Poor customer experience costs businesses approximately $75 billion annually in reputation damage, loss of sales, and reduced customer loyalty. And as customer demands change, businesses are having a more difficult time providing good experiences. Customer experience automation helps businesses adjust to these changing demands and prevents them from hemorrhaging customers and sales.
Using customer experience automation to improve relationships
Customer experience (CX) automation replaces human interaction at common touchpoints customers might have with a business, like asking for order status or searching for product information. Examples include online chatbots, auto-generated emails, self-checkout machines, and online check deposits. These services are designed to be available to consumers 24/7 and provide faster response times, improving customer satisfaction. Some also include artificial intelligence (AI).
Customers don’t always take direct routes during their buying journeys anymore. They may see an ad for a product, go into a store to see it in person, and then think about it a while before ultimately purchasing it online. Or, they might see something on a company’s website, then go to a store to check it out and end up buying it there. Either way, companies need to be able to provide good customer experiences across all of their channels.
Approximately 40 percent of customers prefer to use self-service options instead of interacting with a human, while 70 percent of customers expect a company’s website to include a self-service portal. Speed is typically the biggest concern with customer service, and self-service options tend to give customers the illusion of speed if not the actual thing. Self-checkout lines, easy-to-use knowledge bases, and automated services can all give customers the self-service experience they want.
Fast customer growth can quickly overwhelm a company’s support team, especially if they’ve only been hiring when the current reps have more work than they could handle. Customer experience automation reduces the burden on the customer service team by automatically providing answers to simple questions. They also route customers to the right representative for queries that require human intervention, allowing the rep to provide help quickly and serve more customers over the course of a day.
CX automation helps companies scale on the marketing side, too. Using AI to analyze the buying journey, organizations can determine the best times to send marketing emails, personalized follow-ups, and targeted ads to capture a larger audience. Using prebuilt templates, custom triggers, and detailed customer lists, marketing teams can distribute more campaigns with higher personalization in less time than they could on their own.
Successful companies have to be agile with their offerings and willing to make updates to delight their customers. Most CX automation platforms include some form of AI-powered listening to identify brand mentions across the internet and determine the customer’s sentiment. It then pulls the feedback into a centralized repository, providing the organization with real-time feedback from its consumers.
Based on that feedback, the company can then make the appropriate adaptations to their products or services. Real-time feedback is especially important for SaaS providers needing to respond to bugs in their platform or security vulnerabilities.
Here are a few examples of CX automation tools that different types of businesses should consider integrating into their current processes.
Sprinklr offers a CX automation solution that includes thousands of specially designed AI models that work across more than 60 industries. It analyzes customer questions to identify sentiment and intent and then routes them to the appropriate resources. The system also employs AI-powered listening tactics to identify brand mentions across the web and help organizations respond to issues before they blow up.
Freshdesk is an AI-powered customer service solution that includes chatbots, self-service options, and automated ticketing for faster response times. For common questions, organizations can input canned responses that the bot will supply to the customer, preventing a human employee from needing to intervene. The bots can also suggest relevant help articles to help customers serve themselves when possible.
Qualtrics CustomerXM uses predictive intelligence and analytics to give companies insight into their customers’ feedback and make the necessary changes to improve satisfaction. It pulls data from nearly 130 data sources and consolidates it into a single panel to provide real-time feedback. Additionally, the system helps businesses identify trends in their customer feedback and determine which changes will make the biggest impact.
Customer loyalty is key for growing businesses
Businesses can’t thrive without customers, and customers are more likely to recommend companies that have given them good experiences to their friends and family. Customer experience automation is the key to meeting and exceeding changing customer expectations, even as the organization grows. To implement CX automation software, a company needs to examine its current processes and determine where its team is experiencing bottlenecks. Then, the team needs to decide if they can automate all or part of that process.