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Customer service automation

What is customer service automation? [A detailed guide]

Key Takeaways
  • Customer service automation enhances operational efficiency by handling repetitive tasks and providing quick, round-the-clock responses.
  • While automation brings numerous benefits, maintaining human empathy in customer interactions remains crucial.
  • Advanced automated customer service software allows for high levels of customization and personalization, creating a more engaging experience.
  • Salesmate CRM offers an integrated customer ticketing tool that streamlines customer support issue resolution and SLA management.

Every second a customer has to wait increases the likelihood of losing them to a faster competitor.

Your customers want their requests, issues, and concerns addressed within seconds, which is why businesses are investing in automated customer service.

Gartner research reveals that 79% of businesses consider automation tools crucial to their customer service strategy. 

Automated customer service provides a solution by offering instant support, reducing costs, and improving service quality.   

This blog covers the advantages of customer service automation, the best examples, and the solutions leading businesses use. 

Let’s begin with a simple automated customer service definition. 

What is customer service automation? 

Customer service automation involves using automated systems and AI technologies to handle customer service tasks with minimal or no human intervention.

For example, when you order from Amazon and encounter an issue with your order, like tracking a package or requesting a return, you likely interact with their virtual assistant.

This system provides information or guides you through the process without waiting for a human support agent. This is a simple example of how businesses use automation in customer service.

By automating customer service, businesses can speed up responses, reduce the workload on human support agents, and enhance the customer experience.

What are the advantages of automated customer service? 

There are numerous benefits of automated customer service, from saving your reps time and making them productive to being a cost-saving solution for businesses.

Benefits of using automated customer service system

Let’s explore all the key customer service automation benefits to the business. 

24/7 Availability for customers  

With a Chatbot integrated into your website or business platform, you can provide round-the-clock support, ensuring your customers receive assistance anytime, anywhere.  

This becomes important when you are running a business at a global level with customers in different time zones. 

Cost saver  

A customer service automation platform can save you money by automating repetitive tasks. It allows you to provide great customer service with a smaller team and reduced costs. 

Improve speed and efficiency 

Automated customer service experience platforms can handle multiple queries simultaneously and complete routine tasks in seconds that might take a human much longer.  

An AI-powered issue classification and automated routing increase an agent’s productivity by 1.2 hours

Hence, customer service and support automation can significantly help in retaining your customers with quick issue resolution. 

Consistency and accuracy 

Customer service automation ensures consistency in all customer interactions, maintaining a uniform tone and level of service regardless of when or how customers contact the brand. This helps build trust and reliability in the brand. 

Support scalability 

As your business grows, automation can scale to handle increased customer volumes without compromising service quality. This enables companies to expand their support capabilities without any hassle. 

Boost customer satisfaction 

Automated support software can provide instant answers and personalized customer service interactions, such as product recommendations based on customer preferences.

Such a level of fast responses and quick resolution makes customers happy and loyal.  

Provide valuable insights 

Customer service automation solutions collect and analyze past interaction data, giving valuable insights into customer behavior, preferences, and pain points.  

These insights can inform strategies to improve customer service and overall business operations. 

Let’s move to understanding the functioning of customer service automation. 

How does automated customer service work? 

You can manage your customer service workflows on autopilot tasks with automated customer service solutions.

Let’s understand how customer service automation tools operate with an example: 

Suppose a customer has an issue with a software application they purchased.

Here’s how automated customer service can resolve it: 

  • The customer will visit the support page on your website to get assistance with the issue.
  • Your AI Chatbot will assist them by asking them to describe the issue with a series of questions.
  • The Chatbot detects the “installation issue” keyword and directs the customer to related customer service guides in your knowledge base.
  • The support guides will suggest standard solutions, such as checking system requirements and ensuring that antivirus software is not blocking the installation.
  • If the customer’s issue persists, the Chatbot prompts them to fill out a form for further assistance.
  • Then, the ticketing system sends an automated email confirming a support ticket.
  • A support agent reviews the ticket the next day and offers advanced troubleshooting steps without requiring the customer to repeat themselves.

