How AI-powered automation can deliver on a customer support organization’s most critical KPIs
It’s not easy being held accountable to customer support KPIs these days.
Agents are pulled in a million different directions; forced to jump between various systems to answer a single question while interacting with often frustrated customers. They’re having to do so on an increasing number of channels as well: email, chat, social, mobile and so on. It’s no wonder that the turnover rate in customer support is among the highest of any profession. It doesn’t have to be this way.
Meeting modern customer expectations is also getting harder to do; they expect quick, convenient high-quality resolutions on their terms. We live in an on-demand, personal world. Leveraging AI to automate support is a means to get there.
There has been a lot of talk on how AI customer support can be used within a support organization for years, with many organizations wondering how much of it is hype…. What impact can it really have? Will it really make a difference in what’s important to your organization and customers?
When deployed correctly, AI can have an immediate and immense impact on customer service by automating responses to expensive, repeatable tickets (usually about 50% of all tickets) and uplifting agents to do their work more efficiently. The customer support KPIs that AI can improve include:
- First Response Time (FRT): Customers do not like to wait. It’s pretty astounding how long it takes companies to respond; the average response time is 36 hours over email, while 75% of customers expect it within 5 minutes. Leveraging AI to automate customer service responses, whether it’s providing an instantaneous resolution or acknowledging the customer’s needs and collecting necessary information before a human gets involved lets the customer know that they are being heard. The automation effect is noticeable from day 1: our customer WestJet gets back to customers in less than 1 second.
- Average handle time (AHT): Getting back to your customers quickly is one thing, but how long it takes for you to actually resolve an issue is even more important. AI-powered automation helps in a few ways:
- Automating resolutions to repeatable issues: Leverage AI to respond instantaneously to the high-volume, simple queries like order status and inventory checks. Make sure your AI has the authority to resolve issues by connecting with core business systems. Set rules to minimize business risks like enabling the automation of refunds under a certain dollar amount or free upgrades based on loyalty status.
- Empowering human agents to work faster: Use AI to gather data from any customer, such as account or order number, and pull information from other business systems like your CMS and OMS. The AI can package up all relevant data to pass along to an agent who can quickly review, make a decision and communicate with the customer.
- Consistent Resolutions: Leveraging AI in customer support also promises to provide standardized resolutions. There is no human bias, subjectivity or bad days. A bot will review the facts and based on how it has been trained, act consistently every time. If there are any questions or uncertainties, a human agent will always be looped in.
- Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT): According to Forrester, 73% of Americans say that valuing their time is the most important thing a company can do to provide them with good customer service. In our own consumer research, we found that quality and consistency in a company’s service and experience is key. As discussed in the points above, automation delivers on all of these.
- Employee Satisfaction Score (ESAT): Automation allows you to give your agents back their time: the time spent doing mundane tasks is now spent on more fulfilling and high-impact work. Agents no longer have to dig deep to find specific information needed to make a decision from various systems. AI gathers it for them before they even get involved. Agents are empowered with the information to make a quality decision quickly.
- Cost Savings: The cost benefits of automation fall into two primary buckets:
- Deflection from human agents: By automating repeatable tickets, you will see a significant deflection from your call centers of tickets that are never even created.
- Less agent turnover: With happier and more fulfilled agents, turnover will decrease resulting in savings tied to hiring and training new employees.
For further reading on KPIs, please check out our post on 15 customer service KPI metrics you need to know.
We’ve worked directly with our partners to learn the pain points companies are facing to design an automated solution that is designed to create an immediate, measurable impact. Are you ready to have a customer support organization that delivers on what customers and agents need? Let’s chat.