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Using Automation in Customer Service Without Losing the Human Touch

Updated: Sep 30, 2023

Automation is everywhere. It is not just a case of getting used to using automation in our daily lives we are now growing to EXPECT it, and in almost every aspect of our lives. From ordering food, booking a taxi or paying your rent you can do it all from the comfort of your sofa in a matter of minutes. To keep up with customer expectations and rising demands, customer service automation has to be at the forefront of your organisation.

Automating parts of the customer journey can have a huge impact on customer satisfaction. Automation drives efficiency within customer services, so your customers get faster resolutions and take control of their journey. The technology is now available to automate conversations using Web/Messenger and through speech on your telephony platform or smart speakers or within Apps.

But people still like the human touch, so how can this fit into a world of automation?

Customers Like to Self-Serve

Research has proven that today’s customer prefers to self-serve to solve their own problems. But customer service automation doesn’t mean you remove all the agent-customer interactions in your strategy. The reality is automation is much better as a supplement to your human service – a blending of self-service, assisted and live service. It helps your agents stay efficient, removing monotonous and repetitive tasks, and allowing them to focus on more complex issues.

Automation helps you improve your customer service in the following ways:

Automation offers consistency

Customers value consistency in their customer service interactions. Choosing an automation tool that allows all your different systems to talk to each other, means you can connect systems like cloud CRMs and ticketing systems seamlessly. The ability for a service automation platform to interrogate your knowledge base and deliver responses through an automated chatbot ensures queries are answered in the same way every time. And your chatbot or intelligent virtual assistant doesn’t mind how many times they get asked the same question and never have a bad day.

This same technology allows agents to access the right information quickly in those cases where a live agent is needed. Offering further consistency even when a live agent is responding.

Automate key tasks for reliable service 24/7

Automation brings a level of reliability to customer interactions that human beings simply can’t beat. Automation also ensures that calls are routed to the right place quickly and easily. It’s not affected by time zones, sick days, or geography. Using automation in customer support means customers can be supported around the clock and around the globe. Support is no longer dictated by your office hours.

Improving the speed of interactions with live chat and self-service options

Recent reports have shown live chat support is on the rise. Customers use Messenger based applications in their personal life and prefer chat over most other channels. Many organisations are turning to automation and intelligent virtual assistants to do the heavy lifting instead of agents. When you integrate automation into your current systems (such as CRM or knowledgebase), you can create live chat automation that easily handles routine customer questions, retrieves data from various sources or points your agents on a path to the right information and resources.

But where is the human touch?

Don’t these all sound like ways we are losing the human touch? The key is blended automation. Automation is great for straightforward processes, but the way to retain the human touch is to make sure all these systems can seamlessly transfer to an agent as soon as it is needed. Some platforms may offer this option by a button that requests an agent, but the more sophisticated platforms that use conversational AI and sentiment analysis can understand where in a workflow to offer a hand-off, or detect when a customer is unhappy or frustrated and can step in to transfer the customer to a live agent. The best systems will integrate with your existing contact centres, Teamwork apps or telephony systems rather than offering a separate and silo'd chat interface.

This means that customers can quickly and easily resolve simple queries through self-service, but they always have the option to speak to a human. The customer can tailor their own journey, providing a preferred experience. If they are tech-savvy they may want to do everything through the bot. However if a customer is less confident with technology they can quickly be transferred to a live agent to complete the transaction in their preferred way. Providing the best customer experience for each and every customer.

If you want to find out how a blended deployment of intelligent virtual assistants and live agents, that integrate with all your back-end systems, can help you deliver exceptional customer service please contact us or call us on 0333 6000 360.

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