In a business economy where customer loyalty and relationship-building have become currency, we’re all totally aware that when it comes to longevity, it’s the businesses that prioritize their customers who make it. Gone are the days where a marketing department wastes their time crafting mass messages to the media.
Today, the name of the game is personalization. It’s about showing your customers who you are, what you stand for, and proving to them without a doubt that they matter. If you want your customers to stick around, they need to feel valued. They need to know that you care, and that you’re willing to go the extra mile to keep them happy.
So in this world of hyper-personalization, your gut may be telling you to run the other way when someone brings up the term automation. It might cause you to envision those dreaded “Hello, friend…” emails that do nothing but clog up your inbox.
While many, many companies and organizations have gotten automation completely wrong, the good news is that as we continue to make technological advancements, the capabilities and new personalization opportunities available through automation are endless.
One really great example of this is Netflix. You probably get the same emails I do, only we’re getting specific messaging that’s based on our viewing history. Netflix uses our history to send us personalized recommendations - automatically.
When you’re scaling a business, you just don’t have time for the relationship-building and personalization that is required to deliver this type of experience. Maybe you did at first, but this model isn’t scalable. The problem is, personalization is exactly what the consumer wants. The obvious trick here? Using automation to help you deliver a personalized experience.
The next big thing in personalized automation? Chatbots.
If automated personalized emails still impress you, you’re going to want to sit down for this one. Right now, Chatbots are working hard to fill the gap between human contact and automation - when used properly, of course. These little guys have the power to serve hundreds and thousands of customers on auto-pilot, and deliver a personalized experience.
Companies are in a tricky spot. In a world where the bulk of consumers say they’d leave a brand if they felt like a number, organizations need to tread carefully. The demand for personalized customer service is huge, but companies can’t always afford to have the volume of bodies required to keep up with the demand. It looks like the way of the future will be using both - something people are referring to as blended artificial intelligence.
In their 2018 forecast, Forrester predicted that blended AI is the wave of the future, but also suggested this would likely result in lower customer satisfaction levels “as companies drive more traffic to chatbots, self-service, and chat that are not fully optimized to engage customers effectively.”
So again, if you want to make this work, you’ve got to do it right. Some say the key is simple - just make your bots customer-centric. In the best scenarios, the bots will be used as a communication facilitator, and not act as a barrier for human contact. The bots should be able to handle specific tasks, and know when to pass the customer on to a live agent for personalized assistance.
Bots excel at things like customer segmentation, and opening the line of communication after someone has completed a specific action. You can use them to answer simple questions, but make sure they can hand the customer off to the right person when the time comes.
If you want to scale your SaaS startup, Chatbots can be a phenomenal resource to help provide automated customer service that can get personal as soon as it’s necessary.