Your business is growing fast. Your customer support team is experiencing high call, chat, and email volumes, and the tickets are piling up.
You’re worried that long hold times, long delays in email/chat responses, and overworked, stressed-out team members will lead to lower customer satisfaction and higher employee turnover.
What’s the solution? How can you continue scaling to meet demand without compromising on customer experience?
Two common options are automation and remote staffing.
Many organizations use AI for customer support solutions. This technology can help by answering easy customer questions and resolving low-level issues — for example, finding out when a shipment is scheduled to arrive, resetting passwords, etc.
If your company has grown enough to warrant 24/7 customer support, using AI-like chatbots can be a great way to fill in support gaps. However, these solutions have the potential to irritate customers who want to speak with a human representative, and they can’t solve understaffing issues or high call/chat volumes on their own.
Remote staffing is another potential solution for scaling customer support. It doesn’t have to mean outsourcing your entire customer support center — instead, many organizations use remote teams to supplement their existing customer support and cover time zones beyond their main headquarters, as well as nights, weekends, and holidays when in-house staff might not be available.
When choosing between AI and remote teams for your staffing and outsourcing needs, don’t forget that there’s a third option: AI and remote teams can work and scale together to boost efficiency and productivity, reduce costs, and create a smoother customer experience.
Who is using AI to improve customer support?
Over 90% of globally-recognized companies (including BT Global Services, Lexus, and Uber) use AI solutions to boost customer satisfaction. These solutions go beyond chatbots and Interactive Voice Response (IVR) — they open doors to developing a high-level understanding of customer experience along with various points in the buyer’s journey.
If you’re considering AI-driven automation for your business, think about the specific tasks you want to automate. Remember, it’s not sustainable to automate every process — only the processes that can be completed by technology just as well as (or better than) humans. The best tasks to automate are repetitive and time-consuming, like recording customer data, sorting tickets, sending templated auto-response emails, and rerouting calls.
Consider the customer issues your support team handles on a daily basis. What are the majority of your customer requests about? Could you leverage AI to reduce that workload for your representatives, freeing up their time to address more complex issues? If so, automation could be a good option for your business.
Level-up your customer support with technology
So you’ve identified tasks that can easily be automated. Now you need to create the framework for how those tasks will be automated in a way that boosts the efficiency of your customer support teams — both in-house and remote.
Here are some tools that can transform the way your teams collaborate with AI and other technology to create the best customer experience:
- Chatbots — They’re not a replacement for human-to-human conversations, but they can lighten the load for your customer support teams. AI chatbots can help schedule meetings, integrate with communication platforms like Slack and Microsoft Teams, and answer customers’ frequently asked questions. They can also funnel up the highest-priority customer needs, and help sort requests so that customers are automatically transferred to the correct live rep who can best handle their particular inquiries. Need some examples? These 13 chatbots were particularly successful in 2019.
- Virtual workrooms — As remote work becomes more and more common, companies are looking for ways to encourage collaboration between teams and offer better long-distance training and management. For example, AI can be used to set up virtual training rooms, where employees can test their skills in simulations, allowing for fast, accurate feedback for remote team members.
- Workflow automation — AI can automate workflows to maintain or streamline tasks, allowing customer support representatives to manage more conversations and tickets at once. With AI assistance performing repetitive tasks, reps can focus more on the human relationship aspect of the customer experience.
Technology can’t replace human representatives, but it can help your teams (both in-house and remote) succeed as you scale. AI is most productive and cost-effective when it’s used to enhance and streamline the work of human employees, creating a better, smoother customer experience. Rather than choosing one or the other, consider using AI and other technology in combination with remote teams to get your business to the next level.
Bolton Remote can help you find the right people for your remote team and work with you to implement efficiency-boosting tech. Contact us to get started.