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When to Implement Email Automation/ Tips from Brianna Reedy

Jorge Peñalva

It’s been a couple of difficult quarters for a lot of CX teams that are being asked to do more with less. In this environment, we’ve heard from a lot of CX operations teams, asking the same question: how can we use automation for low touch issues, and what’s the best way of doing so while maintaining a high quality customer experience that minimizes opportunity for customer frustration?


Brianna Reedy
is Lang’s Head of Platform Success. Compilating knowledge from her years of experience in the CX industry, both from prior employers like Freshly, and current Lang customers such as Ramp and Pair Eyewear, she has crafted a playbook for successfully implementing automation that supports positive experiences for customers and agents alike. She was recently was nominated as one of four finalists for the Zendesk for Startups’ Coach of the Year for her dedication to teaching and empowering newcomers in the Zendesk community.


The Problem
:

In CX, the standard 3-5 business days response is no longer accepted by most clients. As your customers look for ways to remove inefficiencies from their lives, they are often contacting support during spare moments between responsibilities. As a result, voice AI and chatbots can assist in some situations, but many customers don’t have time available to keep up with the prompts. A quick email will often do the trick, but then comes that pesky waiting again. 

Tips to implement auto replies for Email Automation:

When done correctly, implementing auto replies for email automation can ease that pain. There are two applications of auto replies that address this: 

  1. One touch tickets that can be auto solved

One touch tickets and deflection is the usual first thought when it comes to auto reply. While this is a great way to get a quick response to customers, it’s not always received well if it is not lined with empathy. In addition, a general auto response can feel a bit like an invitation to a blackhole - one more ticket in line for the backlog. 

When you’re able to send very specific auto replies, you can increase your efficiency, and ensure that your customer feels heard. One example of this is if a customer wrote in regarding a compromised card, you can send an automated response like this: 

Hi Jennifer - We’re so sorry to hear about the issue with your card! Have no fear, you can adjust your card controls using this article. If you want to learn more about our security measures, check out helpcenter.com. 

You can even take this a step further, with Option #2:

  1. Tickets where the first exchange can be between a tool and the customer

While the personalized automated response is great for your customer, let’s put ourselves in the shoes of your agent. If they are assigned this ticket, there’s a few pieces of information that need to be verified before any action can be taken. Rather than have your agent spend time on reading, analyzing, and writing a response for this ticket, the following could be added to the above automated response:

If you would still like assistance from our team, we’re happy to help! In order to assist you faster, please provide us with the last 4 digits of the account, the address on file, and the amount of the last verified purchase.  

With this one sentence, your agent will have all the information needed by the time the ticket is opened to be worked on. Adding auto replies to your process will not only increase efficiency, but it will also result in your customers feeling heard, and will take work and stress off your agent’s plate. 

How do you identify candidates for auto reply? 

There are many different ways that auto reply recommendations may arise. Some of the most common are as follows: 

  • Popular FAQ articles/agent templates - If customers are searching these often, be proactive and throw that information in an auto reply.
  • Department reports with trending topics - Maybe you have a favorite report that shows trends on topics by volume & SLA. Adding auto replies to some of the more popular 1 touch scenarios or multi-touch tickets where more information needs to be gathered to resolve can increase efficiency and cut down the backlog
  • Tools in your tech stack - There are many tools out there that can give you visibility on trends, such as Lang. With Lang, the AI will surface the relevant topics in your data and empower you to categorize and automate with ease. 
When is the right time to add automation?

Whether you’re a team of 2, or of 200, it’s never too early to start implementing efficient automation that will support your team and customers as you grow. You wouldn’t miss the opportunity to get a few minutes back in your day - help your customers and agents do the same!


Image by vectorjuice on Freepik

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