You’ve finally implemented processes and systems that automate much of your customer service. But one automation mistake might cost your business some customers.
Automation is a great way to scale your business without a ton of extra expenses. More and more companies are opting to automate their e-mails, invoices, delivery systems, and more. Automation, when utilized properly, can be a godsend to companies. But it’s important to keep one rule of automation in mind:
Automate systems, not relationships.
What does this mean? You should only automate things that won’t damage the client/company relationship. Automating for the sake of automating can take away the personal feel of your business, making you feel like a large, faceless corporation instead of a company that truly cares about its customers.
Automate: Initial query e-mails
Don’t automate: The response to that initial query. If a potential client is sending you a specific need, don’t just send a form response back, but take the time (or instruct your Customer Service team to take the time) to ensure their questions are being answered. Once you’re past the point of questions about availability and pricing, conversations should be held in person or over the phone.
Don’t automate: The follow-up. After a client call, sending a bland form asking how the call went can come off as cold. Instead, send a personalized e-mail that mentions a thing or two that came up in the call and what the next steps are.
Automate: Social media posts
Don’t automate: Social media responses. Having pretyped, preapproved responses to Facebook complaints makes it look like a robot is running your page instead of a living, breathing human. If you choose to respond to people on social media, you need to invest the time to have someone who can type personal responses.
Don’t automate: Questions about returns and refunds. If someone sends an e-mail complaining about how your product was delivered, send him or her a personal e-mail as a response—he or she is probably already upset, and when money is being discussed, the stakes are much higher. You want the person to know that you are listening and that you genuinely care that he or she receives the product that is paid for.
Automation is a gift—but it’s not one to be abused. As long as you’re keeping your relationships with customers at the forefront of your mind, you’ll never make the mistake of attempting to automate it. Processes and workflows were made for automation, but nothing beats that person-to-person relationship each business strives for. At the end of the day, people will buy from other people—not from an automated system.