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Customer Service Automation: Pros, Cons, Examples, and Platforms

customer service automation

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    Customers always expect quick replies and instant resolution to their issues. Agents however can’t reply fast all the time, particularly when they are overworked. There are situations when service can’t be prompt, so it can frustrate customers and result in poor experience. So, how can you avoid compromising the quality of customer service? You should think of customer service automation. 

    But why? 

    Because customers want great experiences whenever they reach out to a business. And they feel happy when customer service is prompt and smooth. Quick responses from agents delight them and might convert them into brand loyalists. Automation can help you achieve all this.   

    It can help you solve customer problems without human touch. It can save valuable time for your customers as well as agents. It can help deliver prompt replies to routine questions of customers. When automation is implemented, service reps will avoid the burden of answering each question. It can also be great for those customers who prefer self-service and avoid talking to human agents. 

    In this blog post, we will explore automated customer service in detail, analyze how it works, understand its benefits, learn how to implement it, and how it can transform the meaning of support. 

    What is Customer Service Automation? 

    Automation is a new trend in customer service. It’s something more businesses now look to leverage and ensure value to customers. You’re less likely to find companies that don’t what is customer service automation, as most do.   

    Automated customer service is the approach to solving problems without the involvement of human agents. It’s a type of customer support arrangement where automated technologies such as AI-powered chatbots, replace people as part of the problem-solving equation. 

     

    what is customer service automation

     

    When customer service automation is implemented, the goal is to leverage software and tech innovation to provide human-less and prompt support on a 24×7 basis. The use of customer service chatbots ensures instant replies to customers while agents save effort and time that would otherwise go in handling queries.    

    With automation, it’s possible to put customer support on autopilot and free up agents so that they are not part of handling simple, repetitive tasks. With automation in customer service, agents have more time to give attention to customers who genuinely need human support.

    The automated customer service definition makes it clear the power of artificial intelligence technologies in transforming the meaning of support.    

    How Does Automated Customer Service Work?

    Automated customer service uses technology to provide assistance and solutions to customers. It helps customers without the involvement of a human agent. When automated support is provided, it needs technology involvement in various forms, starting from chatbots, virtual assistants, IVR systems, and automated email responses. 

    Let’s have a look at how self-service support works – 

    Step 1. A Customer Seeks Assistance – An automated support process starts when a customer tries to reach a business for assistance. The customer may reach the business through a website chat, phone call, email, or mobile app. 

    Step 2. The Automated System Identifies the Customer – The automated system will ask for information from the customer for identification and authentication purposes. This step is essential for retrieving relevant information and personalizing the interaction

    Step 3. The System will Understand the Customer Query – After identifying the customer, the system will understand the query. It may use different technologies such as speech recognition technology, algorithms, or keyword matching, depending on the tools used for asking the question. 

    how_does_automated_customer_service_work_

    Step 4. The Knowledge Base is Accessed and Retrieved – To provide the relevant answer to customer queries, the automated system will access the knowledge base and retrieve the information. 

    Step 5. Actions are Executed –  Some actions are safe and fit for automation. An automated system can execute them to match the customer’s needs. 

    Step 6. Escalation Process Takes Over When Due – Automated support systems will recognize situations and scenarios where a human touch is necessary. So, it can promptly transfer the interactions to a human agent for better response. 

    Advantages of Automated Customer Service

    Automation has literally transformed the way customer service is delivered and experienced. In fact, more than 85% of customer service interactions are powered by AI bots which shows how automation ensures value to everyone, whether customers or agents. On top of that, automated support can be the way forward to delight customers and boost profits. 

     

    advantages of customer service automation

     

    Some of the major advantages of automated customer service –  

    • Empowered Customers – Automation is a new approach to the way customer support is offered. It puts customers at the center of things by giving them the choice to not contact humans yet get quick resolutions to their problems. 
    • Productive Agents – Customer service automation can make agents more productive and save them the hassles of answering everyday questions. Plus, service reps can squeeze more chatbot business benefits by focusing more on handling those types of customers who genuinely need a human touch.   
    • Real-time & Quick Responses – Automation in customer service makes it possible to deliver quick and real-time responses 365 days. It enables replies that too without compromising on quality and without involving the human capital.  
    • Reduced Costs & Overheads – Thanks to the customer service automation platform, organizations don’t need to hire and train people to handle support duties. This can help economize support operations and save costs. 

    What are Some Cons of Support Automation?

    Customer support automation offers numerous benefits and ensures prompt support to users. However, it has its own set of challenges that need to be discussed and explored to increase customer service efficiency. 

