17 May, 2018 Automation is the future of the digital customer experience
Technology is taking the reigns on an increasing number of menial, repetitive tasks that once occupied precious human time. Today, people split a lot of work with automated systems that cut out the monotony and leave more time for creative processes and critical thinking, both of which are still best performed by human workers.
There is an inevitable shift toward relying on automation, particularly in the contact center industry where customers are going digitally diverse in their interactions and inquiries. Call center agents now work together with the technology to create an exceptional customer experience that reduces headaches on both sides of the line and creates a seamless experience for the customer.
Customer experience demands are carving a need for automation
Migrating your call center’s business processes to suit the omnichannel experience is a critical step in meeting customer demands, which revolve primarily around a new frontier of technology in the digital era. Instant accessibility and mobile capabilities have translated in the customer service realm to a demand for smooth interactions with no waiting, quick and concise service and answers to questions, and the ability to access assistance across multiple digital platforms. With that level of on-demand expectations, automation is the natural direction to move, since it can speed up processes and reliably reduce human error.
Automation will enhance, not replace, human jobs
Some people latch on to the worry that automation will phase out the human workforce, but in reality, the technology is a tool for making human work more concise, relevant, and skilled, as automation takes on tasks like interfacing for customers’ initial queries, channeling customers into appropriate queues for human assistance, and aggregating data that can enhance and personalize the customer experience. Plus, automated technologies like AI aren’t entirely as personal and dynamic at problem-solving as human agents are, so automation is best left for the more straightforward tasks. Technology is never a solution in itself, just part of a more dynamic framework for customer solutions.
Don’t get stuck in your old ways with new technology
One important thing to recognize is that the entire approach to customer experience must transform along with integrating automated technology. By neglecting to change the old processes and practices, automation can fall flat and even make things worse. Without clearly defining the intent to reshape the customer service experience or fully understanding how customers define positive interactions, companies risk reinforcing bad habits and damaging the brand. Customers want to know the companies they do business with are putting time and resources into making their experiences smooth and fast, and they won’t hesitate to let others know when a company fails or wastes their time.
Customers will appreciate the experience of layered service across multiple platforms
Part of the omnichannel experience is about creating options to empower consumers to make decisions about how they want to interact, when, and to what extent. Most customers also find it valuable to have options that allow them to solve their problem fast and on their own without the help of a live representative, in which case automated technology provides those services. A chatbot may be able to clear up an issue in moments with its rapid response times or can narrow down the focus so the customer is pointed to the most direct assistance.
Embracing automation and moving toward a future where the technology is more ubiquitous is more than a way to save money. It’s also a key player in improving employee morale, and most challengingly, building lasting customer relationships and experiences that will translate to stronger business in the long run.