From support agent to Customer Service Automation Manager, Patricia Zipf was responsible for leading the CS automation project at German fashion brand SNOCKS. This gave her first-hand experience of driving digital transformation and elevating CX with AI tools, in the fast-paced world of online retail. Here, Patricia shares her learnings from her exciting career in CX.
Q. What’s the best thing about working in customer support?
You always get direct feedback on your actions — whether it is positive or negative. You just have to know how to deal with the situation. Of course, if you only take the negative feedback to heart and ignore the positive, then I would reconsider working in customer support.
Q. What business problem were you trying to solve by automating your support?
First of all, we wanted to enable customers to get 24/7 support. This is not possible for all topics, but if a customer just needs an order number or wants to check the status of their shipment, they shouldn’t have to wait until the next business day.
The economic factor was also a consideration. And with automation we can now plan for our staffing needs much more easily
Q. Could you share some key results you’ve seen with AI-powered automation?
We can better respond to customers’ needs because we see where our weak points are. We measure our KPIs and keep track of how conversations are performing. This means that if a flow is not running properly, we know exactly where to work on it. We have also improved our accessibility since automating.
The team has embraced chat and ticket automation super well. Both help them with their daily work. The chatbot collects data in advance that is immensely important for further processing a request, and the ticket bot resolves simple requests independently — so no employee has to intervene.
Q. How has your role (or team) and perspective changed since you started using AI tools?
I started in our team as Customer Support and was offered the role of Customer Automation Manager when it became clear that we wanted to optimize our chatbot and expand to ticket automation. For me, this area of responsibility was completely new. Since I am always looking for new challenges, I took on the role of Customer Automation Manager and have not regretted it to this day.
Q. What’s your favorite part of collaborating with your CSM?
Justine [SNOCKS’ Customer Success Manager at Ultimate] is just great! Whenever we have a question or a problem arises, she is interested in helping as soon as possible — and she supports us with ideas to improve the chat and ticket automation. We couldn’t ask for a better CSM.
Justine was always there for us and supported me incredibly well by independently training the bot, creating templates and intents. Launching the bot was so easy and fast because we received a bot building bootcamp. Again, our CSM did a great job explaining everything to us in an understandable way.
Q. What is great CX to you — and what’s your #1 tip for providing it?
For us, a good customer experience means that customers get the answers they need quickly. This means making sure the chat is intuitive to navigate and provides relevant information that is easy to understand. And especially when it comes to the ticket bot, don’t create too many intents at the beginning. Instead, concentrate on the most common questions first and get those right.
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