    Here are some cons of support automation –  

    • Lack of Human Touch – Lack of human touch is one of the main drawbacks of an automated support system. There are many situations when customers expect a sense of empathy and emotional support, which is impossible with automation.  
    • Unable to Grasp Nuances in Language or Context – Customer queries are not always easy and simple. Sometimes they can turn complex requiring an acute understanding of nuances in language and context. Automation fails to achieve that. 
    • No Adaptation to Evolving Customer Needs – Automated systems run on pre-defined rules, so they cannot handle unexpected situations. Since they are made to achieve consistency in responses, they fail to adapt to evolving customer needs, resulting in poor service experience. 

    what_are_some_cons_of_support_automation_

    • Prone to Errors – A knowledge base can be outdated and algorithms driving automated systems need proper calibration. Both these are major reasons why self-service systems are prone to errors and may return inaccurate responses sometimes. 
    • Not Suitable Beyond Routine Queries –  Automated systems are good at handling routine queries. They however struggle in situations where deep human judgment is needed. That’s why it can’t be trusted for complex or technical issues.
    • Concerns About Security and Privacy – Risks of data breaches are rising. Unauthorized access is always a big issue. Automation is weak in both, so they can’t be fully trusted for handling sensitive data.  

    How to Automate Customer Service and Increase Customer Satisfaction?

    Automating customer service can bring a range of benefits to your business. It can boost efficiency and streamline support processes, resulting in improved satisfaction to customers. However, you first need to understand how to automate customer support and then you can think of reaping all the rewards it brings. 

    Let’s look at the entire process of automating customer service and how it can increase customer satisfaction – 

    1. Identify the Common Issues of Your Customers  

    Automation is not a solution to all of your customer’s problems. It can help resolve every problem your customer has. But yes, it can make a big impact when used in solving common issues and pain points of your customers. So, you must find those issues and understand where automation can suit the best. 

    2. Choose the Right Automation Technology 

    Once you are aware of your customer’s specific needs, you can easily understand which technology is the best fit for their preferences. Whether you need AI chatbots or virtual assistants, IVR systems, or self-service resources, the decision should match the needs of the customers.  

    3. Evaluate Automation Technologies for Compatibility with Your Systems  

    While options are plenty when it comes to automation technology, not all will be compatible with your existing systems. You need to analyze them on how easily they can be integrated, how scalable they are, or whether or not they are compatible with your systems. 

    4. Create a Detailed and Comprehensive Knowledge Base 

    The main purpose of using automation in customer service is to improve customer experience with your brand. To achieve this goal, you need to make sure your customers get relevant and detailed information for their queries. This can only be possible when you have a comprehensive knowledge base with diverse content forms such as FAQs, how-to guides, product manuals, etc.  

    how_to_automate_customer_service_and_increase_customer_satisfaction_

    5. Add Self-Service Options Wherever Applicable 

    Empowered customers feel happy and satisfied. They have a better experience as they can easily find answers to their queries independently. This becomes possible only when you add self-service options such as FAQs, articles, and help guides on your website, IVR system or mobile app. 

    6. Provide Support to Customers Across Channels 

    Customers want the freedom to engage agents on the channel of their choice. They want consistency in responses and experience whether they reach agents via phone, live chat, email, or social media. This can only be achieved when you offer support across multiple channels and handle queries seamlessly on all channels. 

    7. Personalize the Experience For Your Customer  

    More companies now understand the value of customer experience automation. They realize how personalization is key to achieving customer satisfaction. Make sure you personalize experiences more often for your customers. You can use customer data, past search history, and targeted messaging to personalize customer engagement.  

    8. Implement a Robust Escalation System   

    Automated support is not suitable for every situation. If you don’t back automation with human assistance, more cases of customer frustration will happen. To avoid that, consider implementing a robust escalation system that gives customers the freedom to seamlessly switch from automated support to human help, as and when needed.

    Tips on Using AI Chatbots as Customer Service Automation Software 

    Automation is the new normal in the delivery of customer service. The trend is going to get bigger in the future as 50% of consumers don’t care whether they interact with humans or AI-driven assistants. It explains why AI chatbots have taken over the role of automation to fill the gap in the customer support system.

    Artificial intelligence bots can be used as customer service automation software for a variety of roles – 

    1. Provide Instant Support 

    Customers hate waiting. The longer they have to wait for replies, the more they feel frustrated. And if a business does not know how to deliver instant responses, it’s not going to solve customer service problems quickly.  

    To overcome this challenge, you can make chatbot a part of the customer support system and enable quick assistance to customers.   

    You can integrate the bot into your website or app or social channels such as Facebook or WhatsApp and ensure instant replies via automation.

    It’s possible to – 

    • Train your bot to resolve questions using your own resource materials such as FAQs and knowledge base. 
    • Show answers based on what customers are typing before they press the ENTER button.   

    With an AI chatbot embedded into your customer service automation software, you’d find it incredibly easy to improve the response times many notches up. 

