Nurturing Customer Connections with Automation

Nurturing Customer Connections with Automation

Building trust and long-term relationships with customers is important for every business. This includes nurturing existing connections and attracting new customers who are still getting to know your brand. While regular communication is essential, lengthy, and impersonal conversations might not be the most efficient approach for building initial interest with potential customers. This is where automation comes in. Automation helps companies develop and nurture customer connections in a more targeted way.

Why Automation?

Positive interactions are the foundation of lasting relationships. Every touchpoint along a customer’s experience journey (CX journey) directly impacts their willingness to engage further with a brand. By crafting a seamless and enjoyable CX journey, brands cultivate loyal advocates who are more receptive to future interactions and promotions.

But the question is – Do our contact center/customer services agents have adequate time and agency to attend to every customer with the same dedication and diligence?

SQM research reveals a troubling statistic: 63% of contact center agents report high burnout rates.

But what exactly is burnout?

Burnout, specifically in the context of contact or call centers, is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by chronic workplace stress. This stress often stems from feeling overworked and overburdened with job-related responsibilities.

Enter Automation! Automation can be defined as a technological application to complete tasks with minimal human input. While traditional automation followed a set of pre-programmed instructions and did not learn or adapt on its own, AI-powered automation incorporates AI techniques such as machine learning and natural language processing (NLP) to perform a wide range of tasks.

Contact center agents can leverage automation for low-risk, routine tasks that require minimal strategic decision-making. This frees them to focus on higher-value interactions, such as analyzing customer reviews and filtering out areas for improvement, dedicating more time to engaged customers, handling personalization requests, and more. This lessens the load on agents and ensures strengthened customer connections simultaneously. Additionally, AI-backed automation also helps agents to carry out the afore-mentioned tasks to some extent,

In What Ways Does Automation Help in Nurturing Customer Connections?

Customer nurturing is crucial for converting potential customers into loyal ones. Automation helps in achieving this goal by offering a myriad of benefits. Let’s take a deeper look at them.

  • Email Scheduling: Timing is an important aspect of customer service. Whether it is answering customer queries or informing them of the latest deals and offers, timing plays a crucial role in acquiring and retaining customers. Automation helps with email scheduling, allowing the marketing team to craft compelling content. Agents then utilize email automation tools like Mailchimp to send bulk emails to targeted audiences and trigger personalized messages when needed. This ensures gradual communication between the brand and its customers.
  • Encouraging Self-Assistance: Many of us are aware of ‘The IKEA Effect’, where customers value products they partially create more, which is a well-known marketing strategy. IKEA’s self-assembly furniture exemplifies this. Automation mirrors this effect by empowering customers to self-serve through FAQs and multiple-choice solutions offered by bots, especially when live agents are unavailable.
  • Customer Profiling/Segmentation: Automation can gather customer data from various sources like website traffic, purchase history, support tickets, and surveys. It then analyzes vast customer data using machine learning techniques to identify patterns and trends. This enables brands or businesses to segment customers based on demographics, behavior, preferences, and other relevant factors. Google Analytics is a free tool that is used by several companies to study and analyze their present and future audiences.
  • Ensuring Personalization: Personalization or customization is essential for targeted lead nurturing. Once customer data is aptly segmented, automation tools use this data to initiate personalized marketing campaigns, target specific customer groups with relevant content and offers, and trigger automated interactions based on customer behavior. HubSpot is a great tool for crafting personalized content/messages to engage new and potential consumers.
  • Proactive Customer Service: Automation can predict customer needs and proactively address them. Automated reminders for appointments or low inventory alerts can improve customer satisfaction and help customers come forward with their requirements at any point in their CX journey. CRM platforms like Salesforce, Zoho CRM, and Freshworks CRM can automate tasks like sending birthday greetings, appointment reminders, and low-stock notifications.
  • 24/7 Availability: Chatbots and other automated systems can provide basic customer support 24/7, ensuring customers get answers outside business hours. This showcases a commitment to customer satisfaction. Tools like Drift and Zendesk Chat offer chatbot functionalities. Software like Help Scout and Fresh Desk can also send automated replies and route inquiries to agents based on the previous CX stage and some pre-defined conditions.
  • Data-Driven Insights: Automation can collect and analyze customer data, providing valuable insights into customer behavior and preferences. Brands use this data to personalize customer interactions, improve product offerings, and predict customer needs and market trends more effectively. For example, Userpilot – is a product adoption platform with analytics and segmentation features. It helps to personalize user experiences for different customer segments.

Human Supervised Automation is Key to Balance and Success

AI-powered automation has revolutionized how tasks are carried out, enabling customer service to reap significant benefits. While automation streamlines processes and frees agents for complex interactions, it’s most effective when overseen by humans. This balanced approach ensures exceptional customer service by leveraging the strengths of both humans and AI.

Read more to know the role of automation in modern-day business processes.

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