How automation augments customer service at the call centre

How automation augments customer service at the call centre
Photo: PGBS, Wikimedia Commons.

Forward-thinking companies are using latest technology these days to become cost-effective, efficient, competitive, and to provide excellent customer service.

So, why should you improve customer service? Here’s why…

There is no doubt that customer service is important to every business either its inbound call centre services or call centre outsourcing services. The quality of customer service determines whether customer loyalty to your brand gets enhanced or degraded. Today’s customers have several brand options laid out for them.

While price and product quality continue to be important, studies show that most customers now pick brands based on the quality of customer service or after-sales support. Buyers are willing to pay more for a superior customer experience. And customer experience is an important factor in the purchase process.

A positive customer experience means improved customer retention, improved customer satisfaction, increased cross-selling and up-selling. And so, it is crucial to improve customer experience with your brand. It can impact the business bottom-line positively, which translates to greater revenue.

This is where technology comes in. New technologies will help you tailor business processes to deliver a superior customer experience. It will also improve business efficiency, ultimately, bringing down costs.

What kind of technology are we talking about?

Automation pure and simple.

These days automation seems to be present almost everywhere. Most businesses have embraced the benefits of automation. This bit of technology allows people to complete work faster, more efficiently and more accurately. And call centres or contact centres are no exception.

Automation or Robotic Process Automation (RPA) makes it easier to accomplish tasks that follow an identifiable, repetitive pattern. Soon RPA will become a standard practice, helping businesses do away with inefficient manual workarounds. And no surprises there — RPA brings with it efficiency and outcomes.

Deploying automation to everyday business processes at inbound call centre services or call centre outsourcing services companies helps improve customer service significantly. The high level of repetitive tasks at call centres and contact centres means that RPA will have a significant impact. Let’s see how.

Increased efficiency

Call centre services or contact centre efficiency increases with automation, resulting in noticeable gains. Manual systems are ripe for errors. And repetitive, mundane daily tasks can be a drain of energy and creativity. When you leverage RPA, your team can take up more innovative work, as the tedious, rule-based work can be handled by automated systems. With automation, simpler tasks do not get sidelined or ignored for want of attention. It allows elimination of manual involvement and removes paperwork or spreadsheets, thereby, reducing the risk of errors. The employee does not have to sort through multiple screens or access information through multiple logins. The average duration of calls gets reduced drastically when agents are able to retrieve information in a fraction of the time, with automation. Automated emails, promotions, product launch information, offers, etc. get sent to customers automatically and regularly, saving your employees hours of valuable time. Customer calls can be transferred to the appropriate department avoiding endless redirections. You can support an outstretched customer service team with automation’s myriad efficiency benefits.

Faster interactions and resolutions

When a customer calls in, the first step an agent takes is to ask the caller for their information. Following which, customer service agents shift between multiple screens and systems to retrieve the customer profile, prior purchase history, service tickets, etc. while addressing the customer query. Further, the data to answer the customer’s query or to resolve their complaint might be on different screens or systems. These multiple systems bring up multiple obstacles and slow down the interaction. And all the while, the customer will be on hold.

RPA eliminates these obstacles. Availability of the historical customer data integrated in a single view helps the agent get a quick view of the customer and will prevent irritating customers by not having to ask for the same information multiple times. Agents can greet the customer by name when they call in and this gives a personalized touch to the interaction. Having all the account, purchase or billing information at the ready, and a swift resolution, makes the customer experience pleasant, increasing brand loyalty.

How automation augments customer service at the call centre
Photo: Ujeem183, Wikimedia Commons.

Reduced time spent on tasks

One of the biggest benefits of automation is that your employees will be spending lesser time on mundane, manual work. They are freed up for more critical, value-based work that requires their logic and thinking power. You can also access who’s good at doing what. This way you can assign suitable tasks to the right person. More work gets done, better, and quickly. Your employees get more opportunities for self-improvement and feel less fatigued. You get happier employees. And happy employees can serve your customers better.

Increased visibility across teams

Automation ties disparate departments together. This streamlines communications, prevents duplication of work and ensures that information is always updated and current. This eliminates separate spreadsheet, accounts and processes. Automation centralizes data and increases visibility into your business allowing you to determine how well it is working. For example, interactions with customers can be analyzed to zero in on improvements — rule out bottlenecks, repeat calls, wrong call transfers, etc.

Well-established workflows

Automation of workflow allows streamlining work, making it more measurable and compliant to standards. What benefits do automated workflows bring with it? Errors are reduced, after-call work is reduced. Effective processes are created that help divide work, improve communications and increase accountability. Employees know what they are responsible for and when it is someone’s turn to do something.

Ease and convenience

Automation increases ease and convenience for the customers and the agents. 24/7 service, self-service options and chatbots assist customers greatly and save businesses huge costs. For example, chatbots reduce average handle times, presenting huge potential for savings. Omnichannel contact centres rule out disconnect in communications — customers need not repeat their information or query across channels — making it a seamless customer experience.

Personalised experience

Automated systems pull up customer information when they call. Agents can greet customers by name and tailor interactions according to purchase history and previous tickets. Agents can recall billing and account information from the customer account easily without having to toggle between systems. Customer support agents can offer discounts and promotions based on customer preferences. The customer is rewarded with a smoother, more pleasant experience that will go down as great customer service from your brand.

New avenues for RPA will always present themselves. However, it is important to determine the feasibility and value of automating them to ensure success. With the right RPA partner, and detailed planning and analysis you will be able to identify processes in your organization that will yield well to automation. To implement automation, you must have a holistic view of the business processes.

Organizations adopt technology for three main reasons — to increase efficiency, reduce costs and increase profits. And automation fits the bill. Automation builds better business processes that will serve the customer. In other words, it helps businesses improve customer service and stay competitive. Take advantage of everything automation has to offer to extend good customer service.