How do you automate customer experience?

Top tips for boosting customer experience with automation

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Transforming customer experience with customer communications management (CCM)

Discover how CCM can help your businesses deliver market-leading customer experience

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Customer comms at scale

As a human-centred measure, it can be hard to assess the effectiveness of CX, but there are certain accepted factors that underpin a positive customer interaction. Responsiveness to queries, for example, is better when it’s faster, while customers appreciate and now expect communications that are personalised and tailored to their position in the purchasing journey.

However, as companies grow it can become difficult to deliver customer experience (CX) at scale without sacrificing quality. Automation is helping to address this issue. When delivered via platforms such as Customer Communications Management (CCM), automation can help to increase the volume of interactions while simultaneously removing frictions and actually improving the service experience for customers.

Automation is never a blanket solution, nor is it a ‘set and forget’ function. As tempting as it is to believe, no business can automate everything and magically create a great customer experience. But, by finding the right blend of human and digital, businesses can re-engineer processes to improve CX while producing greater efficiency: a win-win for both the business and its customers.

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What is CX automation?

Let’s start by defining CX automation. Automation involves identifying repeatable tasks across the customer engagement cycle where it can actually be a hindrance to have people managing the process alone. By introducing an application to support them, the customer is able to get to the next stage of the cycle without relying on human assistance. For example, a customer able to check the progress of their mortgage application via an app or a few keystrokes on a phone, is arguably more secure and more seamless than a conversation with human agents would be.

Although it is a relatively new addition to the customer engagement cycle, people are becoming more used to interacting with automated technologies, including SMS, chat and voice. From the self-selection menu when they call their bank, through to the chatbots they interact with on the company’s website, automation is an intuitive and frictionless way for customers to get to the outcome they require more quickly.

How to introduce automation

Start by trialling automation in specific areas – such as social media enquiries or out of hours calls – and building up. Once you’ve successfully automated a process and your team are comfortable with it, you can continually add new automated processes to the mix.

Get your team onside

For some CX teams, automation can be perceived as a threat. It’s therefore important to properly communicate that the automation is there for them to do their jobs better, and to focus their time on going over and above to deliver for customers. Knowing how the automation sits alongside their role will help allay fears that they may be side-lined by automated measures.

Have the right infrastructure in place

A major barrier faced by many businesses considering automation is transitioning away from legacy infrastructure, which is typically slow and cumbersome. Delivering for customers at speed and at high volumes needs the right IT solutions in place. Using cloud-based platforms and services, such as CRMs, ERMs and other SaaS solutions, allow businesses to scale data needs on demand, with the inherent flexibility to drive a seamless customer experience.

Focus on integration

At its heart, automation should be the glue that brings together an omnichannel experience. It’s difficult for humans to track customer interactions over multiple platforms, but intelligent automation can make this seamless. You can therefore use automation to drive better CX by adopting a single source of customer data that is integrated with all of your chosen platforms. This helps to provide the customer with a personalised, consistent experience whenever and however they choose to interact with your business.

Getting started

Introducing automation as part of your business’ digital transformation journey has the potential to upgrade and diversify your customer experience, reducing response times and consigning impersonal mass-mailouts to history. At the same time, it makes communication less arduous and time-consuming for employees managing the process, freeing them up to focus on improving human interactions.

The best way to introduce automation is often via a technology platform such as CCM, be it on-premise, cloud-based, outsourced as a managed service or a combination of the three. But there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to doing so. That’s why it pays to work with an expert partner, who can help you to understand the possibilities automation can open for your business, guide you to the right solution to realise these possibilities and, ultimately, start delivering your improved CX at scale.

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