Automated customer support software used to be more common among multinational companies and big businesses, but nowadays, even small businesses are resorting to using it to meet their client demands.
According to the survey conducted by Software Advice, many of these small businesses that shifted from manual customer support in favor of automated customer support software are doing so to manage the number of complaints and queries that they receive.
But is automated support the better customer service option? Do customers really prefer virtual customer assistance over human interaction?
Human emotion is a factor in customer assistance
If utilized well, the benefits of using automated customer support include providing solutions to customers’ issues in a faster, more efficient manner. It can also cut down the amount of time your agents spend answering inquiries that only require standard answers.
However, clients don’t always call in general questions. A lot of them have genuine concerns that need attention and a certain level of expertise. But more than that, as customer support management expert, Rick Kilton, points out, customers are humans with emotions needing human assistance.
A customer having trouble using your product needs to be assured that his concerns are being addressed and to be apologized to for the inconvenience he is experiencing with it.
Pacifying a frustrated customer is just as important as the technical solution you will be providing. Human assistance promotes customer satisfaction and allows you to build relationships with them that no advance technology can ever do for you.
Leverage automated customer support system for business
On the other hand, using an automated customer service software is not bad altogether and can be beneficial to your marketing if you leverage it properly. For instance, you can use it to establish a centralized client database where you can store and manage all your clients’ information, including their locations, past transactions, preferences and other data that can be useful to your agents.
You can also use automated support system to update your customers on the status of their orders, inquiries or complaints. You can set it up in a way that they will automatically receive emails to inform them of the progress of their concerns.
Automated software is also useful for collecting feedback and sending acknowledgment receipts. You can also use it to schedule billing reminders or set it up for you to be reminded to return a call or get back to a client.
Technology cannot take the place of your agents, but an automatic customer support system can certainly help them function well in their jobs and serve your customers better.
What to remember when using automatic customer support for business
Does your system include a self-updating knowledgebase? Is it capable of recognizing the context of our customers’ questions? Is the system equipped with the technology to predict follow-up questions and problems your customers may encounter based on their previous data? These are things that you need to know about your software.
Automatic customer support systems are only machines with artificial intelligence. Just like any business tool, they are only as good as their users. You have to study their features and how they work to best maximize them.
Test them regularly and keep them constantly updated with the latest trends in customer support technology.
And since they are machines, do not make it your main channel of communication. Make sure that the system has the capability to seamlessly transfer calls to your agents when needed.
The problem with many companies is that they fail to recognize that some concerns cannot be handled by an automated machine. They tend to totally rely on the system to answer customer complaints and queries.
At the end of the day, your customer service representatives are still your company’s best assets in terms of providing excellent customer support. Invest in their training and equip them with the appropriate tools so they can be proficient at what they do.