The decision between automated and human-agent customer service is not black and white. In some cases, the efficiency and ease of automated tools is desirable. On the other hand, there are moments when human agents’ comfort and personal touch are sought. This difficult decision-making process exemplifies the complexities of Customer Service Automation.
What is the definition of customer service automation?
Customer service automation is a method of automating the repetitive nature of some typical customer enquiries by utilizing technology such as AI chatbots or Conversational AI platforms to assist customers with self-service. An AI virtual assistant uses NLP and NLU to answer customer support issues in a proactive manner, allowing you to scale your business support needs more efficiently.
Individual Differences in Expectations for Automated Customer Service Software
We should also recognize that people’s choices will differ depending on a variety of things. In this day and age of enormous data and fine-tuned market research, attempting to describe all “customers” generically is ridiculous.
People differ according to:
Not unexpectedly, there are differences in preference among age groups. People tend to favor human service as they get older, but younger clients prefer computerized customer support. There are various possible causes, including the fact that elderly individuals may be less familiar with technology and more accustomed to addressing challenges through personal contacts. It remains to be seen whether this is a true representation of age or a result of contrasting generations and personal ideas.
People’s preferences can also differ depending on their general disposition and personality. People that are gregarious and outgoing may be more likely to engage in human conversation because they actually enjoy it. People who like to be alone and others who dislike communication may regard human interaction as a chore and gravitate toward customer service automation.
We must also consider the impact of historical experience. If a consumer has had a negative encounter with an outdated chatbot on another company’s website, he or she is less likely to respond positively to an automated customer assistance function on your website. Similarly, if a person has consistently failed to obtain the service they require from a human, they may choose to use automated customer support as frequently as possible.
The nature of the investigation
Depending on the nature of their enquiry, an individual may prefer human service versus automated customer service engagement. If customers have a simple query or need help with a simple problem, automated customer support may be entirely okay. However, if their problem is complicated and the automated customer support platform does not appear to be capable of resolving it, they may opt to speak with a human rather than waste time navigating the automated arena.
4 Reasons to Implement Customer Service Automation (Benefits)
The vast majority of businesses recognize the immense benefits of employing automation technologies to supplement their customer support workforce.
By automating repetitive tasks and improving response times for requests, you can serve more customer issues simultaneously in real-time, save money on additional support team hiring costs, and worry less about the consistency of the services you provide.
1- Enhancing the Customer Experience
In 2018, over 67 percent of clients used chatbots, and the number of customers using AI Virtual Assistants has been gradually increasing since then. Conversational AI solutions are becoming more popular as a means of providing service.
Customers prefer automated customer assistance for a variety of reasons, including:
When customers use automated customer service, one of the most significant benefits is speed. Chatbots and other automated technologies are very scalable and can serve millions of users at the same time. Customers are not placed on hold indefinitely, are not required to wait in line, and are not need to monitor their email for 48 hours in order to receive a response. Instead, they can begin conversing and receiving responses right away.
The effectiveness of basic inquiries
For basic inquiries, automated customer assistance is unrivaled. Your automated system can deliver an easy answer and provide your outstanding customer service with all the information they need to remedy the issue with a quick search or a few lines of chat. This is a really streamlined and efficient process.
When people connect with automated systems, they feel less pressure. They can multitask while a chat window is active and investigate customer support choices at their own pace. When conversing on the phone or in person with a customer service representative, more attention, formality, and faster responses are required.
Resolution time is reduced.
However, for most consumer questions, automated customer service addresses issues more quickly. Customers tend to resolve issues considerably faster with automated services than with real people due to a mix of variables such as reduced wait time, faster responses, and more efficient solutions.
2 – Improving Customer Interaction
Some research show that up to 86 percent of clients prefer human care to encounters with chatbots. Many clients prefer personal assistance for a variety of reasons, including:
“Real” life experiences
When forced to interact with chatbots and other automated tools, some people feel disconnected. They prefer “real” encounters, according to them. Speaking with a live customer support agent makes your brand appear more responsive, and it improves the whole experience for many individuals.
Compassion and empathy
A chatbot can simulate emotion and empathy, but it’s difficult to do so realistically. Humans are better at providing an honest emotional response.
Complex problem solving
Some questions are too unusual or intricate for simple automated systems to solve. A human customer service agent may be more effective for complex inquiries.
3- Reduce customer service costs.
Organizations that are experiencing rapid expansion typically require larger customer service teams to support clients and their business demands. However, most firms that do not take customer service seriously experience high churn rates and struggle with client retention rates.
Adopting AI and automation for the enterprise can help cut costs while providing a scalable solution for automating customer service and improving agent productivity while auto-resolving repetitive support queries via digital, voice, or chat-assisted digital agents.
4- Ensure that the support team operates efficiently.
Giving agents more time to focus on essential tasks and escalations is another advantage of incorporating an AI virtual assistant into the mix for handling recurring customer support enquiries.
Customer service agents are enabled to get more done with less effort and improve the efficiency of customer support requests being addressed using a hybrid of AI chatbots and human customer support agents by implementing AI and automation.
AI customer service
Advantages and disadvantages of automated customer service
Human-to-human contact can be approximated but not truly recreated by automating customer service. In some cases, human interaction is therefore irreplaceable. However, the most recent conversational AI systems can tackle complex problems while maintaining CX.
If a consumer is unable to fix their issue through self-service, it is critical to escalate a swift, smooth handover to a support professional. Customers’ takeaways may suffer if they are unable to reach a live agent as soon as possible.
An example of annoyance:
After unsuccessfully searching a knowledge base and FAQs for a solution, a consumer contacts your AI chatbot—and is directed back to the knowledge base!
