Auto repairs. Pest control. Landscaping. Moving services. Heating and HVAC.
The Consumer Services that make our lives easier every day are always in demand.
For businesses, that’s a great thing.
But for their contact centers, rising demand has become a major challenge.
Replicant enables Consumer Services companies to automate their most common customer requests so they can implement more efficient staffing strategies and resolve more calls with zero wait times.
With millions of conversations automated for Consumer Services brands, our customers consistently see one major outcome: Agents are freed to focus on urgent and revenue generating engagements, which increases conversion rates and bolsters customer satisfaction.
In an industry where competition is high and customers can quickly jump to new providers, the differentiator of a better experience makes customers’ lives even easier and strengthens bottom lines.
Which service areas are embracing automation?
Consumer Services is a broad category. But almost every vertical shares one or more of these common CX obstacles:
- Seasonality & Call Spikes: Call spikes are inherent to the Consumer Services industry. The warmer months spell demand for services like pest control, cleaning, landscaping and moving. Conversely, many services experience valleys in their demand which bring their own set of workforce challenges.
- Agent Staffing & BPO Challenges: It’s never been harder to attract and retain agents in a competitive field with a shrinking labor pool. This has made staffing for seasonal peaks more expensive, and even impacted the cost of after-hours BPO agreements.
- Challenging Marketing Programs: Consumer Services brands often must offer incentives like free estimates to compete. But these programs fail when the demand they create can’t be converted due to long wait times that frustrate prospective customers.
- Call Routing Issues with Current IVRs: Outdated IVRs force customers to navigate dialpad menus and result in a high number of misrouted calls – and agents wasting time on requests that weren’t meant for them (not to mention the poor CX they create).
- Lack of Visibility & Prioritization: Black boxes of data create blind spots where businesses don’t know the main reasons their customers are calling. This can result in an urgent call for a problem like a bursted pipe or flooded basement waiting on hold in the same queue as a customer simply looking to update their card on file.
- Lack of Consumer Loyalty: A single poor customer experience can be enough to lose their business and damage your brand reputation. Consumer Services leaders are all well aware of the long list of competitors in their area; driving customer loyalty is crucial.
All of these challenges boil down to a single issue: Businesses lose money when they aren’t attending to their prospective customers, existing customers or urgent customers fast enough.
The nature of the call center in all of the below Consumer Services means agents must focus on converting new business and can’t afford to spend time on tasks that don’t help the bottom line:
- Home Services: Pest Control, Landscaping, Cleaning, Security, Utilities
- Home Improvement: Repairs, Construction, Plumbing, Heating & HVAC
- Moving & Storage: Junk Removal, Moving Truck Rentals & Storage Rentals
- Auto Services: Auto Repairs, Collision, Auto Spas
The most impactful use cases for automation
Agent burnout, emotional exhaustion and high levels of turnover are not new challenges for contact centers. In 2021, the contact center attrition rate in the U.S. was 42%, and climbed to 50% for contact centers with over 5,000 agents.
When mundane, repetitive tasks are automated, contact centers nip the problem in the bud. Rather than trying to squeeze more productivity out of agents, they’re freed to focus on more engaging calls that require empathy and creativity.
Common use cases that improve the customer and agent experience when automated include:
Authentication & Routing
- Authenticate existing customers and pull up their account details
- Accurately route existing customers to service agents and new customers to sales reps
- Route commercial accounts to appropriate agents to ensure that SLAs are met
- Route urgent and emotional customer requests to priority queues
- Immediately screen new customers to determine eligibility and route more accurately
- Collect the details needed to automate requests, or to save agents time during handoffs
- Fully schedule an at-home or in-store service appointment
- Send an SMS flex form to select the best time or window
- Fulfill payments, enroll customers in autopay, update subscriptions and more
- Confirm, reschedule, update and cancel upcoming service appointments
- Send appointment reminders
- Provide status updates on service pro arrival times
- Reminders customers to schedule upcoming services
Case Study: How a leading pest control brand closes more business with Replicant
Replicant partners with a leading pest control company recognized as the Best Pest Control Company by Forbes in May 2023. After over a year of evaluating automation solutions, they partnered with Replicant for two reasons:
“The Thinking Machine is so much more lifelike than anything we’ve seen before, which is huge with highly emotional customers,” they said. “The second reason was how attentive and helpful Replicant was.”
Part of their marketing strategy includes free termite inspections to capture new business. But due to the seasonal nature of the business, prospective customers would call in to redeem the offer at the same time and agents couldn’t handle all the volume.
Prospective customers were waiting on hold for 20+ minutes and eventually hung up, leading to poor conversion rates and high abandonment rates.
Replicant was deployed to automate call routing, authentication, account management, and appointment scheduling. Within weeks, customers were getting accurately routed to the right agent on first attempt, urgent requests were escalated quickly, and new customers could schedule inspections with zero wait times.
At the same time, the contact center now had visibility into why customers were calling, providing new opportunities to prioritize request types and deploy agents more efficiently.
Consumer Services customers that use Replicant have all experienced dramatic increases in their call resolution rates. With dozens of repeatable use cases and millions of calls automated, our experience includes learnings for achieving high resolution rates on day one.
In addition, this customer saw an accelerated time to value resulting from our ability to establish the API calls, fields, and resources needed to get up and running quickly. Compared to the months to years-long projects most automation deployments entail, the ability to start automating flows in time for peak season paid dividends right away.