It is a well-known fact that customers do not like to be kept waiting. According to international research firm Valero, more than 60% of customers hang up if they are kept on hold for more than 2 minutes. In today’s competitive market, it does not take too long for dissatisfied customers to switch to other products if they feel unvalued. In some cases, they turn into detractors and spread the word about the poor experience they’ve had or they may become indifferent to your products and services. If you want to keep things lean, one viable alternative is customer support outsourcing.

If your customer satisfaction scores have been on a downward slide, it could only be a matter of time before your sales (and revenues) drop as well. To stay on top of the customer support game, you can automate routine customer support tasks that would otherwise take hours to complete on a daily basis. Automating customer support functions can help you focus on building better products for your customers.

While technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) are not advanced enough to replace customer support reps entirely, they can significantly improve service levels and help businesses respond to customer queries in a much more responsive manner. Customer support outsourcing and automation can help you improve conversions and boost Customer Lifetime Value (CLV). Satisfied customers will also bring you referrals and word of mouth publicity, which is the best form of advertising there is!

Here are 8 ways in which you can automate your Customer Support

Include answers to FAQs: 

Customers are likely to have questions relating to returns and exchanges, order status and tracking, cart and checkout, discounts and special offers, warranties, after-sales service, international exchange rates, etc. The list is exhaustive. The good news is that a lot of the typical questions can be anticipated across the various stages of a customer’s journey.

With an FAQ page, you can not only reduce the number of incoming phone calls to your support team or customer support outsourcing service, but you will also be able to spend more optimising your business. If you cater to a largely non-native audience, make your store more accessible by adding multi-language support. In terms of cost, you will be spending just spending pennies on the dollar, helping you keep cash flow worries at bay.

On-demand Callbacks via Contact Us Form:

For business inquiries or specific questions relating to your product, you can add a Contact Us option to your site’s main menu or include a pop-up form. The layout of the form can have a variety of custom fields for textual and/or numeric information eg: phone numbers, email addresses, etc.

The contact form can feed captured leads into a CRM system for scheduling callbacks by your customer support reps. In case you’ve retained a customer service outsourcing provider, the customer will be contacted within the time period defined by in your Service Level Agreement (SLA) with them.  This can dramatically improve the quality of customer interactions for your team, especially during busy seasons.

Automated package tracking and delivery status

Regardless of the niche, you’re in, order fulfillment and delivery status queries are likely to be among the top reasons why customers contact you.  If calls and messages go unanswered, customer satisfaction could be impacted. If you’re going to have your hands full, it makes sense to bring in a customer support outsourcing provider to help you handle the increased volumes.

For example, during Black Friday or Cyber Monday, orders typically surge by a large number. Typically, package tracking queries take only a minute or two to answer. Routing such calls/chat queries to a support rep is likely to be inefficient.  Instead, implement an on-page automated package tracking widget to provide customers with delivery status updates on demand. This will earn you the appreciation of your customer support team.

Package tracking APIs can be integrated seamlessly into your online store to track packages across the world in near real-time. They can be customised to suit your branding needs and come with a variety of subscription plans.

Chatbots

Now, engage visitors in a conversation as soon as they land on your site. Chatbots – automated virtual customer support reps – can engage with multiple customers at once, providing useful contextual content based on the search terms entered by them. Powered by rapidly evolving AI algorithms, the latest generation Chatbots can handle most routine customer questions with ease and direct others to one of your customer support reps.

Chatbots can be easily upgraded over a period of time to take on roles such as upselling and cross-selling. What’s more, they are available 24X7, unlike a human agent.

AI-based Routing of Customer Queries

If you are looking to leverage customer support to drive business growth, an objective approach is required. Metrics such as the number of tickets resolved, average response time, customer satisfaction scores and top call drivers all depend on efficient and flawless customer routing. This can help your business provide prompt customer service and turn customers into brand advocates.

AI-based customer routing ensures that customer queries are replied to within the prescribed Service Level Agreement (SLA), if you are considering customer support outsourcing. If you’re in a niche that sees sales volumes fluctuate at various times during the year, an on-demand customer support service may help you deliver better value and control customer acquisition costs.

Assigning and Monitoring Follow-ups

One of the biggest reasons why online businesses fail to retain their customers is the lack of adequate follow-ups. The speed at which you respond to a customer’s request affects the overall customer experience. It also determines to a large extent whether or not customers buy from you again.

Assigning follow-ups and end to end case management functions can be simplified and streamlined by project management tools such as Trello or Asana which provide a handy dashboard view of in-progress and resolved customer follow-ups. AI-based training and debrief tools are also available to help you coach your customer support reps in handling disputes.

These tools can be customised extensively to meet unique workflow requirements including integration with Business Intelligence tools in order to help you leverage data insights for strategic decision making. Many customer support outsourcing agencies use advanced Robotic Process Automation (RPA) tools to deliver superior quality to their clients.

AI-driven Conversational IVR

The traditional customer support operations model has evolved considerably with the availability of modern technology where the agent is supported by automation tools to reduce average handle times. Conversational IVR systems handle the bulk of customer queries through the use of intelligent Natural Language Processing (NLP) techniques. A customer is routed to a rep only if they need specific information pertaining to their query.

If you have a large customer support contact centre of your own or use a customer support outsourcing service, a Conversational IVR can eliminate the need for customers to be transferred multiple times between departments. This can help your agents service more customers in a given amount of time and dramatically improve on-call productivity and effectiveness.

Extensive Integration Support

To keep up with evolving business needs, customer support workflows must be scalable and flexible. As technology makes it possible to integrate multiple channels such as social media, chat, and phone, customers should be able to switch seamlessly between them during an interaction. To enable this, many developers offer integration support with existing CRM and e-commerce tools.

This lets customers integrate multiple workflows into an integrated ‘plug and play’ solution, at a fraction of the cost of an out of the box solution. Imagine a solution that connects billing, operations, marketing, and support functions to a common hub! The result: Minimal migration hassles and consistent customer experience.

Conclusion

Whether you or not you plan to scale your business, it is important to leverage time and cost efficiencies to remain competitive. Given the tremendous B2B and B2C opportunities that customer support automation brings to the table, invest in proven solutions that help you anticipate customer needs and deliver world-class service.

Get faster response times and boost conversions with Helplama, a leading 24X7 customer supporting outsourcing service that is affordable and responsive to your changing needs. Contact us today at support@helplama.com for more information!