Automation is transforming the overall course of customer support. Automated AI works alongside human agents to provide convenient and quick support. Automated support usually involves a self-service help center, chatbots, or other such artificial intelligence features. It enables you to provide 24*7 support and helps reduce the cost of human support. Automation helps assist the support agents as well.
On the contrary, in 2013, Paul Graham said, “Do things that don’t scale.” Since then, this line has become a rallying cry for brands and businesses to stay human rather than automate.
So the question goes: is it true?
There is no simple answer to this except yes and no.
Automated support is surely becoming a critical driver of a good brand image. It drives customer loyalty. Brands are equally praised for the exceptional customer service they provide and are chastised if they fail to deliver. But, providing automation does not necessarily require a hefty investment, and it does not mean that you automate every aspect of your support.
The real problem with customer service automation is the over-reliance of companies on automated technologies. Certainly, it is inefficient to approach automated support with a ‘set it and forget it’ notion. Unchecked autoresponders and chatbots can land your company in trouble and rob you of a meaningful customer relationship. It is important to analyze your customer support requirements and implement automation wherever it seems feasible.
Hence, we thought it would be a good idea to get a real sense of where customer service automation is headed. And this is exactly what we’re going to talk about in this guide. Discover how you can introduce automated customer service without hefty investments and get the most out of it.
Automated Support: A Brief
Customer service automation refers to any type of customer service that uses automation tools to resolve customer issues and queries. It simplifies the customer experience and gives support agents the time to focus on important- meaningful customer communication.
Virtual assistants such as chatbots are pretty popular and use a pre-defined set of rules to help customers. This enables them to solve problems quickly. It taps into people’s growing preference for text-driven systems and voice-driven support. Some popular automation features are smart ticket assignments, automated follow-ups, chatbots, canned responses, a self-service portal, and automated feedback.
Automation Market: Global Trends and Statistics
According to a survey, 30% of consumers agree that the most frustrating part of bad customer service is not being able to reach the agent. Also, 37% of customers report using an online virtual agent or chatbot from a website. Nearly these many customers have used a virtual medium or chatbot on a smartphone.
As of 2020, 31.7% of companies have invested in AI-powered tools for customer service.
78% of customers expect customer support agents to know their contact and product information already. Globally the customer support automation market is witnessing robust growth. It minimizes repetitive tasks for the agents. According to a Microsoft survey, 77% of consumers have used a self-service support portal for solving their queries.
Following is a brief overview of what top executives think of Artificial Intelligence.
According to IT and the Boston Consulting Group research, it was found that 84% of executives agree that AI will enable them to gain a competitive advantage in the future market.
In the same survey, 75% believe that AI will easily allow companies to move into new ventures.
63% agree that the pressure of cost reduction will lead organizations to use AI in the next five years.
According to another study by the PwC, 54% of executives state that AI solutions are already helping them increase their productivity.
65% of executives believe that by 2022, AI would free the employees from manual tasks completely.
72% of decision-makers point out that AI enables agents to focus on more meaningful work.
According to another survey, 30% of US consumers rate chatbot interactions as “very effective.” It reduces the level one support and minimizes support costs. It provides transparency, enhances productivity, and improves the consumer experience.
And only 12% of Americans say they cannot find the information they need in self-service portals. Over half of customers state that the main reason they’re not able to resolve an issue is that there is too little information online.
Benefits of Automated Support System
As we saw in the above section how the automated customer service sector is booming, here we explore the key benefits of customer service automation.
1. 24*7 Support
The key benefit of automation is that it enables you to provide customer service round the clock. All this regardless of your customer’s location, circumstances, or time zones. Live agent support is often constrained by the center’s working hours.
But, automation tools allow customers to rapidly find answers to simple queries without having to contact center agents. This is one of the reasons why automation is particularly used to handle frequently asked questions. It frees up the agents’ time and enables them to focus on solving complex queries.
2. Lower Operational Costs
Automation drastically reduces operational costs and improves efficiency. It also helps you save on channel costs by providing alternative low-cost channels.
For example, voice support can be expensive as it requires a live agent’s attention. And surely you don’t want your agents to solve repetitive queries and waste time. Hence, companies can implement chatbots which help save on channel costs and free up agents to handle a higher volume of requests.
3. Time and Efficiency
Automation helps you handle queries rapidly and execute difficult manual tasks easily. This frees up time for human agents so that they can handle more strategic tasks and complex customer queries.
Automation also allows customers to get the answer they need quickly. All this with little to no effort from their end. This is important considering that customers want solutions quickly and that respect for people’s time is considered one of the most important factors in providing a positive customer experience.
4. Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty
Some key aspects of providing customer satisfaction are faster response time, shorter resolution time, and consistent support across multiple touchpoints. These automation outcomes provide a positive customer service experience and keep your customers satisfied.
Automation tools like chatbots alleviate pressure on overloaded agents by automating customer interactions over their preferred channels. Your automation tools can take care of the high-volume, low-value queries. This leaves more fulfilling and meaningful tasks for your agents.
Automation tool integration like cloud contact center gives agents a unified view of customer data, conversation history, and so on. This improves your in-team collaboration and helps resolve queries quickly.
Customer service automation tools allow you to provide personalized customer service at scale. It makes it easy to test, measure, and learn so that you can continually optimize your customer service experiences.
How to Implement Automated Support System For Your Organization
Different channels call for different types of tools for implementing automation. With such a broad-ranging selection, everything depends on the channel that you want to automate. So, let’s break down five popular ways on how to automate customer support.
