For many of us, customer service automation used to mean nothing more than setting up a chatbot on your website to shield agents from customers. It was a simple widget that could only answer basic questions — often poorly.
But today, effective automation is much more than installing a chatbot. Leading platforms are revamping entire customer service departments by essentially adding another member to any support team. These solutions are always on, allowing brands to deliver instant, 24/7 support across the globe.
ChatGPT has demonstrated how powerful artificial intelligence can be. At this stage, applying AI to customer service is vital for anyone looking to keep up with leaders in the field. The technology behind customer service automation has advanced by leaps and bounds in recent years, and it’ll only continue to get more impressive.
How is automation currently empowering businesses to deliver superior experiences? Read on to learn five ways automation is elevating customer service right now.
5 ways automation enhances customer service
1. Removes ticket backlog
Relying solely on human agents to handle customer queries is a formidable challenge for even the most qualified support teams. Automation is a surefire way to bring any customer service department a major benefit — efficiency.
Instead of customers having to wait for a representative to address their issues, they can turn to a virtual assistant that answers the bulk of their questions in a matter of seconds. Not only do customers see shorter waits, but agents aren’t burdened with a never-ending queue. AI tools handle a company’s most repetitive questions, so agents are free to focus on more urgent cases that require their expertise.
Traditionally, businesses didn’t have this option. As they grew and saw an uptick in support tickets, they’d need to seek out relief by either hiring additional agents or outsourcing their support. The former path is often costly, while the latter frequently leads to poor customer experiences.
Automation tools give companies the best of both worlds — a cost-effective solution that boosts productivity without sacrificing outstanding service.
2. Improves support metrics
Previously, customer service departments viewed automation as a last resort. They feared it would harm the customer experience, lead to substandard metrics, and strip them of the personality and voice they worked so hard to create.
Today’s leading automation solutions, however, optimize support metrics across the board. Shorter wait times, personalized exchanges, and more accurate answers contribute to increased CSAT and NPS scores, as agents have the breathing room to dedicate the appropriate time to each customer.
Furthermore, today’s automation solutions are fully customizable, providing businesses with another means to strengthen their brand voice.
3. Allows you to make better-informed decisions
Assisting customers and agents is one thing, but automation platforms also perform various tasks behind the scenes that benefit the entire organization.
For instance, the AI that powers your automation solution can collect customer feedback and spot trends in your chatbot’s performance. You’ll learn which automations are the most effective and which customer pain points aren’t getting addressed. This brings brands closer to the voice of their customer, letting them act on feedback much faster than before.
And this feedback isn’t limited to your customer service department. AI tools pick up on all kinds of customer comments, so your sales, marketing, and production teams gain valuable insights as well.
4. Integrates seamlessly with your tech stack
Customer support professionals commonly worry that automation requires a high degree of technical acumen. While the automation tools of yesterday may have demanded complex coding and hours of IT support, today’s top choices couldn’t be simpler to set up.
Leading providers offer plug-and-play solutions ready to be integrated into any existing tech stack. Onboarding is a breeze, with companies needing as little as three hours to achieve meaningful automation rates.
Better still, most customer service automation software is 100% no-code and demands little maintenance to continue performing at a high level. Service teams can even implement automation recommendations in just a few clicks to further boost productivity with unmatched ease.
5. Drives sales
Modern automation solutions have the potential to generate sales thanks to several built-in features. With proactive chat, for instance, a virtual assistant has the ability to reach out to customers at critical moments along the customer journey to maximize their chances of finalizing a purchase.
If the chatbot can’t fully resolve an issue, it still knows what to do.
It connects customers with a product expert — one who’s no longer overloaded with repetitive questions. These specialists are knowledgeable enough to address any outstanding issues and guide customers all the way through to checkout.
Automation lets agents put their customer expertise to use and generate support-driven sales.
Much more than a chatbot
Automation doesn’t stop with adding a chat widget to your site. It supercharges your support team with an extra agent that’s always available, delivering instant support worldwide.
To see why automation is the best way to future-proof your customer support team, read The Customer Service Automation Handbook for Online Businesses. It details how leading solutions like Zowie free up agents, delight customers, and boost revenues all at once.