    2. Offer Conversational Support 

    Chatbots are a great tool when it comes to providing conversational support to customers. You can use them to ensure 24×7 engagement with users on your website. 

    An AI bot can fill in for service agents, converse with customers and offer them links to resources. It can also ensure human intervention when the queries are complicated and need the involvement of agents. 

    You can use the bot to show the available hours of the agent as this will help customers won’t stick around and rather know when to approach the agent. 

    Bots can be a top tool when you search for one of the best customer service automation solutions for your business.

    3. Reduce Support Tickets

    When customer issues are not fixed at the earliest, support tickets swell in number. And the more support tickets are there, the more it will hamper the overall productivity of your service team. 

    AI bots can be a great solution for such cases as they can save around 70% of customer interaction. So, your business can use them to resolve the issues on time and boost customer experience.  

    You can – 

    • Program your support chatbot with all key customer centric-data so that it can route tickets to the specialized team or department. 
    • Automate simple queries with AI bots to reduce the ticket burden on the team.     

    It explains how the use of artificial intelligence technology or a customer service automation platform can be key to not only bringing down the number of support tickets but also enhancing the customer experience with your brand. 

    4. Answer Queries via Learning  

    Chatbots can learn and improve over time. This way, you can train them and expect to improve the quality of support. You can use AI in customer experience and deliver value at each stage of the journey.

    The use of AI and machine learning can make your bot trained and improve its responses in the future. This is how you get an advanced automated customer service system in place for your business. 

    If you want your chatbot to answer via learning, make sure you – 

    • First, recognize the pattern of questions that customers routinely ask
    • Then add the common phrases or words in the knowledge bank 
    • Make the bot get better with answers.  

    Continuous learning can make bots more powerful and this is how your automated customer service can prove effective.    

    5. Tailor Your Response Based on Customer Types 

    Chatbots make it possible to not only personalize experience but deliver tailored responses to different types of customers. This can make your replies flawless and add value to customers at any stage of the journey.

    With an AI bot, you can set the parameters around which to respond to customers such as location, budget, demographic, business type, and more. 

    And when the parameter is set, the bot will always offer answers specific to the needs of the customers. This is how you can get the most out of customer service automation and make your support as prompt as needed.  

    In fact, offering tailored responses to customers is one of the top chatbot use cases to benefit from.  

    6. Give Context-based Personalized Responses 

    Chatbots are an excellent tool to deliver personalized and content-based responses based on user data. The bot can use the already available information in the system to not only offer quick replies but also personalized customer service or responses.

    AI bots can use conversational history to improve responses and add a new dimension to customer service automation. With customer data and content available, it will be easy to improve the bot response and make automation feel more valuable.  

    Similarly, customer data could also be used to know the types of customers who are more interested in hybrid support rather than talking to a bot. 

    When you have automated customer service software, you’re always able to deliver content-driven responses to queries. 

    How to Choose a Great Customer Service Automation Platform  

    Customer service automation software makes it simpler to build and maintain relationships with customers. It helps businesses adapt to the ever-growing changes in the field of customer service.

    So, it’s obvious to look for a platform that helps you automate support and meet customer needs easily. You need the right tools and technologies at the helm to bolster the support team and help them improve online customer service.

    You can therefore trust customer service automation platforms to help your team not only achieve better collaboration but also draw on unique service methods.  

     

    how to choose a great customer service automation platform

     

    Make sure you focus on these criteria before choosing a customer service automation platform – 

    • Look for key features – When choosing an automation platform, one of the first priorities is to look for key features such as set up & training support, chatbots, live chat, shared inboxes, email templates, social media integration, and help bases. 
    • Analyze the options of integrations – A great customer support automation platform will have a wide array of options of integrations. It will make it easy to connect with all of your, or third-party apps. It can ensure all types of integrations to help automate the flow of support to your team. 
    • Customization & Personalization – Make sure you choose software that allows for useful customization and personalization for customer support. It’s equally important to get a platform that has clean layouts and that is easy to navigate.   
    • Value for Money – The platform you plan to choose must provide value for money. The price has to be in sync with the features and capabilities available for the customer support team. Plus, the platform must help you scale up so that your business can be ready for future growth.  

    The Best Automated Customer Service Software 

    Automation becomes simple when you have quality software at your disposal. There are some top-class tools available that can add great value to your customer service automation task. 

    Let’s look at some of the best customer service automation software for your business –  

    1. REVE Chat 

    REVE Chat is a powerful omnichannel customer engagement platform with tons of tools and features for boosting your customer service. This all-in-one engagement tool can help you connect, engage, and convert your customers. You can leverage its tools and capabilities to increase customer experiences at each stage of the journey. 

