Customer service is the arm of your company that assists buyers when they need it—but who is there to assist you? From long phone support lines to sifting through critical details, customer support teams face the difficult task of serving thousands of customers with only a small number of agents. This is where customer support automation can come in handy. Automation tools can keep certain aspects of your customer support operations running 24 hours a day, 7 days a week without requiring human intervention at every step.
What is Support Automation?
Customer service that is automated responds to user inquiries without the need for human intervention. It allows customers to contact support even when service teams are unavailable or off the clock.
Here are some examples of support automation:
Portals for self-service and knowledge bases
Responses generated automatically (to emails, forms, etc.)
Chatbots with artificial intelligence
Cases are routed immediately.
- Intelligent prediction based on intent and emotionThe Benefits of Support Automation
Time is currency. And when automated routing or responses eliminate the need for live agents to take action, the savings add up. Chatbots can even help businesses save up to 30% on customer service costs. In addition to serving customers after normal business hours, automated tools can frequently perform the tasks of multiple agents without incurring the overhead costs associated with employees.
- Support teams benefit from increased awareness and less confusion about who owns which cases when they use automated tools. Automation routes tickets to the appropriate team or agent based on pre-defined rules, increasing the likelihood of resolution on the first try. Through improved workflows that eliminate unnecessary steps, automated support benefits the entire team by fostering deeper collaboration and increasing efficiency. Agents do not have to limit their time with callers or miss their goals for faster resolution as automation tools handle more grunt work. Instead, they can concentrate on outcomes such as meeting customer needs and developing relationships.
Good for customer experience (CX)
- More options for customer support allow them to select their preferred channel for assistance, reduce wait times, and resolve issues more quickly. For example, automated routing routes cases to the correct departments or agents the first time, resulting in faster resolution. It also gives reps more time and energy to focus on complex issues that automation cannot solve. These advantages accumulate in the minds of customers, improving brand loyalty and customer experience. When using a CRM platform, customer support automation can also reduce human error, establish a consistent tone and voice across all touchpoints, and centralise your customer data into a single system.
Common Problems That Support Automation Can Solve
Several customer service issues are already addressed by automated support tools, and support automation technology is constantly improving to address even more. When agents are overburdened, automation takes over to handle common customer inquiries such as:
- Account information — changing communication preferences, updating personal information
- Payment options — Viewing balances, making payments, setting up recurring payments, and changing subscription plans are all payment options.
- Technical assistance — how to install, troubleshoot common problems, and where to find specific functions
However, support automation addresses more serious issues than customer inquiries. It can also help your team's most difficult challenges, such as:
Bottlenecks in the process
Data entry by hand
Silos exist between teams and departments.
Capability to report
Workflows for approval
Compliancy (in heavily regulated industries)
How to Implement Support Automation
Start with a Strategy
Support automation encompasses everything from self-service options to artificial intelligence. Which strategies will you use? Review your current support team operations and determine which automation tools are appropriate for you. Collect metrics such as the number of inquiries you handle on a regular basis, the topics they typically cover, the number of agents required to resolve them, and the time it takes to close a ticket. While support automation is not for everyone, increased call volume and long wait times indicate the need for a dedicated support system.
Build a Knowledge Base
Articles in the knowledge base enable readers to find answers on their own time. Determine the most frequently asked questions by your customers and write short articles to answer them. Then, format your articles so that customers can easily search and find them on their own. Overwhelmed by writing about everything your customers might ask? Begin with a list of frequently asked questions and answers on your home page or support page.
Implement a Customer Support Platform
Customer service software is the most effective way to reduce support issues and boost team efficiency. Agents have access to a customer's full profile and interaction history, as well as the ability to respond to emails and queries, chat with users, and prioritize tickets. They can also route to other team members and generate analytics for the support team. Look for a system that gives you a complete picture of your customers' needs and makes support a breeze rather than a hassle. Integrate your help desk system with other commonly used solutions like your CRM, marketing platform, or e-commerce system to ensure that all of your data is available when you need it.
What Can’t Support Automation Do?
Despite its numerous advantages, customer support automation is not without its drawbacks. When you prioritize
speed and efficiency in responding to customers, you forego the personal touch that a phone call with a live person can provide. Furthermore, if you select the incorrect customer service system, you may place the burden of finding answers on the customer, resulting in lost time and deep frustration.
Automated customer service isn't always the best option. When your service system is unable to adequately personalise the experience by drawing on accurate customer data, you forego the personalization that some customers, such as those dealing with sensitive issues or new users unfamiliar with your products, require. This is why selecting the best customer support software is so important.
Sugar Serve Automates High-Definition Customer Experiences
SugarCRM's customer support software includes everything you need to create an exceptional, high-definition (HD-CX) customer experience and streamline customer service processes. After all, it's easier to give correct answers when they're right in front of you.
How does Sugar Serve set itself apart? Sugar offers simple customer service software that allows you to:
Increase agent output.
Intelligent case routing
Sort cases according to their SLA.
Determine customer sentiment
Reduce the cost of customer service.
Deflect more phone calls
Allow for self-service.
Resolve cases more quickly
Provide consistent, branded experiences to customers.
SugarCRM is thorough about the costs of its customer service platform and is dedicated to assisting you in achieving automated efficiency (and happier customers).