Too often these days, businesses that are seeking ways to save money opt to use an automated customer support solution, leaving customers who are in need of live assistance to fend for themselves.

automated customer supportIn fact, the trend towards customer service automation has increased rapidly within the past few years. One study by Gartner estimates that by 2020, 85 percent of all contact between companies and consumers will be made using an automated solution.

However, using automated customer support will not solve all your customer’s problems. In addition, you risk frustrating and potentially losing customers if they have to be routed through an automated system only to be told that they have to wait for a call-back or an email response.

Here’s a few reasons to consider using a live call center:

  • Ramp up your customer service. No automated system can replace the one-to-one human interaction of a live call center. Giving your customers the ability to discuss their issue with a live help representative not only helps to establish your brand as being warm, friendly, and customer-centric, but it can also be used as a significant competitive advantage if your competitors depend on help desk automation to handle their questions and concerns. According to lifestyle website, The Balance, answering your phones promptly with a live help representative is one of the most important aspects of a positive customer service experience.
  • Ensure quicker response time. Your customers will appreciate being able to get their answers quickly without having to navigate through a never-ending series of automated prompts. This is especially true if their question is not common and cannot be answered via a preformatted response.
  • Not as expensive as you might think. Many companies opt for automated customer service because they think it’ll save them money by not having to hire or train staff. While this may be true, automated systems can be expensive to purchase and install; not to mention the additional costs associated with programming and maintaining them. It could take years before you break even!
  • Appealing to all ages. While younger customers may feel more comfortable interacting with your company via email, chat, or some other internet-mediated technology, older customers (ages 60 and above) would likely prefer picking up the phone and talking with a live help representative. If your company’s demographics include a large percentage of older customers, make sure that you offer them more than just automated customer service system software to handle their needs.

What Are the Advantages of Automated Customer Service & Live Help?

One way to reap the benefits of using both a live call center and automated customer support is using a blended system. Blended customer service allows you to keep your current automated solution and integrate live help to keep your customer satisfaction levels high, and costs under control.

  • 24/7 phone coverage. Using a blended system allows your company to offer 24/7 coverage without the expense and headaches associated with staffing several daily shifts. This is especially important around the holiday season when you may be short-staffed.
  • Better customer experience. Today’s consumers are more demanding and want faster, more efficient service. They don’t want to spend five minutes or more navigating through a series of automated prompts only to receive an unhelpful, canned response.
  • More avenues of communication. With a blended service, your company is always available by phone, live and AI customer service chat, social media, email, and text; something that’s not possible using only live help or an automated customer service system.
  • Employee satisfaction. Reports generated via blended systems allow call center managers to easily identify areas where employees may be in need of more training, helping them to learn and work more efficiently.
  • Unexpected peaks easier to handle. Another benefit of a blended system is that you don’t have to worry about unexpected peaks in your call volume. Overflow calls are quickly routed to the automated system. While not as warm and engaging as a live human interaction, your customers won’t have to deal with busy signals or dropped calls.

To Sum Up

Customer service can make or break your company’s brand and reputation. Simply using a “one-size-fits-all” customer service automation software to solve your customer’s needs simply isn’t enough to compete in today’s ultra-competitive business environment.

Simply put, you need human interaction. Either through a live call center staffed with empathetic and caring customer service representatives, or a blended system that includes automated customer support.