Customer Service Automation Solutions: Pros and Best Practices

By Hilee Avrahami   |   April 14, 2021
customer service
Automation in customer service is often thought to be an impersonal approach to handling customer problems and questions. Chatbots and virtual assistants are viewed as lacking a human touch. In reality, customer service automation solutions go a long way in creating better experiences for customers and call center agents alike. The trick to using it successfully is in knowing which tasks should be automated so customers still feel they got the personalized service they crave.

What is Customer Support Automation?

Designed to reduce or eliminate the need for human involvement when providing customer assistance, customer service automation solutions include:

Using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), businesses can provide higher convenience levels for their customers and support call center agents in their tasks.

Advantages of Customer Service Automation

There’s no shortage of benefits to AI-driven customer service automation. Along with virtual assistants and chatbots, it offers things like one-time training, round-the-clock customer service, and advanced levels of service that are far less expensive than traditional approaches. Other advantages include:

  • Significant reduction of human error.
  • Increased customer loyalty.
  • Reduces the amount of time agents spend looking for the right answer.
  • Greater competitiveness.
  • Compliance assurance.
  • Reduced response time and improved first-call resolution.

Jeanne Bliss believes the best customer experiences start with happy employees. To foster a happy workforce, she says it’s critical to “Care for your employees, so they can show care to customers.” Automated customer service options increase employee satisfaction by streamlining the customer service process and keeping agents engaged and productive.

Customer Service Automation Technology in Action

Automated customer service software solutions help deliver highly personalized customer support by removing clutter, redundancy, and clutter. These examples illustrate how.

  • Self-service solutions that rely on a centralized knowledge base reduce support volume and increase customer satisfaction. How? Customers have made clear they prefer to initially solve product or service issues on their own. But they also want an easy way to click through to live support when they want it.
  • Centralization makes it convenient for customers to get help through whichever channel they choose. Tech-assisted organization and collaboration of knowledge help build deeper relationships with customers as they feel listened to and valued.
  • Chatbots and virtual assistants are evolving to where they offer customers the fast, simple, helpful service they want without sacrificing the personal touch. This helps differentiate your brand and place it ahead of the competition in your customers’ minds.

As reported by Gartner, customer effort is the strongest driver of customer loyalty. Offering customers ease of contact and rapid resolution times dramatically reduces the effort they must invest in getting the answers they need. Automation that delivers real-time solutions shows customers you’re putting in the effort to provide them with a consistent, satisfying experience.

How to Set Up Automated Customer Service

Choosing the right customer support automation software is the first step to establishing an automated customer service system. Once you’ve made your choice, here are several ways to get started on providing the speed customers are looking for without sacrificing authenticity or the personal touch.

  1. Create a comprehensive knowledge base. A knowledge base isn’t considered automation, but it’s the heart of every successful automated solution. The goal is to build a knowledge base grounded in informational hierarchy and universal visibility. Put another way, no matter where a customer is on your site, they should be able to easily and quickly navigate to your online library. CTAs like “I need help” and other prompts save customers a tremendous amount of time.
  2. Integrate the knowledge base so customers and call agents can quickly search for articles. For instance, you can use AI and ML to analyze and process customers’ requests in real-time, offering relevant knowledge base articles that match their needs.
  3. Build automated ticket routing into the process to send a client’s query to the right agent or department. Ticket routing rules can also help determine things like when a call should be routed to another, more experienced agent. Features like this reduce on-hold time and keep customers from being passed around from agent to agent with no solution.
  4. Integrated automated responses. Also called “canned responses,” this tool saves time, delivers quick replies, and prevents agents from being weighed down with repetitive tasks. Though they should be used judiciously, canned responses are ideal for occasions like ending a chat, asking for further details, greeting customers, talking about product or service features.

Automated customer service solutions can put your organization at a competitive advantage in ways other solutions cannot. KMS Lighthouse’s automated solutions help you deliver the exceptional experience your customers are looking for while improving agent satisfaction and providing the data needed to continually improve customer relationships. For when people and technology work in harmony to provide customer service, everyone reaps the benefits.