Automated Customer Service: Advantages and Examples (2023)

What is automated customer service?

Automated customer service refers to any type of customer service that uses tools to automate workflows or tasks.

Virtual assistants – such askeyword chatbotsandAIchatbots– are a popular form of customer service automation and use pre-defined rules or artificial intelligence (AI) to help customers achieve tasks and resolve problems quickly – whether that’s locating store opening hours, changing an order, or locating account information.

These toolstap intopeople’sgrowing preference fortext- and voice-driven systems –and theease with which people nowtalk to“digital voices”through the likes ofvoice-activated devices, smart speakers, and more.

Crucially, you can deploy them across your customers’ preferred communication channels, meeting your users where they’re already spending time.

The state of customer service automation

Customer service automation ishelpingbusinessesachieve outcomessuch asa30% reduction in customer servicecosts,a39% rise in customer satisfaction, and14 times higher sales.

With these kindsof results,it’s little surprise thatautomated tools like chatbots areset to represent a massive70% of customer interactionsas soon as 2022.

Despite this progress, most customer service operations are stuck in the past, based on a traditional call center model.

The result is long call queues, poor visibility of conversation history, and *those* endless security questions.

This iscostingcompanies dearly – inhighoperationalcostsandlowcustomer satisfaction,whichharmsbrandreputation andfuels customerchurn.

This postwill help you better understand why automated customer service is essential to your support strategy – and how to get started.

The advantages of automated customer service

1. Always-on support

A keybenefit ofautomated customer service is that you’re able to provide around-the-clocksupport – regardless ofyour customers’location, circumstances, ortimezones.

Unlike live agents, automation tools aren’t constrained by contact center opening hours, and allow customers to rapidly “self-service” simple issues, often without any need to involve contact center agents.

(Video) Why Automated Customer Service is Here to Stay

This is whyautomation is particularly useful forhandling frequently asked questions(FAQs), freeing up human agents to tackle more complex aspects of customer service.

2. Lower operational costs

Automation dramatically improves operational efficiencyandcuts customer service costs.

Voice, for example, is a comparatively expensive channel, so using a chatbot helps you to save on channel costs while freeing up agents to handle a higher volume of requests.

3. Time and efficiency

Automating your customer service allows you to handle more queries and rapidly execute tasks that would be difficult and time-consuming to do manually, such as coordinating Uber rides in a matter of seconds. This frees up human agents to handle more strategic tasks and complex user queries.

At the same time, automation allows customers to quickly get the answers they need, with less effortrequiredon theirend.

This is important when we consider that respect for people’s time is considered one of the most important factors in providing a positive customer experience.

4. Customer satisfaction and loyalty

Faster response times, shorter resolution times,consistent support across multiple touchpoints – these automation outcomesare key toproviding a positivecustomerservice experience and keepingyourcustomers satisfied.

5. Agent satisfaction

Toolslike chatbotsalleviate pressure onoverloadedagentsbyautomating customer interactions overtheirpreferred channels.

They can take care of high-volume, low-value queries, leaving more fulfilling and meaningful tasksfor your agents.

And when integrated with a cloud contact center,theygiveagentsa unified view ofcustomer data and conversation history,sothat your customer service staffhave all the information they need to resolve queries quickly.

6. Scalability

Automated customer service tools such as chatbots allow you to provide omnichannel, personalized customerserviceat scale.AIautomationmakes it easy to test, measure, and learn so that you cancontinually optimize the customer service experience.

Automated customer service examples

Not all aspects of automationrelateto AI.Rule-basedkeyword chatbots, for example,automate common customer queriesandsimply point customers to information sources, in many cases.

(Video) 5 Benefits of Automation

AI automation, on the other hand, allows companies to automate more complex queries through the likes of conversational AI chatbots, using natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning to better understand and process user inputs and intent, retrieve relevant information, perform required tasks, and provide rapid responses.

Crucially, AI automation provides invaluable insight into the nature of customer behaviors and pain points, so that companies can pre-empt problems, providing proactive, rather than reactive, customer support.

Automated customer service use cases

Let’s now look ata few of the many use cases forcustomer service automation.

Provide account status

Situation:Your customers want to access their account information instantly and painlessly. Your contact center agents are spending too much time on account information queries, rather thanresolving morecomplex issues that require their expertise.

Solution:Build and deploy a chatbot that can engage your customers and provide them with relevant information about their account status.Security is a crucial consideration here, so use the likes of biometrics to help your chatbot authenticate customers.

Tip: Learn more about how toprovide account status using a chatbot.

Schedule appointments

Automated Customer Service: Advantages and Examples (1)

Situation:Handling appointment reservationis difficult, because customers often contactyouvia different channels, andyoumight usemultiple platforms to handle all these queries.

Solution: Integrate your cloud contact center with an AI chatbot and customer data segmentation to simplify the appointment reservation process and boost agent productivity. Agents are able to handle multiple appointment conversations at once, users can communicate via their favorite chat apps, and customer satisfaction increases.

Tip: check out ourfulluse case on how tohelp customers schedule their own appointments.

Connect people with lost property

Situation:Your airline passengersoccasionally misplace theirpersonal belongings, which can causethem a lot of stress and inconvenience.

Solution: Passengers can use your customer service chatbot to report their situation and seek help. Using named entity recognition (NER) AI capabilities, your chatbot is able to recognize their intent (report and find “lost luggage”) and their location. With this information, the chatbot can then direct the customer to the right place to receive help.

(Video) How Customer Service Automation Can Improve Your Business

How to start automating your customer service

Sowhere’s the best place to start automating your customer service workflow and tasks?

Like any digital investment, you need to start with aclearly definedcustomer servicestrategy,based on measurable business goals.

Depending onyourgoals, a useful place to start might be using asimpleself-helpkeyword chatbot,deployed across your customers’ favorite channels, to help provide faster customer support at a lower cost.

And thanksto chatbot-building platforms likeAnswers, you won’t even need any coding experience to do this.

It’s important to remember that automated tools can’t help with everything. Your automated systems need to be able to seamlessly hand over complex tasks to live agents, automatically serving agents with the relevant customer data and conversation history for faster resolution and seamless customer service.

For this reason, it’s hugely beneficial to integrate your chatbot with an automated, cloud-based contact center solution that enables seamless agent takeover and helps you solve multiple customer pain points.

Learn more about automated customer service

In this post we explored how automated customer serviceempowers yourcustomersto get the answers they’re looking for – when and how they want.It improves the customer service experience and automates responses to straightforward queries, freeing up your customer service team to handle more complex issues.

Check out our related reading below to learn more about how you can get started on your automation journey.

You might also like:

  • Your guide to contact center digital transformation
  • What is a customer service chatbot?
  • Discover how this retail brand grew its net promoter score by 39%

Watch video Pause

(Video) The Benefits of Automation for Small Businesses

Check out this video for a look at how easily you can automate customer support using an AI or keyword chatbot

Get Started with Automated Customer Service

Want to add automation to your customer service strategy?

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