancy and tech-savvy a system is, it can never replace being heard or feeling respected by your representative.

Automation in essence

So, while we can’t really replace humans, we shouldn’t overlook the potential of implementing automation in customer service to help make work more efficient. Automation can deliver a responsiveness that just isn’t humanly possible. Virtual assistants are in a way able to predict what you’re asking for, even if your question is all over the place by piecing the keywords together. In addition, if you have a huge corporation with websites, customer support, social media, etc. Automation can help handle several outlets simultaneously while you can focus on solving the trickier tasks that need human interaction. The system can respond in real-time by offering support through FAQs or virtual service across all platforms. And being able to solve issues even before they arise or escalate has huge potential in the business world. It can significantly lower the abandonment rate in customer journeys and overall improve satisfaction.

In addition, automation platforms can help save time and reduce costs in this area as it tends to be pre-programmed with industry knowledge. At most, you would only need to train it twice. This allows your staff to be up and running with all help they need deliver a great customer experience. This is an exceptionally powerful tool that can help free up your employees from certain first-line support errands that they’re tired of or simply don’t have the time to focus on. This allows them to focus on the more difficult or creative tasks that support customer’s complex needs.

Want to learn more about AI? Read our blogpost about ethics in artificial intelligence!

By Sofia Svantesson
Brand Marketing Manager
Unified business communication and collaboration is key to streamline workflow.

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