1. Put Together a Comprehensive Knowledge Base
Customer service automation can help clients seek answers by themselves. A knowledge base cannot be referred to as an automation tool itself. But, it surely reduces the support agents’ work. When the customer lands on your website, they might want solutions at lightning speed. Providing a self-service knowledge base reduces the burden on the support department and boosts customer satisfaction.
DeskXpand Knowledge Base
The primary objective of the knowledge base is its site-wide visibility. Visitors can access the knowledge base around the clock from all locations. You can place an easy-to-see widget that redirects to your online library on every page of your website. This way, customers can access it easily regardless of whatever page they’re on.
You also can place a CTA saying ‘I need help’ anywhere on your website that you think would be useful for your customer. Make sure all the links work fine, and customers get redirected to relevant solutions. Trigger the right prompts on your website and save a tremendous amount of time for both customers and agents. You can also group, categorize and sub-categorize your articles to maintain a smooth flow of information.
2. Automated Ticketing
Dive deeper into automation with the help of automated ticketing. You can automate processes like workflows, ticket import and assignment, Service Level Agreements, ticket status updating, notifications, escalations, and many more processes. Automation also reduces the physical interaction of customers with the support agents and technical staff and limits it to just the complex and unusual tickets.
You can automate the ticket assigning process and redirect it to the appropriate agent. By adopting such an approach, you can make your customer service exceptional. Make sure that the client queries are transferred automatically to a department that specializes in that area. Set up various flyers and categories to de-clutter our pile of incoming customer queries.
Speaking of automated ticketing software, DeskXPand is now available with its latest automated features. It lets you add a comprehensive knowledge base and is rich with automated ticketing features. Opt for DeskXpand and let your customers enjoy impeccable and fast service. Take a free trial and know yourself.
3. Integrate Canned Responses
Live chat is an efficient tool for a thriving business. It helps you handle several conversations without having to type a lot of text. Yes, with canned responses, this is perfectly possible. Canned responses simply refer to pre-saved or pre-formatted text for future use.
Such messages serve as a quick reply and save much more time for your agents. It saves the support reps from typing repetitive answers time and again. Besides, they reduce typos and help the customer support agents disperse stress.
However, canned responses may still sound robotic. Hence, it is important that the canned responses sound human enough. It is up to your agents to decide how to tweak them in a human manner.
Below mentioned are some of the situations where canned responses make sense:
- Greeting email and notification
- While ending the customer chat
- When agents want to ask for further details
- When the agents want to clarify your understanding of a question
- While transferring to another live chat agent
- While talking about features in-detail
4. Chatbots for Your Website
Implementing an automated support system with the help of chatbots is trending these days. They make it much easier for customers to get answers on the fly. This discourages the customers from raising issues on social media, automated phone systems, or communicating via emails.
In case of complex queries, chatbots help you keep the customers engaged until an agent takes over. Chatbots can also help study visitor behavior, find out what pages were seen, and find out the overall time spent on a website. Before you start a conversation with the customer, you can gather this user data and serve a personalized experience to your customers.
A chatbot studies an issue and automatically routes it to an appropriate team. These chatbots can analyze conversations between customer support agents and clients. Based on this information, they learn how to imitate service agents and try to field the same questions.
5. Leave Your Follow Up On Autopilot
You can leave the follow-up part of your customer service on automation tools as well. For instance, if a customer did not read a message in a chat, you can send a follow-up message using the ‘Resend if unseen’ feature.
You can also gather feedback without manual intervention by a variety of methods:
To find out if the client is pleased with your services, you can implement short slider polls that pop up on a site. You can also go with longer, conventional surveys. Include open-ended and thoughtful questions to get a truer insight into your customer service.
Email and Contact Forms:
You can gather candid feedback by implementing automated emails. You can do this by following practices, such as sending personalized responses.
Social media can be a win-win tool for any brand. You can create a survey with a built-in poll, integrate it with your Instagram account, and see how it goes.
Future of Customer Support: AI + Human Support Agents
According to a survey by Salesforce, AI-powered customer service is increasing global revenue and is expected to create 800,000 net new jobs. For CRM solutions, AI has the potential to increase global business revenue by $1.1 trillion.
A report from Juniper Research states that by 2022, businesses will save approximately $8 billion annually. There is also a massive jump in cost savings of about $20 million. In the healthcare and banking industry, chatbot automation is likely to save around 70 cents per customer interaction.
Chatbots also help reduce the average handling times by addressing certain inquiries without having to involve a human agent. Faster handling times also translates to potentially huge savings. The following automation statistics will give you a clear idea about where the future of customer support automation is headed.
- A Deloitte study involving 450 contact centers from different industries found that 56% of tech firms are planning to implement AI-powered customer support technology.
- A report from McKinsey states that 29% of customer service agent duties have the potential to transform into automated technology. As applications of automation become more widespread, customer service agents can free up time to tackle other duties.
- Chatbots can handle up to 80% of queries and has the potential to resolve 8 out of 10 common customer inquiries, but companies ought not to depend on it completely.
- Chatbots magazine states that AI-powered chatbots save businesses up to 30% on customer service costs.
Embrace the Future of Automated Support System with DeskXpand
Automation is a cornerstone of customer service for modern companies. Your customer support automation should start with choosing the right software that meets your business requirements. An ideal automated support system helps you reduce laborious manual tasks, simplify your work, and lower your support costs. DeskXpand is one such fully automated support system that caters to all the customer support needs from small to large businesses.
DeskXpand’s automated ticketing system provides built-in automation functionalities that will do away with all your redundant tasks. The admin can automate well-orchestrated support workflows, tickets as well as responses.
It is built by functional experts and developers with certifications in their respective fields. We are an ISO27001 certified portal development company with 14+ years of development experience. We build products that you can customize according to your present and future needs. Sign up for your free trial now!