Humanize and automate customer service

Companies are increasingly automating their customer service to improve the customer experience and unburden their agents. But how do you humanize it? Here is our advice on the matter.

27 September 2022

How do you humanize a customer relationship in the digital age?

Is it a paradox to automate and humanize your customer service at the same time? AI-based specialist in customer relations Zaion call it a “revolution”. The only way to make the companies of tomorrow run smoothly is to strike the right balance between bot and human.

In the instantaneous world we live in, the customer journey must be seamless. Customers should be able to contact a company round the clock to get quick and accurate information. At the same time, the customer also needs to feel understood as a person. They want to keep the human touch in their interactions. So, while there is a need to automate the customer relationship, there is also a need to personalize it. How do you do this? Zaion has the answer!


Moving towards automating customer service

Customers can be demanding. When they call up a company to solve a problem, they need fast, transparent, and clear service. According to a study by Arise, 65% of consumers refuse to wait more than two minutes on the phone. Most lament having to repeat their request when they switch to another operator. It is also worth noting that in the digital age, it is much easier to change providers when it comes to banking, insurance, and phone providers. In the event that your customer or prospect is unable to interact properly with your company, there is a good chance that they will turn to the competition.

Call centers get overwhelmed during specific periods such as the beginning of the school year, Christmas holidays, and health crises. This is even more so the case when customer service is only available over the phone. The customer experience and the brand image are at risk of being severely compromised. These days, companies have no choice but to automate their customer relations if they want to keep their customers happy. The good news is that this new organizational set-up can only bring benefits in the future!

Customer service that is automated, immediate, and omnichannel (i.e. also available by email, chat, and social media) has made life easier for customers and employees. It cuts down the response time and relieves agents from repetitive, low value-added tasks. Zaion’s callbot, an AI-based virtual assistant, understands and interprets the human voice over the phone. It is available 24/7 and manages the entire call process through its team of bots:

  • The welcomebot greets the customer in natural language, retrieves their personal information and evaluates the request
  • The processingbot manages the request from start to finish without any human intervention
  • If the request does require the intervention of an advisor, the overflowbot takes over during the hold time and pre-processes information, while the callbot transfers the customer information to the advisor
  • Kraisis intervenes in crisis situations – this bot answers all calls regardless of the volume.

In essence, automating customer service means increased customer and agent satisfaction, reduced operational costs, and increased productivity.


Mistakes to avoid in automating customer service

Do you want AI to manage your customer service to save time? It’s important to bear in mind that automating customer service is not something you can do overnight. Bots are all well and good, but let’s not forget that the objective is to give the consumer the answers they are looking for. It is essential to choose the best provider and the right automation tools. Otherwise, you will only make the customer experience worse. Here are some mistakes to avoid making:

  • Eliminating human interaction: a bot takes care of the tasks that can be automated such as making an appointment and following up on an order. It is designed to answer to “simple” requests. Don’t let the customer struggle with a virtual agent like a callbot or chatbot when the request requires the intervention of a human agent. Your software must be able to correctly evaluate the requests to send them to the right contact person if needed.
  • Partitioning the communication channels: imagine that your customer was not able to get a complete answer through the chat and decides to contact your company over the phone instead. It would be ideal to not have to repeat the request. Think about an omnichannel solution that relays the full context and ensures a seamless customer experience.
  • Not updating the database: your callbot will be of no use if it delivers outdated information. An update of the database, an analysis of the requests, as well as a follow-up of performance must be taken into account by your automation tool. To this end, your AI must be based on machine learning.

How do you humanize automated customer service?

If you want to offer the best possible service to your customers, don’t lose sight of the fact that AI will communicate with people. The more seamless and personalized the interaction is, the more humanized the relationship will be. That’s why you should use machine learning to enhance your automation tools. This algorithm-based technology can learn from past interactions and continuously improve. This is therefore the best way to personalize the relationship with a customer. The tool will remember all the problems encountered by the person, their purchases, their preferences, and call history. After each interaction, Zaion’s callbot becomes more sophisticated. It is able to understand the voice in natural language without any problem and can even detect emotions over the phone.

It should also be emphasized that it is the human who continues to oversee the entire process. The bot is not intended to replace your advisors. It cannot make decisions for them. To the contrary, it is designed to assist them and make their day-to-day work easier. This gives your human agents more time to answer complex, high value-added requests and allows them to work in the best possible conditions. If you want to boost employee engagement and quality of life at work, we suggest taking a look at our article on care management, which goes hand in hand with symmetry of attention, whereby employee satisfaction leads to customer satisfaction.