The past year has brought along a fair share of lockdown experiences that most of us can relate to—from virtual hangouts to at-home date nights. Not all our interactions with people in a remote society have gone well, especially regarding customer service. It's not fun to be on hold for a long time trying to get answers, or worse, not getting them at all.

The reality is, Customer Support teams across all industries have struggled to adjust to the influx of customer interactions brought on by the pandemic. Customers expect companies to value their time more than anything else, so brands must offer the best service at scale to keep customers happy and loyal. Running a business at scale is impossible without a well-planned customer support system.

59% of customers worldwide say they have higher expectations than just a year ago. This means pulling out all the stops to keep up with demand.

How Automation Can Help Your Customer Support Team Thrive

Many see automation as a trend, but it is crucial for managing many customer interactions and helps your team build stronger client relationships. As CX expert Annette Franz explains, “If we take the time to walk in our customers’ shoes and understand the experience they’re having today, we can do a couple of different things. We can fix those things. [...] We can develop new products and services.” Platforms like Wrk aim to do precisely that—identify weaknesses in your processes and automate them so your customers only get the best experience with your brand. Unlike many automation solutions focusing on one process step, Wrk can automate your process from end to end. This is essential, especially for B2C companies who want to provide a seamless customer journey, starting when they become clients.

If you’re wondering which of your customer support processes to automate, the answer is: all of them. With a platform like Wrk that leverages bots and humans, you get actual deliverables rather than just buffers or support. This means phone calls, emails, and even identifying how your customers feel about your services. And today, a positive Customer Support experience is more important than ever.

With remote customer interactions at an all-time high due to the pandemic, customer support automation is a game-changer, giving your team the bandwidth to focus on tougher customer concerns and relationship-building.

Still wondering how to automate your Customer Support processes? Don’t worry. We’ve got you. 

1. Automated Ticket Resolutions

One of the core processes for any Customer Support team, resolving tickets is an often repetitive and time-consuming (not to mention time-sensitive) task. A Jitbit study revealed that the average time it takes companies to respond to a single customer ticket is 7 hours and 4 minutes—and that’s not including the time needed to actually resolve the issue, which can be up to 3 days. On top of that, most customer support tickets are recurring issues, such as lost passwords or address changes.

While these are tickets that you can typically resolve one-by-one with the Wrk Platform. You can resolve them simultaneously using data your team can generate from past ticket resolutions. With the 'Label' Wrk Action, the platform can identify customer concerns (ie. “lost password”) and automatically walk the customer through the steps to resolve their issue. It can save your team hours per week, so they can focus on more complex or sensitive tickets that require a human touch.

2. Ticket Routing & Escalation

As CX advisor Adrian Swinscoe writes, “When customers contact a company using different channels, they don't think they are having a series of separate conversations. They think they are having one conversation focused on trying to solve the one problem that is in front of them.” When it comes to resolving tickets, it’s vital that your customers feel their problems are actively being solved, rather than getting tossed back-and-forth between departments (not to mention having to listen to “When a Man Loves a Woman” on loop while on hold).

Don't put your customers through unnecessary hardship. They won't thank you for it. Photo credit: Icons8

The Ticket Routing & Escalation Wrkflow is triggered every time a new ticket appears and with the help of the 'Decide' Wrk Action, automatically classifies tickets based on your company’s specific departments. And since both bots and people can do this step, you can ensure that complex tickets are sent to the right place and, if necessary, get a higher priority.

3. Customer Sentiment Analysis

Positive online comments about your business are the best way to make friends in a faraway place. Keeping track of your customers' feelings is crucial to improving your Customer Support processes. Typically, companies use Natural Language Processing tools (think MonkeyLearn or Social Mention) to track specific keywords and label feedback as “positive” or “negative”. While those tools can be helpful, they’re limited to text content and aren’t always able to pick up on nuance or sarcasm, leading to inaccurate data. The benefit of a platform like Wrk is the combination of bots and human workforce, meaning all the data generated has been filtered through a human lens that can pick up on those subtle tone shifts or nuances.

The Wrk Platform also isn’t limited to just text—it can analyze video and audio data as well and can go so far as to determine whether or not a call went smoothly. On top of all that, automating customer sentiment analysis saves your team from manually scrolling through survey responses and delivers accurate data right away.

The faster your Customer Support team gets sentiment data, the faster they can respond and improve their service, the happier your customers will be.

4. Returns Processing

25% of US consumers claim they buy items or services to return them. With that in mind, you must equip your support team with the right process for each return. A Brightpearl study revealed it takes 7 people on average to process a return manually, which can slow down your overall return process and quickly become costly—and with only 31% of retailers using technology solutions to process returns, it’s imperative to adopt automation now and get ahead of the game.

Automating your returns process means your Customer Support reps can instantly connect with Finance to process a refund, generate a return label, and automatically send customers a return confirmation email, all in one Wrkflow. The smoother your returns process, the better impression customers will have of your brand, which could lead to more long-term loyalty to your company.

5. Review Management & Responding

Much like customer sentiment analysis, review management is a crucial element to customer support & success. Studies show that 89% of customers won’t engage with a company until they’ve read reviews online. While personally responding to online reviews and questions is a great way to improve your company’s image, it can quickly become overwhelming for Customer Support teams.

Review management automation doesn’t always have a good reputation and when used incorrectly, can result in impersonal, repetitive responses that ultimately don’t help anyone. Luckily, by connecting the Review Management Wrkflow to your company’s Google Business account, Wrk can generate custom responses to your customer’s reviews and even flag particularly sensitive reviews as “urgent,” so your reps can step in and work their magic. 

Automation Today, Success Tomorrow

This article should have given you some ideas on automating your company's customer support. Automation can help jumpstart your team to success and give them more time to connect meaningfully with every one of your customers. Remote interactions are the future of customer service. Now is the time to implement automation tools to stand out from the competition— and, of course, spare your customers from endless loops of Michael Bolton.

To learn more about how Wrk can help your Customer Support team today, check out our Customer Support Solutions Hub!