    Key Features 

    • Live chat
    • AI-chatbots 
    • Co-browsing & video chat
    • Ticketing system 
    • Multi-channel support  

    revechat_for_customer_service_automation
    2. Zendesk 

    Zendesk is a reliable name in the customer service sphere. It offers a wide range of tools and solutions for businesses looking to manage customer interactions more efficiently. Using its automated support solutions, a business can deliver exceptional support experiences and also streamline operations.

    Key Features 

    • Help desk ticketing system
    • AI-powered chatbots
    • Self-service portals 
    • Automation and workflow management

    zendesk_for_customer_service_automation

    3. Freshdesk 

    Freshdesk is a well-known customer service software platform for businesses looking to offer great support and enhance their levels of customer satisfaction. A business can leverage its intuitive interface and AI-powered automation features to increase customer experience. More so, it’s ideal for any organization that aims to boost its customer service capabilities.

    Key Features 

    • Robust ticketing system 
    • AI chatbots with NLP capabilities 
    • Collaboration tools 
    • Analytics and Reporting 

    freshdesk_for_customer_service_automation

    4. Salesforce Service Cloud 

    Salesforce Service Cloud is a powerful and feature-rich customer service software solution. It helps businesses deliver amazing service experiences and also streamline operations. The advanced automation capabilities of this tool, together with the integration with the Salesforce ecosystem, make it an ideal tool for increasing customer service experiences. 

    Key Features  

    • AI and ML-driven automation  
    • Knowledge base management 
    • Comprehensive analytics and reporting 
    • Customization and scalability

    salesforce_for_customer_service_automation

    Automated Customer Service Examples for Inspiration 

    The use of AI technologies is helping businesses automate and deliver seamless customer support. Due to the emergence of these path-breaking technologies, it’s now possible to take the automation route and empower customers with self-service. That’s why more organizations now take to this new era of customer service and deliver value to customers. 

    Some customer service automation examples include – 

    Customer Service Automation Example 1

    American Well, a telemedicine company, is a wonderful example of how to use chatbots and live chat in combination to automate customer service to a great extent. Its automation effort is intelligent enough to determine user intent quickly and enhance customer experience. 

     

    customer service automation example

     

    It not only uses AI-enabled chatbots as the primary channel but also has an option of a human handover in case the question turns complex for the bot to handle.  

    Automated Customer Service Example 2 

    Social media is now where a lot of customers go for engagement and support. Not all businesses however understand the value of deploying additional resources for social platforms. Chatbots can be a huge help in such cases as they can help deliver automated responses to users’ requests on social media.  

     

    example of customer service automation

     

    Lufthansa is one of the top automated customer service examples of how to implement a chatbot and improve responses. The bot is available on the website and on other channels such as airline apps, WhatsApp, and helps users find and book cheap tickets  

    How REVE Chat Can Automate Your Customer Service

    It’s possible to easily scale your support with AI chatbots and deliver automated responses to customers.  

    Using REVE Chat’s AI-powered live chat platform, you not only automate the support 24×7 but also reduce the everyday issues handled by live agents. 

    You can also combine bots + live chat software to ensure hybrid support where bots will manage FAQs while agents will be ready to handle more complex chats.   

    Similarly, it’s simple to train your bots with the frequently asked support-related queries and enhance the value of your automated support. 

    With a powerful and feature-rich artificial intelligence bot, it’s easy to reduce common help desk tickets and make your team focus on more important tasks at hand. 

    In addition, advanced customer service automation solutions can help you reduce common help desk tickets and focus your team to work on more important support issues.

    Apart from providing instant answers to all the support-related questions, you can connect the chatbot with your knowledge base to boost the level of automated responses. 

    Final Thoughts

    Customer service automation is the future and businesses must plan for it. With AI technologies improving and customers getting more conscious of their needs, the time has come when automated support became mainstream. 

    We, at REVE Chat, realize the value of automating customer support through the use of customer service automation solutions and ensuring value at each step of the journey. 

    In your automation effort, we help you start a free trial of our AI-powered chatbot and bolster your support.

    So, take the next logical step and add AI bots to get the most of your automated customer service effort. 

    Start using REVE Chat now!

    Start a 14-day free trial, no credit card required

    Praveen Singh
    AUTHOR’S BIO

    Praveen Singh is a content marketer, blogger, and professional with 15 years of passion for ideas, stats, and insights into customers. An MBA Graduate in marketing and a researcher by disposition, he has a knack for everything related to customer engagement and customer happiness.

    As a writer and analyst, he pours the heart out on a blog that is informative, detailed, and often digs deep into the heart of customer psychology. He’s written extensively on a range of topics including, marketing, AI chatbots, omnichannel messaging platforms, and many more.

    Mr. Singh also has a passion for subjects that excite new-age customers, be it social media engagement, artificial intelligence, machine learning. He takes great pride in his learning-filled journey of adding value to the industry through consistent research, analysis, and sharing of customer-driven ideas.

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