Wise Insights

Machine Learning Enables Efficient Multi-Channel Social Customer Support

70712539_illustration.pngMulti-channel support is becoming more and more common. Customers want the path of least resistance to getting the information they need, and part of that means they want to communicate in the manner that’s most comfortable for them.  

That could be a traditional channel like chat, email, or voice. It could also be a social channel like Facebook, Twitter, or even the Google Play Store, which are becoming more and more popular with customers, as well as ticketing platforms like Zendesk.  

These social channels differ in several critical ways from traditional one-on-one support.

Customers are interacting on them, whether you want them to or not.  If you don’t want your customers sending you emails, you don’t put an email address on the website. Ditto for phone calls. But you have no control over whether a customer decides to tweet at you, mention you in a Facebook post, or leave a negative review on the app store.

HiRes.jpgThe social nature of these channels also means that there is a lot of potential to engage with customers positively, opening opportunities for the support team to help drive customer value and new customer acquisition. Conversely, there’s strong potential for negative, brand damaging customer conversations that can reach a wide audience in a short amount of time.

Despite the lack of choice in whether their customers interact with the brand on these channels, and the strong benefits that come from actively supporting social, many companies are either engaging half-heartedly or not at all.

The reason for this is resources. The typical customer support team is resource constrained as it is, and mustering the additional personnel necessary to effectively manage additional channels is unrealistic. Part of the problem is that social can contribute an overwhelming amount of new ticket volume, only a small percentage of which actually requires some sort of engagement with the customer to solve an issue or protect the brand.

Intelligent automation is the solution that sophisticated support leaders are leaning on to effectively manage social channels with a minimum amount of additional investment.

The idea is, let’s handle social the way we handle any other sort of text based communication with our customers.

Let’s filter out the noise, so we’re not wasting bandwidth on inquires that don’t require responses. Let’s classify, prioritize, and route different inquiries based on their urgency and case reason. Let’s put the content agents need to effectively respond right at their fingertips, so they can be be helpful, responsive, and consistent.  

Finally, if we can automate responses to simple, repetitive inquiries in a controllable, transparent way that doesn’t damage the customer’s experience, let’s do that so our agents can focus on the really tricky and complex stuff.

And in fact, intelligent automation can do all these things, allowing teams to start a powerful practice of engagement with their customers across social channels, while minimizing the change management and new agent hiring that’s typically associated with scaling ticket volumes.

If you're curious about how intelligent automation can radically change the economics of running your support team while empowering you to deliver an even better customer experience, you can schedule a few minutes to chat with me here.

Topics: Machine Learning, Customer Support, Social Media