The above is a simple journey of how automated support tools such as Chatbots and ticketing software can streamline customer issue management.

Deliver excellent customer support experience!

Deliver excellent customer support experience!

A smart ticketing and SLA management system is all you need to resolve customer issues quickly and improve the CX experience!

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Depending upon what part of customer service you want to be automated, there are numerous examples of automated support tools, as discussed next. 

What are the best automated customer service examples? 

Here are some of the best examples of automated customer service solutions that businesses are using extensively:

Examples of automated customer service

1. Chatbots and Chat Journeys 

Automated Chatbot is a software application that uses AI and NLP(Natural Language Processing) to interact with people through text or voice.

These AI-powered bots can manage various business tasks, from answering common queries to guiding customers through troubleshooting steps. 

They can even pull customer details from your CRM to provide personalized customer service automated responses. 

Another is automated Chat Journeys, which help create a series of interactions, ensuring customers find what they need: product information, troubleshooting advice, or order status updates. 

Further, knowledge bases and self-service portals enable customers to find answers to common questions and issues through FAQs and detailed guides without direct human interaction.

2. Interactive voice response (IVR) system 

When you call your bank, a recorded voice asks you to say or press numbers to check for some standard request options; that’s an IVR system in action.

IVR systems let customers interact via voice commands or keypad inputs to route calls, provide information, and even process transactions.

3. Automated ticketing system 

Automated ticketing systems will help you organize support tickets, categorize them, and route them to the appropriate agents for faster resolution.

Salesmate’s ticketing solution enables support teams to manage customer requests and SLAs effectively. Here’s the list of 17 Best ticketing systems for 2024.

4. Workflows 

A customer service team handles various tasks, including:

  • Responding to inquiries
  • Processing orders
  • Fixing technical issues
  • Providing information on products and services
  • Managing complaints
  • Collecting feedback to improve customer satisfaction

For instance, responding with automated emails to handle routine inquiries and notify customers of known issues, such as shipping delays and system outages.

Also, you set automated text messages to send friendly reminders, follow-ups, or notifications about service updates.

With smart support automated systems, you can send these messages to keep customers informed and engaged, enhancing their overall experience with your brand. 

5. Automatic translation for global support 

Automated translation tools help businesses provide customer support in multiple languages to a diverse, international customer base. By eliminating language barriers, support teams can expand their reach and effectiveness. 

Want to deliver great customer experience?

Want to deliver great customer experience?

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What are the best customer service automation software? 

Here’s an overview of some of the best automated customer service tools, including their key features and pricing: 

1. Salesmate 

Salesmate customer service automation platform

Salesmate is an all-in-one CRM and customer service automation platform for managing support processes for businesses of all sizes.

You can use Chat Journeys to create a series of automated responses to handle customer support queries 24/7. You can also set Workflow Automation to automate customer service tasks and set automated reminders/notifications based on triggers/conditions.

It has robust ticketing software for creating and managing tickets efficiently. Further, the SLA management allows teams to set and achieve high service standards and prioritize service requests.

Reports will help you get insights to prioritize high-priority resources and your team’s performance in delivering customer support.

It offers customization, transparency, and real-time tracking for enhanced customer satisfaction.

The software integrates seamlessly with other Salesmate CRM features like contact management, pipeline management, and automation, making it ideal for comprehensive software to manage the entire business lifecycle.

Key features for customer service teams

  • Omnichannel communication with Built-in Calling, email, and text messaging
  • Chat Journeys for 24/7 Chatbot for instant support
  • Canned responses to quick replies to FAQs
  • Team Inbox for seamless team collaboration
  • Workflow Automation to handle repetitive tasks
  • Email and text Sequences for automated responses and follow-ups

Pricing

Basic – $23/user/month 

Pro – $39/user/month 

Business – $63/user/month 

Enterprise – Custom pricing  

Looking to boost your customer support efficiency?

