Take a second to think about your everyday tasks at work. How many are repetitive? How much time do you spend on the administrative side of your work? Or how about data mining and entry? According to one study, over 40% of surveyed workers spend at least a quarter of their workweek on manual, repetitive tasks. And of these tasks, email, data collection, and data entry take up the most time.
Automation is a game changer for your workflows and customer service.
Your contact center plays a key role in delivering exceptional customer service. A recent study found 94% of customers will buy again after a positive service experience. With contact center automation, you’re more likely to meet these high customer expectations. Automation offers personalized, efficient, and comprehensive service. Plus, it cuts operational costs.
Contact center automation supports both the customer experience and the agent experience. With automation, contact center managers can:
- Reduce repetitive tasks, like data collection, form filling, and task prioritization
- Decrease wait times with intelligent routing and self-service tools
- Reduce errors with system integrations and automated data checks
- Improve workflow efficiency by automating cross-departmental processes
To stay ahead of the competitive curve, you need to embrace automation. Many of us use automation to schedule outgoing emails or organize our grocery lists. But what does it look like in your contact center? Here are five ways to streamline operations with contact center automation.
5 Ways to Streamline Operations with Contact Center Automation
1. Intelligent Routing
A few months ago, I called a customer service line to cancel a subscription. I found myself talking to three (yes, three!) different agents before I reached someone who could help me. Talk about inefficient.
Automated routing gathers essential customer information through voice, digital, or social channels. Then, it applies rules to route that information to the agent best fit to resolve the issue. Intelligent routing decreases wait times. But it also improves first contact resolution rates, which enhances customer satisfaction.
2. Self-Service Chatbots
Most customers turn to their phones to get the answers they need. Self-service tools are essential to elevating your CSAT. Plus, they reduce the volume of inquiries coming in to your contact center.
Adding contact center automation to the mix boosts efficiency even more.
Integrating chatbots into your IVR lets customers find answers to simple questions on their own. You can also add chatbots to your website to help answer questions. Chatbots can also send customers automated self-service tools, like articles, guides, and videos. Self-service automation reduces the volume of inquiries coming to your agents, giving them more time for complex issues. The result? Reduced workloads and more productivity.
3. Automated Workflows
Contact center automation can help manage the manual work that eats away at agents’ time. Think tasks like assigning agents to specific queues or channels, tagging emails, and filling out customer information.
Automation can streamline these workflows. By eliminating manual work, agents can focus on high-value interactions. This then leads to faster response times and increased efficiency.
4. Automated Forecasting
Imagine you manage a small contact center. Every day around 4 p.m., your contact center gets a wave of calls, emails, and live chat requests. Sometimes — if you’re lucky — you’ve got enough agents on shift to handle the influx. But then other times, you’re understaffed, causing four calls to drop and three new bad reviews to show up online.
You do your best to forecast these trends. But manually tracking trends is low on the priority list between dealing with escalations, coaching and training your agents, and meetings.
Contact center automation can help you get ahead and streamline operations. With automated forecasting, you can better predict call volumes, peak times, and customer behavior patterns. This can then help inform staffing decisions and ensure resources are available during high-demand periods.
5. Real-Time Analytics and Reporting
Automation can help track real-time reporting and analytics. With automation, you don’t have to go bug-eyed digging through spreadsheets of data.
With contact center automation, you can gather and analyze data in the moment to see performance trends. This data-driven approach empowers agents and managers to know how to act and when. It can also help identify trends in customer behaviors and preferences and signal bottlenecks.
Looking to future-proof your contact center? Check out our omnichannel platform here.
5 Ways Automation Can Improve Your Customer Experience
Now, what’s the point of all this contact center automation? Sure, it helps you work faster, smarter, and more seamlessly. It also relieves agents and managers of tedious, mundane work. That’s all great. But it can also improve your customer experience. And better customer experience drives growth and sustainability on all fronts.
A positive customer experience is a great way to stand out from competitors. More brands are competing for public attention and more options are readily available. Good customer experience can put your product and brand at the forefront. Beyond internal operations, automation plays a pivotal role in shaping customer experience. Here’s how it impacts external interactions and enhances customer satisfaction.
1. Automation Personalizes Customer Interactions
Contact center automation helps you see the bigger picture with customers. Using analytics and customer data, automation tools can help personalize customer interactions. Automation can offer product recommendations and tailor solutions to fit the customer’s history. This drives a more engaging and satisfying customer experience. And it empowers your agents by giving them unique customer information for each interaction.
2. Automation Provides 24/7 Availability and Instant Responses
Your agents likely can’t be there for your customers 24/7. But with automation, companies of all sizes can offer around-the-clock support. With chatbots, customers get instant responses to queries or issues, no matter how long the hold queue is. This contributes to a more convenient and responsive customer experience.
3. Automation Ensures Consistency Across Channels
Automation makes seamless and consistent communication across any channel possible. Using chatbots and automation tools, your agents can provide speedy data-backed support. This consistency reinforces brand identity and improves customer experience.
4. Automation Enables Proactive Resolution
Automation uses predictive analytics to identify patterns that may indicate problems. This can help your team detect and address issues before they escalate. Once problems are identified, you can jump into action with proactive solutions. Plus, automation frees up your agents’ time. This means they can send preventative emails and proactively check on customers. In doing so, you decrease customer dissatisfaction.
5. Automation Facilitates Better Feedback and Continuous Improvement
Automation helps you gather more information about your customers. You can use analytics or automatic feedback surveys to track customer sentiments, opinions, and needs. This lets you gather insights and continuously refine your services for better experiences.
Want to learn more about contact center automation? Schedule a demo with one of our consultants.