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People reach out to customer support not because they want to, but because they need help. And while support teams have a systematic way of assigning priority, the customer’s individual need always feels utmostly urgent. This is why automated support messages and scripted responses are proven by research to increase customer anxiety and potential for dissatisfaction. Let’s look at the top examples:

Interactive Voice Response Systems

Listening to a monotone recording and having to enter some numbers followed by the “hash” sign feels more than anachronistic in 2016. At an age of sophisticated CRM systems, abundance of user data, and artificial intelligence, businesses cannot afford to annoy their customers by having a recording ask for their full name, client number, postcode and order number just to provide an update on a shipment status.

 

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Surveys show that nearly 20% of consumers actively avoid calling support in order to elude the frustration of automated menus. In an era of high competition and record low customer loyalty, risking to lose a fifth of your client base is just not good business.

Chatbots

Stepping away from anachronism and into futurism doesn’t necessarily mean instant improvement. Just because the medium has switched from the telephone to the instant messaging window shouldn’t leave your customer without an answer. And that’s exactly what happens most often with chatbots. The evidence is right here – the top reason for dissatisfaction with automated chat response involve the inability of bots to deliver working solutions.

And who can blame them, considering the main use-case for automated chat response is to classify user submissions and redirect them to the appropriate human. This approach only delivers marginal gains in the speed of service, as a real support agent still has to deliver the requested service. But on top of that, using chatbots in such a way is a gross dismissal of the technology behind them. Simply because classifying an issue can be done by the customer, with a set of drop-down menus, since more than a decade.

Automated and template-based emails

Last but not least, the most commonly encountered form of automated message is the one that sits in your inbox. Its ubiquity is also its biggest strength – customers are used to receiving automated confirmations and notifications, also known as transactional emails. However, when it comes to customer support correspondence over email, people expect more than just a notice of successful ticket submission.

What truly delights customers is emails that give them a sense of security that their issue is being handled and will be resolved on time. This doesn’t mean messages need to be hand-crafted every time. However, they need to be providing the answers that your customer expects. True personalization lies exactly with providing relevant information, not the usage of a “Hello {{FIRSTNAME}},” template.

The important take-away is that consumers say again and again that they value the feeling of personal interaction with customer service. Personal interaction, however, doesn’t need to come in the form of a real person performing repetitive tasks over and over again. It’s simply enough to offer well thought through automated responses, and your customer service is guaranteed to be delightful.