To ensure clients are comfortable using your AI-powered solution like ChatGPT for customer service, keep an eye out for and address the following concerns:
A lack of “human touch”
One risk of an AI-powered system is a robotic, flat reaction, but advances are being made daily. To alleviate such irritation, AI is being programmed with the ability to empathize. Directing customers to unrelated items has a negative influence as well.
Inability to deal with difficult issues
As AI advances, it strives for greater understanding of abstract notions. Again, escalation to a human agent at the appropriate time to react to a customer who inquiries about something other than a simple billing question will result in a favorable outcome.
Customer service employment are thought to be under threat.
The concern among employees that they may be laid off or supplanted by AI is true, and you should plan accordingly. Reps must be confident of their capacity to give individualized help; they should take advantage of any chance to increase their distinctive value, such as providing early notifications to upcoming policy changes or cost-saving options.
Cost considerations for AI deployment
Financial concerns about a new AI customer assistant’s ability to operate cost-effectively are valid and must be addressed. Look for chatbots with strong linguistic capabilities (NLP and NLU). Conversational AI must first identify speech and text, as well as interpret the intent and emotion of human utterances, before it can emote like a person.
Slow or no escalation to a live representative
This leaves a customer in the dark. If your present chatbot is incapable of interpreting information and directing clients to the correct routing decision, automation becomes a hindrance rather than a resource—or a genuine support technique.
Over-reliance on technology
Never allow automation divert your attention away from your primary goal of satisfying the consumer. Because reliance on AI may erode the customer relationship, ensure that your customer service personnel understands best practices for connecting with consumers, even if the toolset is easily available. Use chatbot data to improve your customer service skills and your team’s understanding of consumer concerns and people skills.
How businesses are excelling with customer service automation
Depending on your sector and the size of your firm, automated customer service might be easy or complex. Perhaps all your customer care software needs to do is notify them that you’ve received their message and will respond. Perhaps your support team receives enough calls to warrant a sophisticated AI chatbot that can learn and solve problems on its own.
You could build up any of the following systems, depending on your requirements:
- As a searchable database, use the Knowledge Base or FAQ page.
- Pre-written greetings that reassure customers that the staff is working to remedy the problem.
- Pre-written responses to frequently asked customer queries and greetings
- Obtaining consumer information (such as account numbers) in order to populate future forms
- Prompts to reset your password
- Account Validation
- Basic troubleshooting techniques
- Directing tickets to the appropriate agents
As more organizations recognize the obvious benefits of automation, they look into the following resources to improve the customer experience:
Chatbots are becoming increasingly popular in customer support; you can select solutions of varied sophistication—from answering regular questions like upcoming deliveries, balances due, order status, and other information.
Contact centers are increasingly relying on advanced omnichannel agent-assisted AI technology to analyze customer communications and interpret issues; they may swiftly search for and display knowledge articles for an agent while the agent is engaging with the customer. This saves both the agent and the customer time.
Self-service is an excellent approach for clients to find the help they require without the assistance of a customer service representative. Customers would like to undertake their own research and solve problems provided the process is well-designed and provides them with the necessary tools and knowledge.
Automation of robotic processes
Robotic process automation (RPA) is a hot technology that automates a variety of simple processes that previously required the participation of an agent. Bots can now update information, manage issues, and remind consumers of useful new resources, sales, and programs that are relevant to their interests. RPA has demonstrated its ability to significantly reduce costs while increasing efficiency and shortening processing time.
Learning by machine
Machine learning (ML) is important to processing and interpreting huge data streams in order to acquire actionable insights. In customer service, ML can give agents with predictive analytics that detect common inquiries and responses. It can also serve as a reminder to an agent of lost opportunities or important new information. In addition, ML can help chatbots and other AI tools apply results to a scenario and enhance self-service problem-solving.
Natural language understanding
NLP is frequently used in customer service AI to evaluate client comments and derive helpful insights. NLP is used by customer care employees to comprehend client feedback and interactions across multiple channels, including phone, email, chat, and SMS. Today, NLP eliminates time-consuming redundancies to improve customer satisfaction.
Automation of IVR
IVR (Interactive Voice Response) systems have been used to automate simple transactions for decades. However, AI is increasingly being employed to handle duties in new, conversational IVR systems. New IVR can employ voice biometrics to validate users and NLP to describe what needs to happen to the IVR system. The conversational customer experience (CX) is therefore simplified.
Sentiment analysis and advanced analytics
Sentiment analysis registers and recognizes a client’s emotional tone, and it is becoming a customer service metric. The utility is identifying a potentially irate client and informing a team leader or agent to intervene and de-escalate the issue.
Because of the COVID-19 epidemic and employees working remotely, training teams turned to artificial intelligence (AI) for simulations that measure employee competence to handle a variety of situations. This replaces traditional training methods such as classroom instruction, self-paced learning, and final assessment.
Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri, for example, offer a new degree of personalized service. Customers like it when a company communicates with them on their preferred platform, which could be their smart home device or smart speaker.
Enhancing the customer service automation system
If you’re considering customer service automation, think about where the effort will have the most impact and provide the most benefits. There may be a clear need in one area. Perhaps the number of people waiting on phone lines outnumbers the number of emails in your mailbox.
That’s a clue you might need an IVR system. People are accustomed to “Alexa-level” responses and intelligence, therefore consider omnichannel. If individuals avoid using your online chat service, it may need to be improved.
This is why it’s critical to select a platform with great functionality and responsiveness. Keep in mind that your software should be robust enough to keep up with changes as you identify the best approach to incorporate it into your company’s workflow.
Assume you’ve installed a powerful AI chatbot on your website. An integrated customer service platform enables your agents to effortlessly migrate to wherever the need for automated customer support is greatest. What aspects of customer service should be automated? Your first line of defense is your automated customer service software. What are the high-volume, easy tasks that your customer service agents spend most of their time on?