Finding the Synergy Between Automation and Human Customer Support Agents
When we take a look at the customer support landscape, we see a fairly high level of automation. This includes things like chatbots, automated email responses, and many other technologies. However, there are certain parts of customer support that you should avoid automating since they require certain human traits. In this article, we will tell you how to find the synergy between automation and humans where technology supplements the work of the agents. First, let’s take a look at why customers still prefer humans to handle their inquiries.
Automation Falls Short in Several Areas
There are still certain areas where human agents outperform automated ones:
- Technology Cannot Be Emotional – Whenever we call in for assistance, we are looking for a certain level of empathy from the company, which is something that a robot cannot provide. This is especially true if we are calling in about a major issue. For example, imagine a customer calling their bank regarding some fraudulent activity on their account. They would like to speak with an agent who can put themselves in the customer’s place and empathize with them to get the problem resolved. Even if technology advances to the point where it can express human emotion, the idea that it can “feel” or “sense” your emotions can be unnerving.
- We Still Would Like Humans to Solve Our Problems – Even though technology can retrieve information faster and possess computational power that far outweighs human capabilities, we still want humans to solve our problems. One of the reasons for this is that even though we are provided with this abundance of information by machines, we still have trouble making sense of it and we need assistance when we get stuck.
- Very Often, Work is Shifted From the Employee to the Customer – One of the benefits of automation is that it takes a lot of the work off the shoulders of employees, but a lot of times this means more work for the customer. For example, if it takes the customer too long to resolve an issue via chatbot it takes them much longer and more work than simply speaking to a live agent. It also sends a message to your customer that you are expending less effort on your part to resolve their issues.
Now that we know the areas of customer support where technology is still struggling, let’s take a look at how technology should be used to complement human agents.
Technology Should Assist Human Agents
There are many different ways that you can combine automation with live customer support:
- Facilitate Human Connections While Automating Administrative Interactions – You can still use automated services for things like collecting the needed customer data or answering a simple question. However, you should not leave the customer to be solely dependent on the technology. Whenever they want to speak with a live agent, they should be able to do so with the click of a button.
- Support the Agents Without Getting in the Way – There are many ways how technology can assist customer support agents, without hindering human interaction. For example, one of the biggest problems with customer support is that the customers need to explain their issues multiple times. In fact, 72% of customers blame their bad service experiences on having to explain their issues to multiple people. Various omnichannel support platforms can help you resolve this issue by keeping all agents in the loop about particular issues a customer is having.
- Bridging the Gap Between Agents and Customers – Because of all the technology involved, there can be a big disconnect between the agents and the customers. However, you can use technology to facilitate customer support interactions. For example, consider using video in your customer support. Research shows that 19% of companies are already using video in their customer support messages.
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July 8th, 2021Mindy News Blog