The rise of automation in customer service has become more prominent within many industries. But along with the positives and time saving tasks it can provide, it can also prove to be a deterrent for its users.
How many times have you needed to contact a company and struggled to find the correct department or even just a central phone number? Did you try to go though a chatbot to quickly find an answer to your question only to be directed to the FAQs, articles, or a customer forum? If you’ve answered yes, you’ve probably undergone the same frustration that, no doubt, many users before would also have felt.
As a customer service professional, a company that makes it so difficult to access their contact information seems to be an alien idea. We are taught and encouraged to make the customer experience as smooth as possible, yet some brands are struggling with the simplest of things. It is our instinct to want to help when contact is made, whatever channel it comes through. So, why when we are living in a world of instant access to information, do we have such bad customer communication bots?
One of the qualities that the customer service sector prides themselves on is communication. Complicated barriers, such as chat bots that do not work, or badly designed websites, make this skill redundant. How will a customer believe that you will communicate effectively and solve their query or issue if they cannot find a way to talk to you? Unnecessary frustration by systems which do not answer the customer’s queries can cost a company dearly.
Loyalty takes a while to earn and can be lost in a heartbeat especially as it is now easier than ever to share an unsatisfactory experience with our many channels of social media. Let us remember that accessing reviews can prove to be the downfall or success of a brand. If you read a scathing assessment, you are more likely to steer clear, but if you read mostly goods things, you’ll give them a try.
Personally, I find the automation side of the customer experience to be not quite fit for purpose. I have experienced both good and bad in bigger and lesser-known companies. For me, it does not have the personal, individual touch that a human has, and it does not solve issues with the same accuracy, empathy, and resourcefulness that a trained member of a business can. Perhaps I am biased being directly in the customer service sector but, when I am a customer myself, I expect to have my issues resolved in a timely manner through a team that I have easily accessed.
Automation and chat bots work best when they can provide customers with their desired information, but I see so many examples where this is not the case. In identifying the areas now in which there are some difficulties, the customer experience can be updated for companies where customer communication is key to their success.
About the Author
Tabitha Langley is a technical customer service specialist working in the security industry. She has a background in manufacturing environments within supply chain, operations and technical support. Tabitha can be found on LinkedIn.