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Customer Service: How to Use all the Benefits of Automation

Modern day businesses are facing increasing pressure to find ways of interfacing with their client base in more efficient and creative ways. A minute in the digital age can be an eternity, with customers expecting easy access to support mechanisms via online and other channels. The interconnected way in which we live today also means that news travels at a much faster speed than in days past. This makes public opinion on your business’ customer service levels a very important, yet difficult challenge to grapple with.

 Customer service influences your bottom line

A large portion of potential customers will refrain from engaging with certain companies simply due to a negative perception around the business’ image, which is often thanks to poor customer service experiences. For subscription-based business models, maintaining a consistent level of satisfactory customer service is what prevents disengagement from services and products. Thanks to the benefits of automation, companies such as ISPs and telcos are able to reduce many of the traditional obstacles thereby elevating the customer experience. Let’s take a look at how automation of business functions and processes creates opportunities to take the customer’s experience to the next level.

  • Self service tools: No one likes calling a customer support centre. Most people anticipate long on-hold periods between offers of new products and outdated music (tips on how to deal with unhappy customers) . Self-service portals empower customers to find answers to common queries without having them wage the dreaded touch-tone battle with their phones, while minimising the amount of calls made to your call centre. Modern customer portals allow customers to update key information, check and settle account balances and even upgrade services and subscriptions. This is one (of many) of the very useful benefits of automation that elevates the customer’s experience and relieves your support centre from having to tend to routine requests.
  • Central access to key customer metrics: Support staff require central access to all critical customer information to address a concern or a request in the shortest time possible. Traditionally, businesses relied on disparate systems to address queries of a varying nature. This often leads to excessive patching through to various departments, causing frustration to both customers and employees. Business automation solutions bring various data repositories together. From operations to account billing information, service desks are able to look at the customer holistically to address their calls efficiently.
  • Improve staff knowledge: When staff are empowered with the right tools, customers get better service. Having someone on the line that exudes confidence and is able to answer your queries timeously creates enormous confidence in your business. Remember that sub-par support services can shorten the life-cycle of even the best products or services. Customer churn should never be ignored. Gone are the days of contracts that lock customers in for long periods. Customers now enjoy the choice of opting out of subscriptions at short notice. This makes the after sales service experience crucial to preventing high customer and revenue churn. One of the key benefits of automation is that businesses are able to measure the effects of sub-par customer service and other factors that influence customer loyalty.
  • 360 degree views of the business and the customer: Information systems hold large volumes of data that, if analysed correctly, may reveal valuable insight and opportunities that can push your business into a higher gear. Utilise this data to draw reports on call centre agent performance and report on customer surveys to identify areas of the customer experience that need improvement. Understand the factors that prevent first-time call resolution and find solutions that eliminate the need for clients to call back a second or third time. Call centre metrics can be used to fine-tune training programs to educate staff on improving the customer experience and can also be used to create more targeted advertising campaigns according to market segments.

The benefits of automation means your business can concentrate on things that matter most 

Automation in the business arena eliminates much of the traditional repetition that so often leads to frustration for both customers and staff. With the demand for world-class client services on the increase - especially in the subscription-based business continuum - client service will remain a large influencing factor in customer loyalty and business sustainability. The benefits of automation will allow your staff to focus on providing real value, instead of just going through the motions and missing opportunities to improve customer service and provide lifetime value - just make sure you’re not committing any of these crimes against customer service automation. 

 

Download | An Executive's Guide to Automation

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About Author

Charles Musto
Charles Musto

I am a creative engineer and businessman who loves to solve problems and automate business operations. Yes, I believe that a healthy mix of originality and practicality helps to garner the best solutions.

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