How to Design Smart Customer Workflows That Actually Work
If your business feels chaotic and unpredictable with regard to its customer service, that may be because you’re trying to do too much by hand. There’s a place and a time for automation and customer workflows – and it’s here and now!
What Are Customer Workflows?
A workflow is a chain of activities that take place in response to a particular cause, event, incident, or trigger. You might think of it as a process, triggered by an external action, that leads to a desired outcome.
A customer service workflow process is a series of sequential actions that occur in response to a particular action (or lack of action) on the part of a customer. The purpose of the workflow is to automate responses, create consistency and predictability, and reduce the amount of knowledge base resources necessary to serve customer issues well.
Workflows offer an array of benefits, including:
- Systemization. From a management perspective, converting various facets of your organization into more organized systems is one of the keys to success. This brings clarity to the separate arms of your business and helps the participants make sense of how to approach specific situations, challenges, or problems.
- Consistency. If you want your firm to be efficient, it must be consistent. Consistency breeds efficiency. Once you have workflows in place, that empowers you to respond to situations with much greater consistency and predictability.
- Lower costs. A customer service workflow software converts a collection of random tasks into a streamlined process flow. This has the potential to save as much as 30 to 90 percent of the time spent on such tasks. The result is lower costs and a much higher ROI on your inputs.
- Automation. Once you develop a customer onboarding workflow, it becomes easier to identify opportunities for automation. (Automation drives efficiency, which creates lower costs, etc. Can you see how all these factors are interrelated?)
- Interchangeability. One of the biggest benefits of having customer success workflows in your operation is the ease with which you may swap people in and out of your business. (That’s vital when you consider the historically high turnover in customer service positions.) Once you have a ticketing system in place, the new employee can swiftly be trained to follow the standard operating procedures and your company won’t miss a beat.
Ultimately, organizations that implement customer service processes create a better customer experience. And any time you raise the customer experience, you can expect to achieve better results with higher customer retention rates, lower churn rates and improved customer satisfaction (CSAT) scores.
According to a recent Adobe Digital Trends Study, companies that “prioritized and effectively managed customer experience were three times as likely than their peers to have significantly exceeded their top business goals” – a testament to the power of workflows and systems.
Four Customer Workflows For Successful Customer Service
Customer workflows might not be the sexiest business topic, but they’re integral to your company’s long term success. With the aforementioned benefits in mind, below are several customer workflows you can reference as examples or templates.
Feel free to copy and adapt these to your own customer onboarding processes and service operations, or merely employ them for inspiration.
1. New Customer Workflow
This workflow is designed for brand-new customers. The goal is to introduce them to your business and enhance the customer experience.
Customer makes a first-time purchase > Thank you email is sent with 10-percent-off coupon code for next purchase > Order is automatically modified and tagged with “first-time customer” > picking and packing team is notified to include free bonus gift inside package > customer is tagged in the email system and sent a 21-day autoresponder “indoctrination” sequence > customer support follow-up call is scheduled for 10 days post-purchase.
2. Customer Support Workflow
Depending on the size of your company, you may receive anywhere from a few dozen to several hundred phone calls per day for minor issues, questions, or troubleshooting. Having an AI Customer Service Desk Software in place will make this easier. Here’s a sample customer support workflow:
Customer calls into the service hotline > Customer is filtered through five different buckets using voice-automated responses > Customer is offered online support and help desk options > customer stays on the line and opts to speak with an agent > customer is placed on hold until next agent is available > agent picks up and asks how they can help > customer explains the issue or asks the question > agent gathers information and opens a ticket (if necessary) > ticket gets handed to the appropriate individual or department > responsible person handles the ticket.
3. Chatbot Workflow
Chatbots are a great way to streamline online communication with customers. Here’s a sample workflow:
Customer types a phrase/sentence into the chat application > chatbot responds by offering to help > customer asks a question > chatbot searches internal database to match the question with an answer > chatbot gives the customer several options to choose from > customer selects an option > chatbot responds > if the customer’s question cannot be matched with a response, the chatbot asks for a callback number > customer provides callback number > customer service agent is notified of the issue, callback number, and urgency level > customer service agent calls customer.
4. Product Feedback Workflow
This workflow establishes a series of actions that take place when a customer leaves feedback for your company. Depending on the type of feedback, you’ll have a different workflow.
(For example, the workflow will look different if someone is calling to complain about a serious health issue they experienced with one of your products as opposed to someone leaving a positive review on your company social media page.)
Here’s a sample workflow for when someone leaves a positive review:
Customer leaves positive Facebook review > Automated Facebook message is sent 30 minutes later to thank the customer for their review > Automated email is sent 1 hour later offering a 20-percent-off coupon code for a future purchase > Automated Facebook message is sent 1 hour later asking for permission to use the review in company marketing materials > The review is copied and pasted into an internal feedback spreadsheet that tracks all customer reviews > The head of the sales department receives an automated notification that a new review has been received.
Build Automated Customer Workflows With Aisera
There are two types of workflows: manual and automated. A manual workflow, which is what most businesses traditionally use, requires human involvement. This means an employee must be directly involved in each step of the workflow, which requires time, effort, energy, and labor costs.
Then there are automated workflows. These workflows are largely hands-off (thanks to technology) and require minimal time or effort on the part of your team. Workflow automation solutions work in the background to streamline everything.
This leads to greater employee productivity, higher workplace efficiency, fewer errors, lower costs, and a better overall experience for both employees and customers.
At Aisera, we make it easy to automate customer workflows with advanced technology that streamlines the mundane processes that have typically defined customer service. For example, our AI Customer Service Chatbot delivers exceptional customer experience through multilingual conversational intelligence and automation.
It even learns from interactions with customers and automates repetitive inquiries. As a result, agents are able to focus on the larger issues that require human involvement.
Want to learn more about our various solutions? Request a demo with Aisera today!