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How to Improve Agent Productivity with Automation

Updated: Jul 26, 2020

The ultimate goal for any business is to be profitable and gain major market shares. With so much competition in the market, the best way to keep your existing customer base happy and gain a few more is by providing good customer service.

“As per a report by Accenture, 61% of customers stopped doing business with a company because of their poor customer service.”

Offering the best customer service is a great way to carve out your niche. A happy customer not only is a returning customer but also your most vocal advertiser.  

As customer agents are the first ones to address most of the issues raised by the customer, your efforts to provide good customer service must revolve around improving agent productivity by enabling automation wherever possible. This way, your agents won’t be overworked and can spend more time supporting customers. 

Additionally, customer service automation ensures your systems are available 24/7 to address queries. AI and NLP powered chatbots are a great alternative to support teams working at night shifts. 

While automating your customer service process, it is important to identify tasks that are regular, repetitive, and require minimum human intervention. Special cases should always be handled by customer agents themselves.

For example, in food delivery apps, the basic customer requests related to refund or order cancellation are answered through their automated customer service software. But, for unique complaints like delay during order delivery or receiving the wrong food items, the complaint is transferred to a dedicated customer agent.

Now that, we understand the relationship between customer service automation and improving agent productivity, let’s dive deeper, and discuss which are the areas where you can introduce automation.

Automation in Ticketing:

Tickets are basic issues raised by customers. Tickets help segment customer queries into individual buckets making it easier for the specified agent or group to address the issue.

For instance, all the issues received via emails and chatbots that contain the word “how” can be sent to the agent who has deep knowledge of your product. Ticketing enables customer agents to reduce the response time by putting the best man on answering the issue.

Additionally, a long term ticketing mechanism aids in improving agent productivity by adding on to a knowledge base after each interaction. As the agents get familiar with the knowledge base, the response time gradually decreases. They can even come up with customized answer templates to smooth out the entire process. This database can then be utilized to create canned responses deliverable through chat or email for effective customer engagement.

If you have a large team working on customer support, ticketing can distribute the workload uniformly. With the right tools, it is also easier to track when someone is away from their system and ensure the waiting time for customers does not increase or neither does the workload on an individual agent. As agents get familiar with their workload, they can plan their activities accordingly to effectively optimize their day.

With apps like automate.io, you can integrate apps, such as Zendesk and Freshdesk to optimally introduce ticketing into your customer service automation strategy.  

Automation in Service Tracking:

Generally, customers have no tool to help them keep track of their service requests or queries. In such cases, it is a good idea to keep service tracking in place which updates them about the status. For instance, sending out a confirmation mail to customers informing them that the query has been received and will be solved in the next 48-72 hours.

In some sensitive sectors such as financial institutes, processing a request might require a lot of inter-departmental task coordination. Updating the customer about the same would stop them from sending multiple queries and aid in improving agent productivity by letting them focus on the absolutely necessary.

automate.io also makes it possible to integrate smart tools from Salesforce, Zoho CRM, or any other CRM apps to introduce service tracking into your customer service automation.

Automation in Communication:

Your customers are busy and might forget about their raised tickets or issues. Automation can help set trigger emails in case you are waiting for a response from the customer to move onto the next action item. 

For example, as an e-commerce service provider, you received a query asking about the delay in the delivery of a certain product. After checking with the warehouse, the assigned agent found out that there is an unexpected problem from the seller’s end. 

The agent communicated the same to the customer asking them whether they would like a refund or would wait for the order to dispatch over the next few days. With the trigger mechanism in place, an email inviting a response from the customer is sent. This email directly takes them to a window where they can choose their response effectively. 

Similarly, a customer who has not responded to several reminder emails can be informed that the issue was closed due to their unresponsiveness after a certain amount of days. This way, the agent does not have to follow up on every task and can engage with other customers. 

Automation in Getting Feedback:

For any support team to function smoothly, it is imperative to collect feedback so that improvements can be done wherever necessary. That’s why most of the organizations send a feedback form to the registered email address of the customer. It could sound like a good idea to make it a manual process but agents may forget to do so which will affect the long term performance of the team.

For improving agent productivity, there should be a mechanism set to send the feedback form across after each ticket is marked as solved or closed by the agent. It is also a good idea to send an automated reminder mail if there is no response from the customer after a few days.

While customer service automation is a great idea for improving agent productivity, you should keep in mind that customers are always looking for personalization. They want to feel valued and want to experience a seamless customer journey and sometimes too much automation can cause more pain than pleasure.

Consequently, it is important to have the right mix of automation and human touch included throughout your strategy.

Originally published at- Cxservice360

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