22 Jan The benefits of using Automation in a contact center
Have you wondered why is there so much buzz about automation in recent years? The technology isn’t a new thing, but its adaption in the customer service industry sure is making waves that the world and businesses alike are noticing.
We’re currently living in a customer-centric world, one that has been heightened by none other than the Covid 19 Pandemic. Gartner, a management consulting firm based in the United States, finds the customer experience as a major driver of customer loyalty in a post-pandemic world. By how much? Approximately two-thirds, with price and company branding / marketing making up the difference.
This focus on the customer experience encourages businesses to adopt all the changes necessary to keep their market happy.
What is Automation?
The most basic definition comes from the dictionary, which defines automation as the technique of making a process or a system run automatically. From a customer service perspective, automation is when we apply technology to monitor, control, and automate the more basic processes that agents would otherwise handle.
When one thinks of automation, one thinks of the minimization of human input by deploying different available technologies. This can include basic automation, process automation, and artificial intelligence.
Examples of Automation
The following are some of the more popular examples of automation in today’s contact center.
Arguably the simplest version of automation in the customer service field, email reminders and monthly newsletters can be sent out on a schedule. This can also work for order confirmations, receipts, and payment reminders. A simple example would be Microsoft Outlook.
Integrated Voice Response (IVR)
Though commercial IVR has been around since 1973, the technology is still around and still seeing major improvements. A great way to implement automation in IVR is incorporating self-service options to it so that when customers connect via a phone, they can select the most efficient solution for themselves. This makes the call and task loads lighter for your agents while also clearing up the queues for more important inquiries.
Customer relationship management (CRM) integrations
A CRM platform essentially stores all customer profiles, orders, previous requests, as well as prior interactions in one handy system. Automation works by immediately pulling up data associated to a specific number, making the fact-finding and identification process much faster and smoother.
In this context, automation works by accurately directing or routing a number to their geographical (area code) designation. So for +65 numbers, for example, automation immediately recognizes this is a Singapore number therefore routing it to a team that’s from that area.
Chatbot/answerbot features integration
Arguably the most impressive and effective use of automation, a chatbot/answerbot can handle simple, repetitive, and time-consuming inquiries without the need for a live agent. This feature can lead to a lot of cost-effectivity and productivity in the workspace. And AI never sleeps, so you can essentially run a 24-hour customer service operation that is totally (or partially) unmanned!
Why choose to Automate
The evolution of customer expectations requires an equivalent — if not more advanced — solution. When one chooses to automate their processes, they are setting themselves up to succeed and to meet the demands of the current market.
Deploying different methods of automation shows that you value your customers and their opinions. According to a study by Salesforce, they found that 73% of customers would rather deal with a chatbot or other means of self-service to handle their concerns.
There’s also the basic fact that automation saves the business and the customers time. According to research conducted by Smartsheet, their respondents said that they can save anywhere between 3 to 6 hours of their day if automation was deployed. This frees them up to do other, more complicated aspects of their job.
In a contact center perspective, automation can handle the basic fact-finding steps in the entire customer journey. The benefits of this are two-fold: this allows a customer service agent to handle more complicated tasks while also creating a call deflection. The latter is when an interaction with a live agent is avoided by providing self-service solutions to customers.
You might be wondering why we’re advocating for automation, especially that our service revolves around customer service agents. Nautilus is a telephony company that believes in the future. But moreover, we are advocates of customer success. If automation yields a better experience, we are all for it.
That’s why our different Nautilus Plans are build around our advocacy of customer success. We believe that when we empower our agents to be the best at their jobs, we are working towards a world that stands to benefit all parties involved.