Whenever automation technology for business is the subject of discussion, it usually pertains to applications like data entry, analytics, accounting, and the like. It may be less intuitive for entrepreneurs to link automation technologies with customer service, which has a very human side to it. It may seem antithetical, even, to automate customer functions. Won’t automation make customer interactions colder and more mechanical? Won’t it make the work of customer service staff obsolete?
But business owners who doubt the use of automation for customer service and support may be missing out big time. Using automation technology for this particular aspect can help businesses realize vital goals, such as:
- The modernization of the company as a whole, where automation is used for customer service and support along with inventory, bookkeeping, and other functions
- Enhanced responsiveness to customers during transactions
- Experiences that are truly personalized and customer-centric, and not generic
- Even better usage of human resources for advanced applications
If you’re an entrepreneur, you may want to consider updating your current stack of data management software to accommodate automation, especially for customer functions. Here are five key reasons to upgrade in 2021, plus some tips on how to maximize automation technologies for customer service and support:
It Will Increase Your Speed, Volume, and Proficiency with Customer Requests
As your business grows, so will the sheer volume and variety of your customer requests. Soon, you and your staff may become overwhelmed with how many requests you have to resolve. At some point, it will be difficult and time-consuming to deal with each one of these using manual responses.
But a new customer data management solution, particularly one that relies on automation, can prove extremely advantageous to your company. It will definitely make you more proficient at handling huge swathes of data that represent individual customers and different types of transactions. The more requests you can handle per day with utmost efficiency, the more value you’ll be bringing to your company.
It Will Improve the Overall Customer Experience
Contrary to what some businesses believe, automated responses don’t completely remove the human element of a transaction. In fact, they can actually communicate to customers that the business anticipates their needs and will be proactive at resolving their problems. Customers will actively patronize a business that shows its reliability and availability to them through automation technologies.
One application of this is auto-sending replies to customers who contact you via email or on your website with complaints. Receiving a quick acknowledgment of their concern, even if it’s automated, will bolster customers’ trust in you since you didn’t leave them in the dark. Such an action demonstrates that your staff is sure to respond to them promptly and has a method for resolving their problem.
It Can Greatly Reduce the Cost of Doing Business
Several of the benefits attributed to automation technologies pertain to the money-saving aspect of them. This applies just as much to automated customer service and support as it does to automated data entry, resource planning, and the like. It can lead to greater business efficiency and maximum savings on your company budget.
Automating your customer functions will surely reduce the cost of overtime for customer support. It may also decrease costs from human error, like losing a customer for good because staff didn’t accurately log their query into the system. Most of all, you will be able to rely on a consistent performance standard for customer-related tasks all the time. Not only will you save money from making fewer mistakes, but you’ll also earn more money from becoming better at dealing with your customers.
It Will Help You Seamlessly Align Your Customer Data with Your Financial Data
Using automation technologies for customer-related functions can also strengthen your proficiency with other business tasks, like financial reporting. With a consolidated data platform that uses automation, you no longer have to reconcile separate spreadsheets for customer data and cash flow. You’ll be able to analyze your business’s financial health—inclusive of your expenditures and your customer data—using a whole-of-enterprise perspective.
In other words, attached automation technologies for customer functions can help you streamline your business insight. This can greatly improve your decision-making for your customer team, as well as your sales and accounting teams.
It Will Optimize Your Current Manpower
The biggest myth that prevails about automation technology is that it will permanently replace the good work done by humans. But the opposite couldn’t be truer. When dispatched properly, automation technology can actually enhance a business’s human resources. It can free up valuable time and labor and allot it instead towards more advanced tasks.
If your staff have their hands free from rote customer-related tasks, like logging details, that means they can concentrate on more complex customer service-related problems. The majority of their efforts will be spent not on simple and repetitive tasks, but tasks that maximize their brainpower and social aptitude.
Conclusion: How to Take the Automated Approach to Your Customer Functions
As useful as automation technology is, it won’t be a band-aid solution to your customer service woes. To get the most out of your new data management and automation tech stack, remember to do the following:
- Discern at which points and for which customer processes automated technology will be the most useful. Perhaps it’s order processing, email outreach, tracking shipments and deliveries, or setting appointments. It all depends on the nature of your business and for which tasks you need the most help.
- Let your staff get acquainted with the new technologies before you use them in earnest. Even if they know by principle that automation can enhance their work, they will still need time to get used to it.
- Monitor the changes in your productivity after you’ve onboarded a new solution. By doing so, you will be able to see for yourself whether it’s brought about a return on investment.
This 2021, your peers in the industry will likely make the decision to innovate their systems. Stay one step ahead and retain your customers’ loyalty and attention through automation technology.