Modern-day customers are picky and demanding when it comes to choosing where to make a purchase. And they have every right to do so! Of course, they expect stellar customer service and support at all stages of their customer journey.
How can a company ensure exceptional customer service if it’s growing fast? What are the ways to maintain the speed and quality of support without non-stop hiring and training new employees?
The answer is automating your support as much as possible, for example with a chatbot.
But, first things first —
When do you need support automation?
It’s highly rewarding when the company is growing because the product is scaling. The more people convert and stay with the service as active users, the more challenges the support team is presented with. Essentially, it’s a never-ending cycle of trying to keep up with the growth without sacrificing the quality and speed of the support you offer.
Obviously, the support team has to inevitably grow, too. However, this raises new potential challenges – more people means more knowledge to transfer in onboarding and training, more people to manage, more careers to grow, more 1-1s to lead for managers, and more communication channels. More hiring leads to even more hiring. Peter Drucker compared such bloated organizations to full-scale monster organisms, which require big brains to coordinate all the organs, and heaps of energy to even stay alive.
In order to not create such a monster and not to turn a fast-growing tech company into a soulless call center with thousands of unhappy employees, it’s a great idea to aim at automating your customer support as much as possible.
Customer support automation: everything you need to know
Essentially, automating your customer support means reducing human involvement when it comes to solving any kind of customer issue. Examples of automated support include automated workflows, chatbots, conversational AI, self-service helpdesks, and FAQs. Automation comes with a great reduction in costs and allows teams and companies to scale sustainably and without sacrificing quality.
What are the main advantages of automated customer support?
Here is the list:
It reduces customer support costs.
This one is a no-brainer – a chatbot costs a fraction of the price the company would pay for hiring and training one human support agent. According to the statistics, the average ROI for chatbots would be 1,275% (and that’s just support cost savings). Quite impressive, isn’t it?
It allows human support agents to focus on important tasks.
When all the basics like FAQs, welcome messages, and collecting feedback are covered by automation solutions, your support team can focus on what truly matters and provide better quality assistance when it comes to complex challenges and tasks. This way, they will be able to anticipate customer needs before they even arise and, as a result, provide exceptional support assisted by chatbots.
It improves speed and efficiency.
Customers will love the shorter response time you offer. At the same time, the team will also appreciate it – instead of going out of their way to achieve the shortest response time possible, they can focus on the quality and the result of their interactions.
It allows 24/7 customer support, everywhere.
It’s hard to argue with this point – chatbots have no shifts, they are available everywhere and at all times. If there is an issue requiring a human agent, chatbots can notify them and assure the customer that they will get the reply as soon as possible. This allows for a smooth communication flow and support with no interruptions.
What metrics do you need to look at?
In order to optimize the switch from all-human support to partly automation, it’s vital to take a look at several metrics. Those include:
It’s a very useful indicator to estimate the number of people needed for customer support in a company. Contact rate is the number of daily active users in relation to the number of daily chats with support. It is also a great indicator of the state of automation and self-service for your team.
Average Tickets Per Hour
Measuring the number of tickets per hour during different time frames helps to estimate the effectiveness and performance of the support team over a period of time. It will help to highlight the times when the support team is overloaded with requests.
Customer Satisfaction Score
Obviously, it’s a crucial one. For many support teams out there, it is the key performance indicator for the quality of customer service. If this metric is dropping, it’s an important sign that changes have to be made.
Once you bring all the numbers together, you will have a clear recipe for how many people you need on the team and how many projects you can automate.
How can a chatbot help out?
One of the most efficient ways to automate customer support is to install a chatbot.
Essentially, a chatbot is computer software that simulates human communication via text in order to help businesses answer questions and requests. It’s also a great helper of any support team. Installing a chatbot for customer service always helps to save the budget you would instead spend on employing and training a huge team of human support agents.
To start with, many chatbot builders and chatbot templates are available free of charge. Very often, no coding skills are required to build an efficient virtual assistant. As a result, you get a self-sufficient bot that comes with multiple integrations, speaks many languages, answers questions 24/7, and gives your brand a unique voice.
A well-designed chatbot can cover all basic customer support needs. It can greet new visitors with a welcome message, offer discounts and personalized offers, recover abandoned carts, collect feedback, answer FAQs questions, help to track orders and guide the visitors through every step of making a purchase. As a result, your support team can focus on the quality of their work and solve complex problems with speed and efficiency. The company will be able to invest in their training and growth instead of endless hiring.
Sounds tempting, doesn’t it? Read on for more tips!
Tips for sustainable growth
- The true savings on support come from not hiring more people, but from automating the work of the team as much as possible. Hire only when it’s needed and focus on candidates with more skills and experience.
- Stick to the approach: ‘fewer people, more skills’. Focus on helping your support agents grow and learn. Support them by having enough highly qualified managers and team leaders.
- When the traffic is moderate, make sure that managers and team leaders focus on helping others grow. At the same time, when the traffic peaks, they can help the team to cover it.
- Scale the support team for what you will be doing in 12 months.
- Keep your standards by monitoring all necessary metrics and adjust them as you are growing.
Support automation is becoming a must these days. If you want to have a highly qualified support team that will be focused on solving complex issues and delivering the highest levels of customer satisfaction, it’s a great idea to consider installing a chatbot to help them cover the basics.
Let’s review the key findings regarding support automation:
- To avoid turning a fast-growing tech company into a soulless call center with thousands of unhappy employees, it’s a great idea to aim at automating customer service as much as possible.
- The main advantages of automating support include reducing customer support costs, improving the speed and efficiency of support, and allowing your live agents to focus on more important requests. Additionally, it provides high-quality support at all times, everywhere, and in all languages.
- The key metrics to observe if you want to save on customer support with automation include Contact Rate, Average Tickets Per Hour, and Customer Satisfaction Score.
- A great tool to automate support is a chatbot, computer software that operates to simulate human communication through text chats. They are cheap, efficient, and easy to set up.
It seems like support automation with chatbots is here to stay, and it’s becoming more and more widespread. It might be high time to install a bot for your business, too.