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Understanding Automation as a Service (AaaS): Definition, Benefits, and Use Cases

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July 21, 2023
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 min read
Jonathan Sidor

Ineffective operations aren’t just frustrating. They can have a direct, negative effect on your bottom line. US companies lose $1.8T a year because employees waste time on repetitive tasks that could have been automated. 

To combat this inefficiency, leading ecommerce players are turning to automation to handle recurring work. In fact, a new model has emerged to help businesses manage these wasteful activities — automation as a service (AaaS). 

What is AaaS, and how can businesses take advantage of this digital transformation? Check out our guide to find out.

What is automation as a service?

Automation as a service (AaaS) is a software delivery model in which automation technology is provided to companies through on-demand, web-based solutions. As a form of software as a service (SaaS), AaaS allows companies to streamline operations, reduce costs, and improve efficiency without the need to create an in-house platform.

AaaS is closely linked to robotic process automation (RPA), which is any process automation that uses AI software to automate digital tasks.

The end goal of AaaS technology is to help businesses scale. With a flexible, custom-built solution by their side, ecommerce businesses can grow without being held back by the countless recurring actions that would otherwise need to be handled manually.

Artificial intelligence (AI) chatbots are one of the most common and effective forms of AaaS. We know what you’re thinking — chatbots are only used in customer service. While that’s certainly one area they shine, they can positively impact many parts of your business.

Where can businesses leverage automation as a service?

Thanks to their wide reach, AaaS chatbots can help out nearly every department. Here are the places where service providers are helping out companies the most:

1. Customer service

Capable of resolving up to 95% of customer questions, AI-powered chatbots can instantly handle the most common queries your users are asking.

And a higher level of self-service can greatly enhance your customer experience (CX). Chatbots deliver answers with speed, accuracy, and availability that human reps can’t match. Naturally, this boosts customer satisfaction and leaves more users walking away happy — 80% of customers who interact with chatbots have a positive experience.

80 percent of customers who interact with chatbots have a positive experience
Source: Uberall
2. Multilingual capabilities

Automation services can remove the biggest pain points tied to serving a multilingual or international customer base. Instead of relying on costly, sprawling call centers, businesses can exchange them for a scalable support solution. 

AI chatbots currently help teams offer support in over 175 languages, highlighting that it doesn’t take a global workforce to cater to a global audience. With AaaS doing the heavy lifting, businesses can easily reach out to customers in their preferred language.

Get up to speed on automation’s role in customer service with our free ebook, An Introduction to AI in Customer Service.
3. Ongoing quality assurance

AaaS doesn’t stop at responding to customer questions. Chatbots are a powerful solution for gathering and analyzing actionable customer feedback. 

Manually collecting your shoppers’ comments and complaints is slow and tedious. With automation software at the helm, teams can quickly spot if things are working how they should or if the website, product, or business processes could be improved in any way. 

AaaS also makes it easier to track your QA metrics and promote real-time, data-driven decisions. You can go so far as to automate A/B tests that let you effortlessly create, launch, and monitor experiments based on predefined goals.

4. Sales

Haphazard cold calling is so two thousand and late.

Automation-as-a-service software can help your sales department get with the times by handling every step of the sales cycle end-to-end: from initial outreach all the way to conversion. 

With automated workflows, AaaS tools are capable of guiding shoppers through the customer journey. They can send out proactive messages to prevent cart abandonment, detect buying intent, and even craft personalized product recommendations in the form of interactive carousels. 

5. Marketing 

AaaS software’s presence in your marketing activities can be far-reaching.

AI chatbots can be employed to promote exclusive deals, offer discounts, and recommend products more relevant to shoppers based on their purchase history.

These platforms let you communicate with confidence, checking your spelling, fixing grammar mistakes, and translating messages whenever needed.

Generative AI tools can take marketing automation up a notch by crafting unique, on-brand messages that maintain your business’s tone and style across all your communication channels. 

Benefits of automation as a service

Going with the AaaS model can yield businesses a number of key benefits:

1. Greater efficiency

AaaS gives companies more of their most precious resource — time. Organizations don’t have to waste valuable minutes setting reminders, following paper trails, or working to optimize each step in a process. 

With automation tools up and running in the background, teams can instantly see an uptick in efficiency.  And these time savings are crucial in departments like customer service, where 75% of agents are at risk of burning out. 

75 percent of customer support agents are at risk of burning out
To learn more tips to improve your time management in customer service, check out our Mastering the Art of Time Management blog post.
2. Reduced costs

AaaS doesn’t just save companies time. By handling repetitive tasks, automation-as-a-service technology can greatly reduce a business’s costs.

Take customer service. Process automation reduces a support team’s costs by up to 50%. Free from repetitive work, agents can now accomplish more using the same amount of resources, if not less. Teams also streamline their business processes, eliminate human error, and are able to scale without facing added hiring pressure.

3. Boosted customer satisfaction

Customers will appreciate automation as well. Embracing automation typically bumps customer satisfaction scores up to almost 90%

Why? For one, automation platforms can instantly elevate your most important metrics. Customer service chatbots, for instance, can simultaneously lower resolution times, response times, and handling times.

But it’s not just about faster interactions. The personalization options that AaaS unlocks mean customers get to enjoy an enhanced experience too.  With customized responses and tailored product suggestions, each customer can access white-glove service that, while powered by AI, still feels human.

AaaS use case: How Tropicfeel harnessed automation

Tropicfeel is an ecommerce startup in sustainable travel apparel and accessories. Rapid sales growth brought their customer support team an increasingly higher volume of support tickets, but hiring new agents wasn’t a sustainable option on their tight budget.

Enter Zowie, an AaaS solution built for ecommerce brands looking to automate their customer service. Now equipped with an AI chatbot, Tropicfeel enjoys out-of-the-box automations of their most repetitive customer questions. Agents are free to focus on cases that require their assistance, and the whole team gets a budget-friendly AaaS experience that relieves hiring pressure.

AaaS software has brought Tropicfeel the following results:

  • Chats fully resolved without involving an agent: 48%
  • Annual growth rate: 2x
  • Additional support agents hired: 0
A quote from Dalma Szucs of Tropicfeel

Access untapped growth with automation

Just like SaaS decades before, automation as a service is fast becoming the standard for companies that do their business online. 

Automation’s ability to unlock efficiency means one thing: companies that leverage AaaS will gain a sustainable competitive advantage, while those that don’t will only fall behind. 

If you’re curious about AaaS, customer service automation is a great place to start. AI platforms like Zowie are built for businesses looking to maximize efficiency and unlock their revenue-generating potential.

Book a demo with Zowie to see how far AaaS can take you