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In a hyperactive ecommerce contact center, every second matters. Customer service agents, the heroes behind exceptional customer experience, need to react to requests, direct the flow of information, and properly address customer dilemmas at rapid speeds. While they’re on a time crunch, they’re also expected to provide effective solutions.
Given this scope of work that agents are expected to cover every day, giving access to smart automations that can streamline their work is crucial. And ultimately, once agents can become truly efficient in their work, they’re able to focus on long-term relationship building with customers. This is the promised land of ROI-rich customer loyalty that all modern brands should strive for.
In this post, we’ll review how automation helps both customer service teams and the customers they serve, explain in detail two of the best uses of automation and customer experience (rules and routing,) and outline the upside of combining automation and customer experience.
How Does Automation Help Customer Service?
Automation is key to helping customer service teams decrease the amount of time spent on manual or repetitive tasks (or even eliminating those tasks altogether.) A prime automation and customer experience example is the use of rules and routing. When these are automated, the flow of information and customer conversations is routed more efficiently, creating faster, more responsive experiences. The end result is a significant decrease in the time between when a customer reaches out with an issue, and when a customer service hero can reach a solution.
Automated Routing for Better Customer Experience
From the moment a customer reaches out for support, your customer service heroes need to be equipped to serve them effectively and quickly. The last thing you want is a circuitous journey to solve simple issues, especially time-sensitive ones. This is where routing comes into play.
Automated routing, when it’s done correctly, gives support teams direct control over the flow of information while also assigning certain queries to certain customer service heroes based on their availability and skill level.
When using a system like Gladly, team members can set up routing to determine exact pathways of customers based on the underlying factors of their request. There’s nearly an endless number of ways teams can configure routing, but some of the most popular ways to automate routing include:
- The channel the customer is reaching out on, like chat vs. email,
- The urgency level of the customers’ request,
- The type of customer request, such as returns processing vs. order follow-ups,
- The language the customer is using, such as Spanish vs. English,
- Key customer profile data, like their lifetime spend, or whether they’re part of a loyalty program
Routing also takes into account which channels a customer service hero is active on and how many customers they’re currently juggling. This can range from creating queues based on wait times and needs to more complex criteria, like shopper sentiments and purchasing history.
Beyond these applications, intelligent routing like People Match delivers the customer to the most efficient resolution by selecting the best customer service hero to address their concerns.
Getting routing right is critical to setting up your customer service heroes for success. At the same time, routing enables a more streamlined customer experience that doesn’t add unnecessary wait times or leave shoppers without a resolution.
Automated Rules for Better Customer Experience
With customer service rules set up to instantly solve repetitive support tasks, you can cut down on bottlenecks that would otherwise diminish the quality of the customer experience. By adding automation, these responses can improve customer experience by handling spikes in volume, ensuring tasks stay on track, and freeing up customer service heroes to tackle more pressing customer needs.
Automated Rules Example: Proactive SMS
Consider a multichannel brand’s SMS automated responses. When a customer attempts to contact support via SMS (a go-to shopping habit for millennials), they’ll be routed to an SMS-active customer service hero in the queue, as mentioned in the previous section. But if all customer service heroes are busy and SMS support is unavailable, it becomes necessary to inform the customer of the situation as fast as possible. In this instance, companies can designate a rule that automatically responds to the customer, confirming receipt of their request, and assuring them they’ll be contacted as soon as possible.
Proactive SMS: Popular Use Cases from Gladly Customers
Across numerous potential use cases, these proactive customer service strategies help support teams boost operational efficiency, save money, and improve customer satisfaction (CSAT) scores. Rules separate queries that require manual input versus automated tasks. This ultimately improves relationships with quick responses that allow customer service heroes to save valuable time and resources while the customer experience is unaffected.
Planning for Automation and Customer Experience
With all that can be done through automation, any customer service platform that isn’t taking full advantage of this tech is undercutting their customer service heroes’ potential. These automation tools expand the capabilities of a support team to be more agile, responsive, and above all, in control of their work.
By equipping your teams with a platform capable of implementing routing and rules, you’ll unleash their ability to serve shoppers far more effectively, fostering the kind of customer experience that will keep them returning time and again to a truly excellent brand.
See how rules and routing live at the center of Gladly's platform.