The term “automation” has earned a reputation as a bad word. Consumers worry about automation replacing jobs and making it harder to connect with a brand. While there are no perfect solutions for customer service, and automation comes with challenges, the benefits far outweigh the disadvantages.
Here’s why automation can actually improve the customer experience and be beneficial to businesses and consumers alike.
Incorporating automation into the digital experience improves access to the business. In this way, automation allows companies to take an omnichannel approach to communication. Rather than a customer having to call a toll-free number, automation makes it possible for a customer to use a pop-up chat box, send an email, or practice self-service— all without requiring more human resources.
In addition to presenting various ways for a customer to connect with the brand, automation minimizes service wait times. Customers who access a self-service portal or ask a basic question via a chatbot don’t tie up phone lines for more challenging inquiries. Similarly, automation can improve centralization, ensuring customers get the same quality of service whether they call, chat, or email.
Captures Valuable Feedback
Capturing customer feedback is an essential aspect of improving the customer experience. If the customers don’t have a forum through which to share their concerns or suggestions, how will you know what corrections to make?
Implementing automated feedback collection is a form of customer service. You can use automation to send an email flow at various points of the transaction to get targeted feedback about the sales process. If your business uses an email waitlist for product launches, you can also follow up with non-buyers to determine why they’re hesitating. In many cases, negative feedback is more helpful than positive feedback.
Automation can also help remind customers to leave reviews or testimonials. These assets become social proof to attract more customers and ease leads through the sales funnel.
Streamlines Customer Onboarding
Many products and services have a learning curve. The complexity of this learning curve can impact their initial impressions of the tool or product adoption period.
Creating an automated onboarding process can help minimize the learning curve and ensure customers have the resources they need to get the most out of your offering. A step-by-step tutorial integrated into your online product would be an example of automated onboarding. You can also use an email flow to automate communications, sharing valuable information at a digestible pace.
With the right CRM tools in place, you can also automate reminders for when service representatives should reach out. Alternatively, you can create a self-service scheduling portal that integrates with team calendars to automate training scheduling and follow-ups.
Personalization in marketing takes on a few forms. Yes, using the individual’s name is effective for creating a strong customer relationship (this can be automated through email marketing platforms). While this simple form of personalization is effective, it’s just the start.
With automation and AI eCommerce and email marketing tools, you can create personalized offers based on individual customer behaviours and preferences. Automation mitigates the need for manually pulling and processing data to optimize the profitability of this endeavour. Automated retargeting will:
- show customers products they liked when they leave your site
- remind customers of products they’ve abandoned during browsing or in their carts
- cross and upsell products based on customer history
Receiving offers and information that resonates with the customer will improve their experience and brand loyalty. Furthermore, personalization can double your conversion rate when used correctly.
Streamlines Order Processing
If you were a part of the eCommerce world during the early 2000s, you likely remember how manual order processing could be. You’d receive an order, pull or call for the customer payment information, check the inventory, enter the data into the POS, manually contact the shipper, and call the shipper back for tracking updates.
Using automation will streamline your ordering process, making it practically hands-off. The more automated the process, the less the customer will have to wait for updates on their order.
Automation is a powerful tool for businesses. It’s time to dispel the myths and embrace the future.