12 ways to improve customer experience with automation

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September 19, 2019

business-automation-improve-customer-experience

Customer expectations are changing. 69% of customers expect a connected experience when they engage with a company, and 78% of customers expect consistent interactions across a company’s departments.

To keep up with your customers’ expectations, let alone exceed them, you must know their preferences across all points of contact and interactions with them. Any information about transactions or inquiries needs to be quickly accessible any time a customer reaches out to your company, so they’re not left explaining background information to yet another representative.

Automation solves this. It’s the easiest way to improve customer experience, trigger business processes without lifting a finger, and boost customer retention and satisfaction.

Here are some of the easiest ways to use automation to improve customer experience and simplify your business processes too.


12 ways to use automation to boost customer retention & satisfaction

1. Automate customer satisfaction surveys

Customer satisfaction surveys like NPS (Net Promoter Score) and CSAT (Customer Satisfaction Score) measure a customer’s sentiment towards your company over time.

NPS is one of the most popular feedback tools, asking a user how likely they are to recommend your product to a friend or coworker on a scale from one to ten.

To get the most consistent collection of data and cast a much wider net than manually sending emails, you can automate your customer engagement program.

With a tool like Wootric, you can automatically quantify customer experience at key journey points – such as one week after sign-up or one month after upgrading – and get insightful data to track over time.

Wootric

2. Connect your CRM to your help desk and ticketing software

When you log in to your CRM and search for a contact record, do you get a complete view of their history with your company? Or is your customer data spread across multiple tools?

Although it’s worth having one central place which stores all key data and is your first port of call if a customer gets in touch, your other tools should also be kept in sync.

You don’t want to be staring at a blank slate when a customer calls or you quickly need to know more about them.

Set up two-way syncs between your key apps using PieSync to ensure that updated customer data flows both ways between your tools. This way, your customer-facing teams are never in the dark when a customer calls – and your business intel is always up to scratch too.


3. Automate customer check-in emails – while keeping it personal

If an account manager is juggling tens or hundreds of accounts, keeping up can quickly become a challenge, especially when attempting to store tasks for each account on paper or a standard to-do list.

In cases like this, automation can transform your output while reducing input. Set up automated workflows to send emails to customers at set intervals. You can even include a link to your calendar so customers can directly book a time slot without any frustrating back-and-forth.

Automation makes it easier than ever to be a familiar face to a large number of accounts without feeling overwhelmed.


4. Use bots and automated help desks to resolve problems immediately

One of the handiest parts of automation isn’t alerting you to do the work, it’s actually doing the work for you.

With bots – especially those offered by customer support-centric tools like Intercom – you can provide the most automated customer experience without sacrificing personalization or human touch.

intercom

Set aside some time for researching automated help desks and bots and see how they could resolve some of your most common support inquiries immediately.


5. Automatically route support tickets based on priority and importance

Do you have certain customers that need to have an urgent resolution to problems? Are there people you really can’t afford to frustrate?

With priority-based tickets, you can assign priority tiers based on how quickly you need to resolve an inquiry, and many CRMs and ticketing systems provide options to automate this.

On HubSpot, for instance, you can create a workflow that updates a ticket’s priority based on contact or company properties. If a customer is on a premium price plan or has an SLA for fast ticket resolution, this automation enables you to see their ticket first and act on it right away.

hubspot

6. Create email workflows sharing valuable and personalized content

Creating email workflows is one of the most popular uses of marketing automation. It’s also a powerful way to improve customer experience.

When sending content-based workflows, always consider a contact’s stage in your buyer’s journey – even after they’ve become a customer.

  • What are their goals and pain points?
  • What is the most valuable content that you can provide them with right now?
  • How can you send the most relevant information for their industry and business size?

With automated workflows, you can set up “if this, then that” email sequences based on custom properties such as subscription plan, business size, industry and time as a customer.


7. Automate employee surveys and feedback forms to identify areas for improvement

It’s not just your customers who can provide valuable survey data – it’s your employees, too. Your customer service and sales professionals are on the front line of your business and have a unique understanding of what your customers struggle with and where internal bottlenecks are.

You can take a similar approach to employee surveys as your customer surveys: with automated outreach to collect relevant data at a set time period, such as quarterly or twice-yearly.


8. Automate your onboarding process

Onboarding is a crucial time for your business to shine. You’ve just convinced a customer to choose your company and hand over their money – and now, first impressions count. You have no option for missed emails or tardiness.

Use automation to guarantee that things go to plan. You can either create notifications that remind your team’s onboarding specialists of tasks due – or automatically reach out to the customer to inform them of next steps.

You can also use automated email workflows to let customers know if an onboarding step is pending or missed, or if you still need certain information from them.


9. Use automation to notify you when a customer is due for a check-in

If you assign each customer a certain number of meetings, calls and email check-ins based on their subscription plan, you can use automation to know when you need to reach out next.

Many CRMs and automation platforms allow you to create properties for “outreach frequency” and “last contacted” and create notifications for when this time is approaching and overdue.

ActiveCampaign is one of the best-known automation platforms out there, handling the repetitive tasks that no one in your team has time for. “It’s like getting an extra employee without needing an extra desk”, they share on their website – and we agree. It’s a great tool to help provide your customers with the best possible experience.

activecampaign

10. Set up automated alerts for customers at risk of churn

Have you noticed any common signs among customers that churn? If you haven’t, do a bit of research – take a snapshot of recent churned customers and check their contact records.

What are the similarities – frustrated emails, lack of interaction, high bounce rate after logging in, checking your FAQ for “how to cancel my account”?

Once you know these churn risk factors, you can use automation to alert a customer’s account manager straight away if these come up. Then they can reach out and act on it – fast.


11. Alert account managers of interactions with other departments

If a customer tweets your company or mentions you on Facebook, is their account manager aware of it? Don’t keep social engagement with your company for your marketers’ eyes only – use a CRM that integrates all key channels to record all engagement with your company. This is especially important if a customer is using online platforms to make a complaint – don’t miss these!


12. Use reports and dashboards to identify blockages and weaknesses in business processes

With business intelligence tools and advanced CRMs, you can use reporting dashboards to break down business processes by stage and identify where customers are getting stuck.

These might include your:

  • Sales pipeline (e.g. demo requested, demo scheduled, proposal sent, closed won/lost)
  • Onboarding pipeline (e.g. new customer, introduction email sent, first call scheduled, onboarding checklist complete)
  • Ticket resolution process (e.g. new ticket, assigned to rep, in progress, further information required, resolved)

After identifying blockages, you can focus on streamlining these areas of your business. For instance, you might identify weak conversion from “demo scheduled” to “proposal sent” in your sales pipeline. You can then test some email templates to fix this.


How to get started with customer experience automation (and make it a success)

To get started with automation to improve customer satisfaction, your first job is choosing the right automation software. With so many brilliant options on the market, you’re spoiled for choice here.

Some of the best-rated marketing automation tools to get started with are:

Popular Business Process Management (BPM) software also include:

After some research, testing and making the most of free trial periods, make sure your automation software fits snugly with the rest of your tech stack.

With PieSync, you can sync your data across all of your key tools – and get the best possible results from automation with access to a wider range of accurate data. Browse connections between hundreds of apps and see how you can immediately improve your data reliability and business processes.

About Lucy Fuggle

Lucy Fuggle writes for PieSync, the two-way contact sync tool for hundreds of apps. She also works with her clients to make their brand matter with a content-rich marketing strategy.