It seems like everything is increasingly becoming automated these days, especially where businesses are concerned – but is this a good strategy to adopt for your customer retention strategies and customer service, and could it actually do more harm than good?
When someone shops with you for the first time, if they’re buying a product, chances are that they’re not particularly interested in actually speaking to someone over the phone, or receiving a personalised email. In this instance, it makes sense to send out an automated message thanking them for their custom and wishing them all the best.
It’s when something goes wrong that it becomes more important for there to be a real person on the end of the phone or at the end of an email inbox, or you could end up damaging your relationships beyond all hope of any repair.
New research from Parature has found that 97% of customers consider customer service to be either very or somewhat important when it comes to choosing brands. Moreover, it was found that people are more likely – and happier – to spend more money if they receive excellent service from the get-go.
It’s clear why businesses prefer to have an automated service in play. Thanks to social media and the internet, people can get in touch with businesses whenever they want, whenever something goes wrong. Even if it’s outside working hours, having an automated message set up that lets someone know their message has been received and that someone will be in touch shortly is clearly beneficial.
In the interests of saving time, automation is also in its element and using certain types of software can help free up your time to manage other parts of the business. But the problem lies in becoming far too reliant on technology to help you run your business.
It really does depend on what the situation is as to whether using an automated service is appropriate or not. Judge it all on a case by case basis and you should be fine. A bit of automation can never hurt in this day and age, but don’t start sacking all your staff members just yet!
Technology on its own doesn’t have the personal touch – it’s not an innate feature – and it has to be designed into it. But the personal touch is delivered through the wider picture, built over time and through multiple channels.
There are two things to consider and balance when it comes to automated customer service:
- How will you deliver personalisation through the process? How do you deliver it through the customer journey?
- What role does this form of customer service play for different customer types and segments? How does it impact them differently? And how can you personalise?