Customer service may seem like an old-fashioned interaction between humans, but in today’s technological world it can be automated to a high degree. The trick is to not lose the human touch, the flexibility, and efficiency characteristic to “human-to-human” interactions. While your business may not be ready to put a robot in their hotel lobby to automate their customer service, like CBS News reports some Japanese hotels are doing, it can adopt some more advanced automation without going to extremes. Here are three ideas to help you start using automated customer service features in your business model.
3 Ways Automate Customer Service Without Losing the Human Touch:
Maybe you can’t expect to reach a human being every time you pick up the phone to connect with a company these days, however, you also don’t have to force people to wait in long automated phone lines either. There are plenty of “human-friendly” ways to reach out to your customers with automation that they can appreciate. It all starts with leveraging the power of the Internet and remembering that whether there is a human, enabling the interaction or not, the customer should feel as if the interaction is easy, friendly, and exactly what they need to take care of their issue. Try the following on your website to help automate your customer service more:
1. Instant Chat Boxes – Forbes recommends chat boxes because can be linked to a database with common questions or electronic agents so that people can find the answers to their questions without actually contacting a human being. However, they also work with “conversational English” to help them appear like a friendly human being on the other side of the connection. In the end, there should also be an option to contact someone online via the chat window, if the automated answers aren’t providing the answer a customer needs to resolve their issue.
2. Predictive Solutions – If you sell software, you know when the patches and fixes come out and which customers need to upgrade. Thus, it’s a simple thing to predict who needs some customer service. Companies that understand how to predict the solutions needed by their customers ahead of time may make use of the Internet to send notices out when a new item may be of help to a customer unaware that they need a new service. However, now, even equipment sellers can get in on this model. For this to work, a company should mine the data a little more in their databases and get permission to contact clients on a mailing list so that they will always be kept informed about potential new solutions that are out there on the market. Automate the email campaigns with a responder and you can merge marketing and customer service without directly contacting people on the phone, according to AmeriCall.
3. Automated Scheduling – Even a solopreneur can benefit from automated customer service with automated scheduling software. Instead of contacting people directly to set up a meeting or a consultation, you can have an automated scheduler made available to the people visiting who have registered for your site. It can show them what slots are available, similar to how airlines schedule reservations without a human at all in on the interaction until they show up at the airport.
Don’t Limit Your Options
It doesn’t matter what size your company or your budget is, there are plenty of automated solutions that can help free you from needless interactions with people who are still at the top of the sales funnel. You don’t have to be a gigantic conglomerate, although these are typically the companies that set the trends in customer service automation. By automating your business online, you will have a smoother operation and more time to devote to those high-paying clients that are the lifeblood of your operation. It’s as simple as looking at new online software solutions to mining the data you have already collected. In the future, when the price of robots is as cheap as a computer and as sophisticated a solution, it might be possible that this could end up being a possibility too.