Looking to boost your customer support efficiency?

Salesmate CRM offers a ticket management system to manage all customer queries effortlessly.

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2. Intercom 

Intercom support automation tool

Intercom offers support automation to enhance customer service efficiency by automating all the repetitive tasks, reducing human error, and providing proactive support.

It integrates AI Chatbots for instant resolutions, automates ticketing systems, and optimizes workflows with a visual builder.

All these tools help boost productivity, optimize resources, improve customer experiences, and allow teams to focus on complex issues.

Best features

  • Live chat and messaging 
  • Automated workflows 
  • Custom bots 
  • Customer data integration 

Pricing

Essential – $39 per seat/month

Advanced – $99 per seat/month

Expert – $139 per seat/month

3. Gladly 

Gladly automated customer service tool

Gladly is the best automated customer service with AI integration to offer personalized, unified customer interactions across channels.

Unlike traditional ticket-based systems, Gladly organizes interactions by the customer, making it easier for agents to provide personalized support.

Best features

  • Multi-channel communication
  • Real-time customer profiles
  • Proactive self-service
  • IVR and voice integration 
  • AI-powered tools
  • Real-time reporting 

Pricing

Hero package – $180/month

Superhero package – $210/month

4. Freshdesk 

Freshdesk Cloud-based customer service automation platform

Freshdesk is a cloud-based customer service automation platform that helps businesses streamline their support operations.

The automation workflows enable support teams to automate repetitive tasks, such as customer onboarding, ticket assignments, follow-up emails, etc., improving efficiency.

With its AI-powered Chatbot, multi-channel support, and comprehensive reporting capabilities, Freshdesk is a great automated customer service experience solution.

Additionally, it supports collaboration tools, allowing teams to work together on complex issues.

Best features

  • AI Chatbot
  • Automated ticket routing
  • Customizable workflows
  • Self-service options

Pricing

Free plan available 

Growth – $15/agent/month 

Improve support team efficiency with Salesmate!

Improve support team efficiency with Salesmate!

The robust ticketing and SLA management tools enable your team to handle queries efficiently, thus increasing productivity.

Start your free trial

 5. NICE Xone 

NICE CXone automated customer service system

NICE CXone is an advanced automated customer service system that lets you manage and optimize customer interactions across multiple channels.

The platform offers an AI-driven Chatbot, automated ticketing, and self-service options to improve customer service efficiency and enhance customer experiences.

Its workforce optimization tools help businesses manage their support teams effectively, maximizing productivity. Real-time insights provide valuable data on customer interactions, assisting companies to improve their service strategies.

With its powerful features and focus on AI-driven efficiency, NICE Xone’s support automation benefits enterprises in optimizing their customer service processes.  

Best features

  • Omnichannel routing
  • AI-powered automation
  • Self-service options
  • Workforce engagement management
  • Advanced analytics

Pricing

Interaction Orchestration Plans:

  • Digital Agent – $71 per agent/month
  • Voice Agent – $94 per agent/month
  • Omnichannel Agent – $110 per agent/month

Orchestration, Optimization, and Analytics Plans:

  • Essential Suite – $135 per agent/month
  • Core Suite – $169 per agent/month
  • Complete Suite – $209 per agent/month

CXone Mpower – $249/month

6. Salesforce Service Cloud

Salesforce customer service automation system

Salesforce offers the best customer service automation system with AI integration to enhance efficiency and personalize customer interactions.

The robust features that can help to streamline support tasks include automated workflows, unified data handling, robotic process automation, and service AI for intelligent case management and dispatch.

These tools streamline tasks, improve productivity, and provide consistent, high-quality support experiences.

Best features

  • AI-driven automation
  • Unified data handling
  • Robotic process automation
  • Intelligent case management

Pricing

Starter Suite – $25/user/month

Professional – $80/user/month

Enterprise – $165/user/month

Unlimited – $330/user/month

Einstein 1 Service – $500/user/month

7. TeamSupport 

TeamSupport customer service automation software

TeamSupport is one of the leading customer service automation software as per top software review sites.

