Automation has reshaped the manners in which customer service is delivered and experienced. It is predicted that by 2025, artificial intelligence (AI) will power 95% of all customer interactions, including live telephone and online conversations, demonstrating how automation expands and adds value for everyone, customers and agents alike.
In this article, we will explain what customer service automation is, what its most prominent examples are, and its advantages and disadvantages.
What Is Customer Service Automation?
Customer service automation is a customer support process that minimizes human involvement in dealing with customer queries, by leveraging technological tools to automate tasks and operations.
This process can take many forms, including a smartly composed message on a call minder or a pre-written digital agent dialogue. Chatbots, self-service tools, voice recognition, and other technologies are utilized here to enhance the customer experience.
The most common method to implement customer service automation is by incorporating AI-powered virtual agents as part of the process of problem-solving. This can aid in eliminating errors, thereby saving time both for the customer support operators and for the clients.
Let’s find out more about its most prominent examples. 👇
Top Customer Service Automation Examples in 2023
The most prominent examples of automated customer service systems are as follows:
1. Live chat, chatbots, and virtual assistants
These digital solutions have evolved to provide businesses with simple, fast, and helpful services for their customers. This is without neglecting the touch of personalization that efficient customer service relies on.
Brands get noticed by using them and remain in the minds of customers when they need what these brands offer. Automated solutions such as live chat, chatbots, and virtual assistants improve efficiency by:
- Eliminating time-consuming manual tasks.
- Providing continuous support regardless of location, time zone, or circumstances.
- Reducing operational costs while allowing agents to handle high volumes of work.
Moreover, these solutions help maximize customer satisfaction and loyalty due to things like shorter first-call resolutions.
2. Interactive Voice Response (IVR)
It is an automated telephone system that integrates prerecorded messages or text-to-speech technology with a dual-tone multi-frequency (DTMF) interface to engage users, enabling them to input and access information without interacting with a live representative.
Additionally, programmed menu options can serve to redirect users to the appropriate live agent for providing assistance if the IVR system cannot retrieve the information the caller is asking for.
Incorporating computer and telephony technologies into IVR software can improve the flow of calls and minimize waiting times, resulting in an enhanced overall customer experience.
IVR systems contribute to improving the customer experience by allowing customers to access the information that they need without assistance from customer support. Moreover, it allows businesses to reduce wait times and operational costs by reducing call volumes for their contact centers.
3. Customer self-service portals
These platforms allow businesses to provide customer support at large scales by enabling users to find instant answers to their queries or solve their issues by themselves, instead of relying on direct conversations with support staff.
A self-service portal can be considered the digital front door to organizations, as it can provide many services to users, from simple administrative functions such as resetting passwords and reporting errors or complaints, to more complex actions, such as downloading software and taking corrective actions in response to issues.
4. Email automation
And here are some examples of customer service automation software: Tido customer service platform for SMBs, Hiver shared inbox management software, and Zingtree sales automation for customer troubleshooting.
This was an overview of the top examples of customer service automation. What about the advantages which make it important and needed?
Why Automate Your Customer Service?
Day after day, the importance of automating customer service is increasing, and the demand for it is growing significantly because it has many advantages, which are outlined below:
- Enhancing efficiency and speed
Automation is an effective alternative to providing customer support. It places users at the center of the process giving them the choice to not interact with live agents yet get quick resolutions to their issues.
The use of automation results in shorter response times without overburdening live agents, allowing them to focus on resolving more complex issues.
It helps to deal with problems the first time rather than passing customers around multiple representatives. This contributes to fewer complaints and a more positive customer experience.
- Providing continuous support
Automated customer service platforms provide round-the-clock customer support without interruption. The use of chatbots allows online assistance without human intervention. In certain workflows, digital agents can notify on-call staff about disruptions to services.
Providing always-on service extends beyond customer support. With AI chatbots, users can submit their contact information without having to fill out a form. The lead is then escalated to a sales agent for the next day’s call.
- Minimizing staff errors
Automation is one of the most successful solutions to improve service speed along with reducing inaccuracies that can be made by humans.
Support live agents often don’t have the time to conduct an in-depth analysis of every issue. Alternatively, automated customer service tools empowered by artificial intelligence capabilities help in handling dense interactions with very low margins of error.
- Reducing customer service costs
Automation helps companies and organizations reduce the need for new staff members to handle support duties while increasing their size.
Cost savings are not limited to labor, as it reduces workspace footprints and increases customer lifetime value as well.
Having covered basic functionality, automation helps live agents focus on customer satisfaction rather than day-to-day tasks. And thus it improves workflow and saves time and effort.
- Centralizing information
The implementation of customer service automation software makes it possible to centralize all customer information, such as contact details, transaction histories, self-service interactions, and viewed content.
This provides a more comprehensive view of customers.
By doing so, support agents can access real-time customer data in advance of incoming calls, emails, or web chats, enabling customer service staff to retrieve this information very quickly.
And thus, they can deliver an excellent customer experience without needing to navigate lots of tools, tabs, or documents.
- Promoting customer feedback
Customer service automation can collect information and feedback along the entire customer experience, which helps identify whether customers are loyal to the brand as well as determine the reasons why they favor the company.
Ultimately, this enables determining which customer interactions or channels result in higher levels of customer satisfaction.
- Adapting to modern customers’ preferences
According to Tidio, 62% of consumers would prefer to use a customer service virtual assistant rather than waiting for live agents to answer their requests.
Additionally, 60% of the millennial generation report that they have used chatbots, according to Forbes.
This demonstrates the fact that customer service automation interfaces are gaining widespread acceptance among users, especially from younger generations.
Is the picture completely rosy like that? Naturally, no. There are some cons.
Disadvantages of Customer Service Automation
Despite its many advantages, automation also has shortcomings, which are as follows:
- Threatening customer service careers
There is a possibility that supervisors and supervisory agents may see automated customer service systems as threats to their positions.
It is likely that companies will shift their budgets beyond direct contact with customers. Customer service representatives will need to provide more personalized assistance instead of relying on standard templates.
- Solving uncomplicated issues only
In general, AI-powered customer service platforms handle simple customer concerns such as queries. With regard to more complicated issues that require human intuition, digital agents are unable to provide adequate assistance.
For example, automated agents often cannot respond properly to customers who express frustration or sarcasm.
- Requires large resources for deployment
Effective AI digital agents require high standards. In most cases, AI alternatives miss the mark when it comes to reliability. Therefore, businesses and organizations will need to invest substantial technical and financial resources in designing appropriate digital platforms for them.
In addition to design, implementation is not always an easy task. It needs high-cost skills, more effort, scrutiny, and modification in order to meet enterprises’ and customers’ demands.
- Absence of human sensitivity
Systems that are based on artificial intelligence tend to behave robotically since they are devoid of personality and emotions.
For example, digital agents lack the empathy needed to defuse customers’ frustration. Automated systems can direct customers to specific solutions.
Less sophisticated interfaces may direct users to irrelevant options and generate a confusing experience. This often requires human intervention to deal with complicated and unexpected issues.
You can overcome all automation challenges and revamp the way you contact your customer.
We at DXwand realize the value of automating customer service, and we strive to create exceptional alternatives to maximize the positive aspects of automation and address its drawbacks.
We offer AI digital solutions that make it possible to scale support and deliver automated responses in a manner that ensures value in their experience. Not just that, but also deploy the customized solution you want without any difficulties.