At likewize we spend a lot of time addressing omnichannel care, which typically involves analysing and supporting the many ways a customer gets in touch with our clients: telephone calls into call centers, AI chat scripts, agent web chat logs, natural language searches, social media, and retail transactions. One area that sometimes gets overlooked by both of us, clients, and (looking at whitepapers and competitor sites) the whole industry, is customer email. When chat is not available and customers cannot or will not make a call, email is a common way to get in touch. 

Email doesn’t tend to get mentioned much in whitepapers or care platform marketing material because it is assumed there is not much you can do to improve the laborious task of processing each email, and getting an agent to address it. There is usually a team somewhere that processes emails, and no doubt they do a fine job. 

Process automation and advancements in intent analysis challenge that assumption – there is a lot we can do to re-engineer customer emails. 

We can now: 

  • Use intent analysis to automatically determine why the customer is emailing us. We can tell if it is a SAR request, a complaint, or a transaction (e.g., change of address or requesting a legal document for a mortgage application or cancelling a contract). 
  • Use sentiment analysis to automatically determine what kind of mood the customer is in – are they angry? threatening litigation? Or better – is this a great example of a happy customer we can share with our colleagues to remind them how well we are doing? 
  • Use process broker tools to codelessly (with no IT development!) create rules to email to the correct teams and trigger the right process based on intent and sentiment. Where APIs exist, we can even fully automate an entire transaction, such as changing addresses. 
  • Use process broker tools to codelessly create rules to auto-respond to the incoming mail, provide a swift, appropriate response, and set customer expectations based on the email intent (e.g., complaints may take 2 weeks for a response, SAR within a month, etc.). 

Even if we do not initially go all-out with full automation, the benefits are substantial: 

  • Significant AHT savings due to the automatic allocation of requests to the right teams. 
  • Improved customer service due to instant response and an accurate expectation being set re: response times. 

Even better, this is not a complex project to set up – a simple mail handler can be created in as little as two weeks and at little cost. 

If you want to discuss all things automated email, get in touch.

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