It features professional ticketing, live chat, AI-powered automation, and robust integrations with platforms like Salesforce and Jira.

The software helps teams consolidate communication channels, reduce resolution times, collaborate effectively, and gain valuable customer insights, all within an intuitive dashboard.

Best features

Pricing

Chat Support – $29/user/month 

Essential Support – $35/user/month 

Professional Support – $49/user/month 

Enterprise Support – Contact

Each platform brings unique strengths to your customer service teams. Discover your needs and explore each tool to determine which customer service automation platform is the best solution for you.

Ensure no customer query gets a delayed response!

Ensure no customer query gets a delayed response!

With Salesmate, you can create automated chat journeys to assist with and resolve the most frequently asked queries.

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How to implement customer service automation to boost CX – Best practices! 

Automating your customer service can save a lot of time and boost productivity. Here are the best practices for implementing customer service automation successfully.

1. Identify key areas for automation 

First, look at your current customer service workflow and identify all the repetitive tasks that you can automate.

The most common support tasks that can be automated are:

  • Greeting customers
  • Collecting data
  • Basic troubleshooting
  • Password resets
  • Routing tickets

By automating these routine tasks, you can reduce the burden on your support staff and improve response times significantly.

2. Implement AI-powered Chatbots 

An AI Chatbot can be your best automated customer service representative to simultaneously handle too many customer inquiries, providing instant canned responses to common questions

AI bots use NLP(Natural Language Processing) to correctly understand and respond to customer queries. You can also integrate the Chatbot with your knowledge base to deliver accurate and helpful information.

3. Utilize self-service options 

Give your customers the power to find answers independently through well-organized knowledge bases, FAQs, and community forums.

Self-service portals allow customers to resolve issues at their convenience, reducing the need for direct interaction with support agents. This enhances customer satisfaction and reduces the overall volume of support tickets.

4. Omnichannel support integration 

Ensure your automated systems are integrated across all customer communication channels—email, social media, live chat, and phone. This approach provides a seamless and consistent customer experience.

5. Personalize customer interactions 

Customer service automation solutions integrated with CRM are great because they analyze past interactions to offer personalized recommendations and solutions.

This level of personalized suggestions makes your customers feel valued and understood, establishing customer loyalty and satisfaction.

Interesting read: Wondering if a CRM can be used as a support system?

6. Automate reporting and analytics 

Automated systems can generate detailed reports and analytics, providing insights into customer behavior, common issues, and overall performance. These insights help make data-driven decisions to enhance the customer service experience.

7. Ensure easy access to human support 

Some complex issues require human agents to assist, so ensure your automated systems can seamlessly hand over to human agents when necessary. This hybrid approach (automation + human support) balances efficiency with the personal touch some customers may need. 

8. Continuously refine workflows 

Monitor your automation processes to ensure optimal performance. Encourage customers to rate their experiences and provide feedback after interactions.

Use this feedback to refine your automated processes and continuously improve customer satisfaction. 

9. Train your support team effectively 

Provide comprehensive training for your support agents on using and managing automated systems. This includes understanding how to intervene when automation fails and handling complex issues requiring a human touch.

Ongoing training helps maintain high service standards and empowers agents to use automation effectively. 

10. Collect and act on customer feedback 

Gather and analyze customer feedback regularly to understand their experiences with your automated systems.

Use this information to make necessary improvements and show customers their input is valued. Demonstrating that you listen to and act on feedback can enhance your brand trust and customer satisfaction. 

By following these best practices, businesses can implement automated customer service systems that enhance efficiency, improve customer satisfaction, and support growth.  

Struggling with slow response times?

Struggling with slow response times?

Salesmate CRM's ticketing solution and SLA management ensure prompt and efficient customer support, reducing delays and improving satisfaction.

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What are the disadvantages of automated customer service? 

