For years, IT departments have experienced the advantages of the shift-left approach. Now, those in customer support are learning to embrace ideology.
This approach moves repetitive, simple answers and tasks from level one to level zero (or self-help) in order that the user can diagnose and repair problems without chatting with an agent. This often leads to cost-reduction and shorter call times. But, how does customer support begin to implement the shift-left approach? the solution lies in automation.
Benefits of Automation for Customer Support Agents
In a typical customer support interaction, the end-user may encounter various levels of automation already. this might be within the sort of pressing one or two to succeed in an agent, or in answering prompts to be directed to the right representative.
In many cases, these prompts also allow customers to seek out support without chatting with anyone. for instance, a customer may call their insurance firm trying to find help resetting their online account password, that the prompts are ready to provide instruction and unlock the account. In other cases, more high-level support is required, which is when a live person will come on the phone to assist.
Another example may be a customer who uses the chat feature during a website to talk to a customer support agent. The automation may already be there, and when used properly has several benefits, especially during a remote environment.
Although these are just a couple of sorts of automation, the advantages are numerous, whether the agents add a gaggle setting within a call center or in their homes. Automation and a shift-left approach may result in:
- a discount in an overall number of calls that require a live agent, ultimately improving productivity and saving overall cost per call.
- Lower risk of calls being inappropriately transferred, which may be especially disruptive during a remote environment where internet and phone bandwidth may already be limited.
- Lower average call or interaction handle time.
- Reduction in after-call work and number of transfers before final resolution.
- Shorter onboarding time as agents can find answers on their own, more quickly and simply without extensive training when given access to automated self-help.
- a rise in employee satisfaction as less time is spent on simpler tasks while simultaneously empowering the agent with the required knowledge to problem-solve.
All of this also results in greater satisfaction from the end-customer, as they’re ready to have their issues resolved in one interaction, instead of many.
What sorts of Automation can Help Shift-Left for Customer Support Agents?
As mentioned above, there are several sorts of automation available for various levels of need which will help customer support agents, and which can support the shift-left approach. There also are various levels of customer support employees who can enjoy automation. However, at the core, effective automation leverages knowledge management.
Automation can begin at the customer level with various questions and responses to direct the customer to the proper agent or to the self-help knowledge that they have. This eliminates the necessity for lower-level tickets because most customers are going to be ready to resolve their issues on their own through automated tasks.
When the customer speaks to an agent, self-service technology can assistance on the interior level to guide the worker to the proper resources to assist resolve the matter . for instance, with the right automation in situ, an agent is often guided to stored knowledge supported the customer’s needs. this data is often automated and utilizes intelligent qualification processes to accurately discern the customers’ needs and may provide the agent with a guided conversation script, which ultimately leads them through to resolution. this may end in an overall reduction in call time.
This type of automated workflow and guidance can assist on all levels of a corporation and may even shorten the on-boarding time for brand spanking new employees as they’re going to already be empowered and guided through the way to handle many of the customer’s needs.
Automation technology also can take the shape of chatbots and intuitive AI. Chatbots with intuitive AI can better understand the intention, which results in more accurate and refined answers. this will be used on the customer side to hunt assistance, which can, in turn, guide them to a live agent via a talk window. It is often used on the agent side to quickly access the knowledge database.
Automation Metrics can Refine the Customer Experience
Automation for customer support agents isn’t the sole level with which this popular technology can help. It also can help measure important metrics, which may then be wont to refine the experience for both support agents and customers.
An example of this is often within the simple recording of search inquiries and the length of your time or resources used before a resolution is found. for instance, automation can help record the number of consumers checking out a specific answer or piece of data and may help gauge if the present answer provided gives a high enough level of understanding to unravel the matter.
For an example of this, consider the interaction or flow when customers call to seem for the address to send a payment. If they’re ready to successfully get the solution, the decision or interaction will end quickly. However, if they’re still unable to form their way through the prompts, the prompts take too long, or if they’re unable to know the solution, the interaction will continue for an extended period of your time and eventually find yourself with an agent. This leads to measurable data, which may tell you if the processes are ending in an excessive amount of human interaction or frustration. If they’re, it’s time to form a change because the initiative to shift left isn’t working and wishes to be refined.
Conclusion: Finding the proper sort of Automation for Your Business
Whether customer support agents work from home or during a traditional office setting, automation ultimately boils right down to a discount in call time and a rise in productivity. However, it’s important that automation is a component of an omnichannel experience and is combined with a number of other elements, including a knowledge management strategy, chatbots, intuitive AI, and self-service. When all of those elements are combined, the customer support team can follow the lead of IT and shift left to release the humans for the occasions when person-to-person interaction and requests are needed most.