Customer Service

Human touch in digital customer service: Balancing automation and personalisation

How often have you disconnected a customer service call or abandoned an email communication because of robotic responses? Research shows that 75% of customers still prefer interacting with a human for issues that require empathy and understanding. So, how do you balance it with the automation necessary to scale up?

By harnessing customer service solutions with advanced analytics, you can deliver personalisation with automation. However, the human touch is necessary for sensitive matters that require emotional intelligence.

This article explores the delicate act of balancing automation with personalisation in customer service.

Drawbacks of extreme automation in customer service

Automation in customer service is essential for faster responses, cost savings, and consistent service quality. While a human cannot work 24/7, a chatbot can. AI-powered chatbots learn from customer responses and become better with time.

However, this works when the customers do not need a human touch such as a password reset. In sensitive matters such as a credit card scam, a customer needs human interaction, empathy, and assurance of immediate resolution. Without human interaction, customers may feel insecure and frustrated.

Excessive personalisation, on the other hand, can cause inefficiency and be costly. It is human resource and time intensive and does not let you scale up. Finding the right balance between the two is key to a successful customer service strategy.

Strategies to balance automation and personalisation

By using these strategies, you can balance automation with personalisation wherein the customers feel empathy, trust, and emotional connection.

Understand the context

The human touch in customer service is necessary to understand the context. Agents can listen to the customer and identify underlying issues. Instead of offering a one-size-fits-all solution, they show reasoning, critical thinking, and creativity.

However, agents can leverage advanced analytics technology in CRM systems to collaborate with peers and assist customers. This is where the true blend of technology and humans happens.

Solve complex problems

Issues like a frozen bank account due to unfulfilled KYC that the customer claims they did on time may require multiple calls. This requires a delicate balance between speed and customer service.

Agents use customer data and analytics to quickly retrieve the history, remove any ambiguity and navigate to creative solutions. They provide human judgment and emotional support.

Personalise the solution

True automation of customer service happens when agents speak to customers, understand their needs, and use technology to fulfil those requirements quickly and efficiently. For example, a customised holiday designer would listen to the requirements for accommodations and experiences and will use technology to put together a plan that suits their budget, number of days, and other preferences.

Given the nature of the service, which is for leisure, this interaction requires a blend of speed and personalisation.

Build relationships with every interaction

Automated chatbots and email responses depend on pre-configured data and reference material. While they are great for giving immediate responses and acting as a hook, they cannot form relationships.

Business owners would agree with the power of referral business, and this is where serving each customer with complete attention is important. Agents can actively listen and understand the pain points, and provide bespoke solutions.

Automation vs. personalisation roadmap

The following roadmap will help you strike the right balance between automation and personalisation in customer service.

Intelligent chatbots

Intelligent chatbots leverage artificial intelligence (AI) and natural language processing (NLP) to understand the problem and respond in a human-like manner –

  1. Identify a list of customer pain points that do not require human intervention.
  2. Train your chatbot with information from your knowledge base and customer interactions.
  3. When the query exceeds the chatbot’s capabilities let it fall back to a human agent.
  4. Use machine learning (ML) to improve the chatbots with time.

Customer segmentation

By segmenting the customer list based on their needs and behaviours, you can serve them better. Here is how you can do so –

  1. Collect and segment customers based on their purchase history and preferences.
  2. Create personas based on their buying habits, demographics, and pain points.
  3. Craft personalised messaging and offers for each segment.
  4. Continuous improvisation through a feedback loop.

Hybrid support

A hybrid support model assures the customers that they can find the answers independently and can request human support when necessary –

  1. Provide robust self-service options with common questions from your knowledge base.
  2. Leverage AI for personalised recommendations based on customer behaviour.
  3. Define a clear escalation matrix for those who require human assistance.
  4. Automate customer service for 24x7 support in different time zones.

How can Infosys BPM help?

Handle all touch points across the customer lifecycle according to the client’s specific needs through customer care services, contact centre consulting, and support services.

Read more about customer service solutions at Infosys BPM.

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