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Avoid These 4 Customer Service Automation Pitfalls

As companies grow, so do their customer service needs. Staying on top of a constant stream of queries can quickly max out a support department’s resources. To keep up, some brands are turning to chatbots and other customer service automations. But it’s easy to go overboard. Watch out for these common customer service automation pitfalls that spoil your customer’s experience.

1. Losing the Human Touch

In this age of instant gratification, nothing is more instantaneous than a customer service chatbot. As almost any sci-fi movie can warn us, the rise of the robot has its pros and cons.

Chatbots are great for delivering straightforward answers, scheduling a follow-up call, or directing a customer to a FAQ page on your site. But once a customer has a more complex or high-level query, chatbots are often unable to keep up. This can be frustrating, and a customer’s broken trust is hard to repair.

If you use customer service bots, keep the sequence short. Give your customer a clear way to indicate that they need to speak to a real human. Don’t leave them stuck without a lifeline.

2. Pushing the Boundaries of Customer Privacy

Your audience increasingly demands an omnichannel customer experience. They want to engage with your brand directly, with a seamless service experience whether they call your hotline, post to your social media channels, or hit up your inbox. Sharing data between automations and channels should empower your team, but be careful not to overdo it.

In a time of increased challenges to privacy, nobody wants to feel that a company knows too much about them. Be careful of excessive personalization or adding too many personal details to your chatbots, customer service emails, or ads. The customer should never be surprised by what personal information you have about them. Link to your privacy settings in the chat to provide the customer with an opportunity to control their privacy choices.

3. Overwhelming Your Customers In Correspondence

Here are some eye-opening industry trends

  • 88% of customers expect you to reply to them within one hour
  • 33% of customers want to receive a reply within 15 minutes
  • The average time it takes most brands to respond to a customer service request is just over 12 hours

Knowing this, some brands have implemented a heavy email sequence, sending the customer too many autoresponders, confirmations, and follow-up surveys. Keep that up, and you’ll get a different type of customer complaint. Remember, nobody likes spam.

Other brands make the mistake of trying to quickly clear out their customer service queue, instead of prioritizing the customer’s needs. Perhaps you’ve received such an email, notifying you that since they haven’t heard from you, your issue is now considered resolved. When an email like this arrives just a day or two after your initial contact, it can leave a bad taste.

Don’t automate emails solely for the purpose of building a complex email sequence. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. What do they need to know in the moment? What do they need to make a decision

4. Automating Your Social Media Outreach

Automate your posting schedule on Instagram? Sure.

Automatically follow every Kardashian and their influencer friends? Maybe.

But… auto-respond to comments or send automated DMs to your brand’s new followers? You may as well delete your account.

Social media is all about humanizing the customer engagement experience. It should give your audience an authentic, emotional connection to your brand.

Companies that send automated DMs or have bots that automatically reply to comments on their posts immediately demonstrate that they’re outdated and old-fashioned. Such comments and messages rarely come across as natural or real, nor do they tend to deliver a good customer service experience. Don’t make such rookie social media mistakes.

In the End, Automation is Only Part of a Strong Support Strategy

AI is revolutionizing the customer experience, but it’s only as good as your customer data. Many companies still don’t have enough clear, actionable data on their customer’s behavior, habits, and needs. This often leaves AI experiences lacking.

Focus on your team’s human intelligence first. Consider using a mature, well-proven CRM tool and ensure your human team runs effortlessly before investing in AI automations to support the team. In the end, it’s all about understanding how your customer service team supports every stage of your buyer’s journey. 

Offer your audience authentic digital engagement and customer support to avoid these common automation mistakes. You can also supplement your internal support team with professional outsourced agents. Mods know how to best utilize automation tools as part of a comprehensive program that supports your customers in a way that’s quick, authentic, and, best of all, human.

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