The McKinsey Global Institute found that an average employee spends 13 hours a week reading and responding to email. That’s by far the most time-consuming work activity at 28% of our work time.
Emails take a lot of time, as research has shown it can be one of the most time consuming tasks on the workfloor.
Business often get a lot of incoming emails which then needs to be deliverd to the right person or department (also called email dispatching. This dispatching takes up a lot of time and slows down the fact that a client is waiting for an answer. Smarter email routing can be a solution to this, read this post to learn more about how email routing helps with improving customer support.
What is email routing?
Email inboxes receive a lot of inbound traffic (think about email@example.com). These emails has to end up at the right person or department that is capable of handling this request. Not everyone speaks the same language or knows the same things about the product.
This email dispatching is initially done manually. Someone in the company has to assign every incoming email to the right person. This task is a bottleneck and quickly becomes an expensive solution.
Automated email routing?
Most email tools can be used to automate email routing. This means that instead of manually forwarding each email to the right department or person it can now be done automatically.
There are different ways of doing this. The first one is by using rules. You can think of it as if x then y. These rules can be an initial way of automating but have a lot of disadvantages. First of all, only 10-20% of incoming email can be automatically dispatched with rules, leaving a big opportunity open. Secondly: it’s hard to set up these rules and even harder to maintain these. Thirdly, with multiple languages also multiple rules are needed. Also, what about typos?
The more advanced and modern way is by using Machine Learning or Artificial Intelligence (AI). Instead of setting up all rules and tweaking these, a model just easily learns how the dispatching should happen and can start doing it automatically. Solutions like tekst.ai make it possible to easily get started with automated email routing.
Automated routing in customer support
Looking at customer support from a customer view there is nothing as frustrating as slow or inaccurate service. AI-based email routing systems can be wonderful for your customer support as they make it possible to deliver faster-than-human customer support as it’s more automated.
It however still feels human as it’s only the dispatching that is automated. For complex emails, the speedup is huge while still having a human-curated answer.
Benefits of automated routing
There a numerous benefits of having automated email resolution systems in place. Here are some of these with the biggest impact on your business.
Customer support can quickly become expensive. By adding more automation into the mix, the customer agents can focus more on making the most of their time. A repetitive task such as routing and assigning can be done by an AI.
Companies can see the load on their customer support agents being drastically reduced, enabling to let them focus on value-creating tasks. Companies also often struggle in the “war on talent” to find enough customer support agents, especially when growing fast. Automation can allow them to fill these gaps and deliver more with less.
Even for customers, automatic email dispatching is helpful as they get a faster response. When dispatching is automated, customers can expect a faster response as there is less manual work involved during the handling of a request.
Dispatching is often a blocker or bottleneck, when this gets resolved a company can expect to have a big improvement in its average handle time (AHT).
For a customer agent, switching between topics is a big productivity trigger. Instead of allowing them to focus on one topic and handle these in the same flow, by forcing them to task switch this flow gets cut up all the time. These switching costs pile up during the day.
By sticking email together by topic, these switching costs can be avoided (at all costs). Allowing the agents to get in the flow and work more efficiently.
Immediate email remediation
After dispatching, if a email is tagged as a certain recurring question that is present in the knowledge base, it can be resolved immediately. An email is handled without any human interaction. This way of handling is often used by product-led growth companies and automatic dispatching can allow them to even further optimize their customer support.
If a business already has standard answers for recurring questions these can be put in a workflow for a certain topic. After an issue is tagged with this topic, the email is then automatically handled afterward.
A use case in the insurance world:
Insurance brokers receive a lot of issues. Some of them are about damage claims. If your car burns down you want a fast answer. For insurance brokers it’s currently impossible to, between all the hundreds or thousands of incoming emails, find the ones about damage claims.
Automatic email tagging allows them to easily find and filter these important topics and allows them to prioritize them. This way, when it’s urgent, you as a customer can have an even faster response and you as a business can ease the pain of an urgent issue with your fast and good customer support.
Customer support managers often want to have a good overview of the current state of customer support. Without topics, it’s hard to see where peaks and issues are currently resolving.
An example in e-commerce is that in January the “refund” topic is much more present as customers are sending back gifts they didn’t want.
Without topics, it’s hard to stay on top and gave a deep insight. These insights are needed to see which current bottlenecks there are and where further automation would yield the most benefits. That’s why at tekst.ai we provide deep insights that allow our customers to go further.
How to get started?
Wondering how to get started with automatic email dispatching?
Schedule a call with one of our sales engineers without any obligation. We love talking about customer support and AI and are wondering which issues you are having. Helping is in our DNA and we even might be able to help you with our solution.
From the Tekst.ai team: boosting customer support with AI