Automating business operations is a good way to streamline your business and become more effective in providing the services your customers need. And while automation can be a good tool to help your business reduce costs and improve revenue, some forms of automation can detract from the customer experience, which will have a negative impact on your overall business.
We live in a society that uses computers and automated systems for almost everything you can think of, including customer service. Reporting problems online or going through an automated phone menu allows customers to interact with a business without ever hearing a human voice. This can streamline the business process, but it can take away valuable customer touch-points that they want, even at the expense of their own convenience.
Although businesses use automation to try and make things more convenient for customers, many people are willing to sacrifice that convenience for the personal contact they get with a business. By talking to a person, they know they are getting the attention they want, and that their needs are being addressed right away, rather than waiting for a system to forward an email to the right person. This is especially true of customer service. Paul Sheard’s article on Time.com, “Take the Time to Get Customer Service Right,” addresses how companies can use automation and personal contact together for effective customer service.
Customer service should be an opportunity for customers to voice their thoughts to a business and know those thoughts are being heard and acknowledged. When customer service is automated, a customer doesn’t know that their concerns are being heard by anyone, or whether anything is being done to fix the issue.
With so many businesses turning to automation for customer service and anything else they can, making sure you take the time to provide the best service possible (with a human touch!) sets your business apart from your competitors who focus on convenience and efficiency.
Keeping in contact with your customers through quality customer service shows you care about their concerns, and the connection you develop through customer service strengthens your relationship with customers. It may not always be as efficient as automation, but taking the time to respond the right way keeps your customers happy, and ensures that you give them the best service possible.