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How Can Automation Improve Customer Satisfaction?

Streamline your operation and increase the quality of your customer service at the same time.

September 11th, 2017


Emma Martins

‘Automation’ is on the tip of everyone’s tongue right now. It can reduce costs, improve efficiency, and refine your customer service (CS). And here’s where we tell you that this miracle cure-all can also increase your customer satisfaction score (CSat). CSat is the way to measure how happy your customers are with the service you’re providing. So it’s as important as it’s always been to keep that score soaring, and, without automation, you might just see it begin to stagnate.

So how does automation help? It all starts with the three main drivers of CSat:

  • Response time
  • Resolve time
  • Status updates

Those are the three golden KPI’s to improving customer satisfaction and, by extension, improving customer service. Lucky for us, automation can take care of all three.

Response Time

What is it?

Response time can be easily defined as the time it takes an operator to reply to a customer’s initial query. It’s that straightforward. 

Why is it important?

Generally, a quicker response time leads to a higher CSat. People today are used to technology being incredibly fast. So, when they have an issue they need to solve, they want the resolution as rapidly as possible. To that end, Millennials will often look for a solution online before they even consider contacting a CS department. So when they do contact you, it’s important to make sure they don’t wait.

customers expect a reply within one hour on social media customers expect a reply within one hour on social media

How does automation improve it?

The average response time for a CS request is 15 hours and 17 minutes. That’s pretty disastrous when you consider that 53% of customers expect a reply within an hour on social media. Even if we narrow response time down to social media alone, the average is still 10 hours.

So, the state of response times in the CS industry is not looking that great right now. Here’s where automation swoops in and saves the day. Chatbots, by their very nature, reply to messages instantly. Take a second to process that. A chatbot can reply to any CS request within seconds. That’s a huge jump in response time and that could very well lead to a huge jump in your CSat as well.

The benefits don’t end there though. By using workflow systems, you can program your bot to collect all the information an operator needs to help the customer. In short, your chatbot can answer a customer instantly, collect the needed data, and then tell them that a real-life person will be with them soon. Considering that 75% of customers think it takes too long to reach a live operator, this is another little boost to your response time that you didn’t even know you needed. And, on top of that, your bot is helping your operators reach faster resolutions.

Resolve Time

What is it?

Also known as resolution time, resolve time is how long it takes for a solution to a CS query to be reached. (But you probably could have guessed that, right?)

Why is it important?

Customers want solutions now. So much so that 34% of people consider a fast resolution time to be the most important part of CS.

Shorter resolve times lead to a higher CSat but longer resolve times can have devastating effects. If a customer has to wait over an hour for a resolution, they are twice as likely to give a low CSat score as those who received a solution in under an hour. 

fast resolution time is important to customer service fast resolution time is important to customer service

Ramp that up to 6 hours and the likelihood of a low score is triple.

How does automation improve it?

There are a couple ways that automation can help improve resolution times. And it depends on what kind of chatbot you’re using. Front-end bots are chatbots that can potentially handle an entire interaction. They’re fantastic for less complicated tasks like checking a balance or tracking a package. They’re currently being used by banks because they can automate a lot of the everyday requests that bank clerks receive.

With a front-end bot, resolve times are limited by only one thing: how quickly the customer responds. If your chatbot can handle the entire interaction, it will respond instantaneously each time a customer makes a request or provides more information. It entirely negates the need to call the company or talk to someone in person, so resolve times can be incredibly fast.

Not only that, but front-end bots are great for first contact resolution (FCR) rates.  A 1% increase in FCR equals a 1% increase in CSat so it’s an important factor. Front-end bots can achieve high FCR rates for companies that deal with simpler questions and requests. But, if your typical queries are more complicated, AI-assistants can also help improve FCR.

AI-assistants help operators perform daily tasks. At FM, we use Gnatta to collect customer information before a conversation is passed on to an operator. Not only does this mean that this process is a lot faster, it also means that the first point of contact doesn’t have to be an operator asking for more information. This is especially important over slower forms of CS, such as email. By installing our chatbot, we’re now able to achieve FCR in 61% of our interactions. That’s a potential increase in CSat of 61%.

Status Updates

What is it?

They’re simply update messages that tell a customer what is going on with their order/query at company-specific milestones. It can be as easy as telling a customer that their package is on its way or that a refund has been processed.

Why is it important?

customers prefer brands that send automated follow ups customers prefer brands that send automated follow ups

Humans like to be in control. Your package is late so you check your tracking information but the only thing it says it ‘on it’s way’ or ‘dispatched’.

Pretty frustrating, right? Customers simply want to know what’s going on with their orders. They want brand transparency. As many as 94% of customers are more likely to be loyal to a brand with full transparency. 

It’s important to keep them in the loop if you want to continue seeing those CSat scores soar.

Not only that, but Millennials are also looking for companies to engage with them on social media; 62% say they’re more likely to be loyal to a brand that does just that. Although this isn’t restricted to status updates, it is an indication that there is a growing expectation for companies to become more involved with their customers. Just delivering a service/product with no bells and whistles isn’t enough anymore.

How does automation improve it?

Providing customers with these kinds of updates would traditionally have been a manual task. That means your operators would have to spend time checking products and deliveries and then physically sending a message to your customers. Although that doesn't sound like a lot, it becomes time-consuming when you consider how many customers an operator would have to do this for daily.

With intelligent workflow systems, your bot can do all the legwork for you. If a parcel is late, the bot will detect this and automatically send out a notification to your customer. Everything is kept transparent. Plus, if you're using an AI-assisted team, it can also assign a new interaction to an operator when an issue arises, along with all the information the operator needs to deal with the issue. Your customers are kept up-to-date, in-the-know and, most importantly, happy. All with minimal effort and time for human operators.

According to our General Manager, Martin Brown, “automation should not replace all human interaction, it should enhance customer experience by providing useful information at super high speeds." He goes on to say that it's also important to take care since – as Bill Gates said – “the first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency.”

So there you have it! Those are the three ways that automation can improve your CSat score. Automation can make tasks that were once difficult and a daily grind, simple, clean, and effortless. It really is on the brink of technology right now and it's improving all the time. If you'd like to work with a team that keeps itself ahead of the curb - one that knows exactly how to drive up those scores - get in contact with us today.


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