Monday, January 8, 2018

Don't Automate Dumbness

By Michele Crocker

First, let me say, automation and new cloud based technology can take your customer support and contact center to the next level. It can do things for your support experience that we "pink squishy humans" can't do. Automation allows you to provide a greater degree of customer responsiveness than a fully human process can do. The benefits of automation in your customer support operation include:
  1. Ensuring the right human is alerted of issues, to proactively prevent service failure.
  2. Improving sales conversion and customer retention, preemptively addressing customer concerns and problems, thus deflecting calls.
  3. Customer can self serve allowing them to get their issues resolved a quickly as possible
  4. Reduce the load on human resources by shifting the mundane, routine, transactional calls to self service allowing time to redirect your people to those valuable relationship and sales calls.
On the other hand, we must ensure we don't just throw technology and automate dumbness, which simply passes ignorance around. Sorry here's the unsexy stuff.....the right automation and new technology can absolutely leverage your customer experience and operational efficiency, get it wrong and the costs are high.

Our focus should always be on providing the best service and customer support experience possible. We should NOT use technology to avoid interacting with our customers but rather enhance our interactions so the modern customer can reach us on the device, channel and time of day of their choice!

However, when new technology is implemented in isolation of alignment with people and processes, the outcome for customers and internal operational efficiencies can be a disaster. I have seen technology thrown at problems without getting the people and operational processes/metrics right, this leads to frustration within your support team and potentially a dramatic decrease in the customer experience.

So please, before automating your customer support, take a step back and invest the time to think about how you can align your people and processes with the new technology to provide effortless and frictionless customer experiences. Today, top notch customer support is one of the strongest competitive edges for any company. TakE customers from loyalty to advocacy!

Editors note: This article was originally posted on LinkedIn

Michele Crocker has the proven expertise to improve the customer experience and significantly reduce costs at the same time. She helps organizations to generate an effortless, rewarding customer experience, dramatically lower the cost per call, improve retention, grow sales and attract higher talent. Michele has over twenty years of "hands on" and strategic leadership roles within multiple Fortune 500 companies.

Connect with Michele on LinkedIn.

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