Though customer support automation benefits in numerous ways, like streamlining processes and saving costs, have notable downsides:

  • Missing human touch: Automation lacks empathy, which is crucial for handling emotional or complex issues.
  • Limited problem-solving: Automated systems struggle with unique or complex problems, often requiring human intervention.
  • Security concerns: Automation can be vulnerable to data breaches, adding complexity and the cost of maintaining robust security measures.
  • Customer frustration: Automated systems can be confusing, especially for non-tech-savvy users, leading to customer frustration.
  • Cultural challenges: Automated systems may misinterpret accents and cultural nuances, causing misunderstandings.
  • Brand image: Over-reliance on automation can make a company seem indifferent and impersonal.

The right way to leverage this customer service automation is by balancing automated response with human interaction and ensuring robust security can mitigate these issues.

Future trends in customer service automation are more toward creating efficient, personalized, and secure customer experiences.

Here are the key trends to watch:

  1. AI and machine learning

AI tools are becoming smarter. They can analyze behavior patterns from reports to predict customer needs and provide proactive support. For example, AI can analyze past interactions to offer personalized product recommendations.

  1. Personalization

Advanced analytics enable highly personalized customer experiences, tailoring services and recommendations to individual preferences and behaviors, for instance, customized email campaigns based on customer purchase history.

  1. Ethical AI and data security

As AI takes on more tasks, ensuring ethical use and robust data security is crucial. Businesses are focusing on implementing AI ethically while safeguarding customer data.

  1. Proactive and predictive support

Switching from reactive to proactive support, using AI technology to predict and resolve customer needs before they become issues.  

Here is an insightful resource to learn the top 8 customer service trends in 2024

Conclusion: Will customer service automation replace human agents? 

Automation excels at handling routine tasks and providing quick responses, but human agents are essential for complex, sensitive, and nuanced issues that require empathy and problem-solving skills.

The Statista study reveals some great customer service automation statistics that express the deep interest of businesses to adopt the technologies:

  • Over 60% of Americans prefer automated service for simple issues.
  • Nearly 60% expect a human response when directly contacting a company.
  • People are likely to prefer automated services for simple tasks and expect human interaction for complex issues.

The study shows that the future likely involves a blend of automation supporting human agents, allowing them to focus on interactions that benefit from a personal touch. 

Salesmate is an advanced customer service automation CRM that helps businesses handle customer issues effectively and maintain high standards.

Frequently asked questions

What is automation in customer service? 

Automation in customer service is simply using technologies such as Chatbots, automated ticketing solutions, and IVR systems to provide 24/7 support and reduce response times, letting the support workforce concentrate on complex issues.

What is service automation in CRM? 

Service automation in CRM integrates automated tools to streamline support. This includes automated interaction logging, sending automated notifications, and intelligent ticket routing, enhancing efficiency and customer satisfaction.

What is customer experience automation?  

Customer experience automation (CXA) uses AI and machine learning to handle routine tasks, such as sending personalized emails and using Chatbots for instant support. This allows your team to focus on more complex issues.  

What are the typical pros and cons of automated customer service?

Customer service automation pros enable 24/7 availability, faster response times, cost savings, consistent responses, scalability, and valuable data insights.

The cons include a lack of personal touch, complexity in setup, difficulty handling complex issues, and possible customer frustration when unable to reach a human agent. 

What is RPA in customer service?  

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) uses bots to handle repetitive administrative tasks like data entry, processing requests, and updating records in customer service. RPA bots minimize errors, speed up processes, and free human agents to deal with complex issues.

Can automation improve customer service?

Yes, automation can improve customer service by enhancing efficiency and speed, providing instant responses and 24/7 availability, and reducing operational costs.

Sonali Negi

Sonali is a writer born out of her utmost passion for writing. She is working with a passionate team of content creators at Salesmate. She enjoys learning about new ideas in marketing and sales. She is an optimistic girl and endeavors to bring the best out of every situation. In her free time, she loves to introspect and observe people.

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