Updated: Mar 24, 2019
Myth 1 # Automation is against our corporate values, we provide "Great Customer Service"
This statement is so far from the truth, automation actually enables “Great Customer Service”. Automation is helping “Great customer service organizations” to:
· Reduce Response Times: Millennials are the largest customer group in the United States. They expect responses within minutes and not hours. With Automation, repetitive customer conversations are responded to instantly, reducing response times.
Focus on difficult issues: Allows customer service agents to focus on conversations that are unique and require attention.
Identify important customer service interactions – Automation can help identify important customer conversations such as an email from VIP customer, repeat buyers etc.
Increase customer satisfaction – Sentiment analysis helps identify conversations that originate from irate customers. Immediate action can be taken to convert them into happy customers.
It is estimated that by 2020 [Gartner], 85% of customer service interactions will be automated. Additionally 37% of customers have used an online virtual agent or chatbot from a website or smartphone. These numbers prove that automation is here to stay, and great companies will embrace it quicker than others.t
Myth 2 # Our customers require custom responses
Almost 60% of the customer conversations can be neatly classified to categories i.e. returns, order status, refund status etc. Many types of customer conversations can be easily understood and responded with automation. For example, you received an email from your customer asking for a status on the order. In this situation, automated platform can use artificial intelligence (AI) and natural language processing (NLP) to understand the conversation context, in this case it is Order Status. Next it will query customer relationship management (CRM) system to review order status attributes. Subsequently, it will respond based on email context and CRM status i.e. shipped, being processed etc.
Average handling time (AHT) to respond to a customer conversation is 7 minutes. 4 of these 7 minutes are spent by agents to review customer order history, status in different systems, etc. That’s more than 50% of AHT for solving a ticket. Automation platforms that are available today, can automatically obtain this data electronically and provide a custom response.
Having said that, all of the customer conversations cannot be fully automated, there will always be unique and difficult conversations that will require a human interaction to respond.
Myth 3 # Automating customer service is too expensive
Automating is not expensive, in fact automation can reduce your customer service costs by over 30%. Companies have recouped 4 to 6 times of what they paid to their vendors for automation. Think about it, you have to train your automation platform only once in the beginning. Once you do that, you can almost automate 30-50% of your customer conversations.
On average, comparable costs for hiring and staffing of agents is $3,500 on a monthly basis and an additional $5,000 to train. Given the common problem of staff attrition in the industry, these costs can significantly increase. Automation reduces the costs associated with agent training and attrition. Given all these factors, automation offers significant time and cost savings and is a clear winner.
Myth 4 # Setting up automation platform is time consuming
There is a misconception out there, that customer’s IT teams will need to spend a lot of time initially to set up automation platforms. This is not true at all, as most, if not all automation providers are integrated with popular CRM systems such as Zendesk, Kustomer, Shopify, HelpScout, Demandware etc.
You can start your journey to automation by simply downloading our automation app from your CRM marketplace. Automation platforms can also easily integrate with your custom CRM platforms as well.
Myth 5 # Automation will replace all customer service agents in the future
This sounds more fictional than real. In the foreseeable future, there will continue to be a mix of automated and human assisted customer service. More repetitive conversations will continue to be responded automatically. As machines improve, some of the complicated conversations will also be handled automatically. However there will be always unique situations, where human intervention is required. Automation frees up the time for agents that can be utilized for sales, improving customer satisfaction and other value added services.
In the future, we see customer service organizations becoming smarter, predicting customer preferences and habits, almost preempting customer questions. However humans will continue to play a large part of customer service organizations.