Customer Service Automation, Guide, Definition, and Tips

  • Last Updated: 28 Dec 23
  • 14 min read
Customer service automation featured image

Before we begin anything, here are two interrelated concepts- “The success of any business depends on the satisfaction and experience of its customers” and “Customer service software is the foundation of great customer experience in this technological era.” 🤝

Now for a question: Are you a business owner considering implementing automated customer service to provide high-quality and consistent experiences to your consumers?

If so, you might be searching for all the info on it. Well, this blog is all about that. 💡

This guide offers an overview of the definition of CSA: its benefits, importance, and types; some tips and strategies to help you automate things on your part, and a list of the best customer service automation software for 2024.

We’ll get to all of those in a moment!

🔑 KEY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Customer Service Automation is used to improve customer experience.
  • CSA is important and can be beneficial for businesses of all types and sizes.
  • Customer service automation can be done using various methods like Chatbots, self-service portals, IVR, automated ticketing systems, and email automation.
  • Zendesk, LiveAgent, Hubspot, Salesforce, and Intercom are the top Customer Service Automation softwares in 2024.

What is Customer Service Automation?

Customer Service Automation (CSA) is the use of various technologies to automate tasks & workflows or resolve customer queries with little to no human involvement within a customer service process.

what is customer service automation

CSA is a ‘simple-modern’ approach used mainly through contact centers to improve customer service delivery and can be done via various methods. 

Nonetheless, the main goal of each form is to speed up response times, improve efficiency, and offer 24/7 support to customers. In fact, you, being a VoIP telephony user, might have used it without knowing much about it.

So, to make you a bit more familiar with it, here are some examples of customer service automation:

  • Using interactive voice response (IVR) systems to provide basic information or solve simple problems.
  • Online knowledge bases and video tutorials to help customers find solutions on their own.
  • Automated chatbots to answer frequently asked questions, resolve simple problems, and collect customer information.

What are the Benefits of Automated Customer Service?

Automated customer service tools are designed exclusively to enhance efficiency and speed up response times. This is what businesses of all sizes and types strive for and can achieve with those tools.

Having said that, the benefits are not just limited to these factors; there are a number of them, and they include:

  • 24/7 Availability: With Customer Service Automation, customers can receive continuous support even outside business hours. This can be convenient for those who live in different geographical regions.
  • Improved Efficiency: Automation tools can easily handle repetitive tasks like answering frequently asked questions and other common queries so that human agents can handle more complex matters.
  • Faster Response Times: Customers can get immediate assistance for simple inquiries through chatbots or self-service portals, improving their satisfaction and loyalty by giving them a sense of control.
  • Multichannel Support: Additionally, automated customer assistance is often used across various channels and communication platforms. Thus, evidently, it is beneficial as it ensures a consistent, smooth customer experience across various touchpoints.
  • Reduced Costs: As an added benefit, automation in customer service can offer enormous cost efficiency as it basically reduces the need to employ a large dedicated team of human agents.

Well, those are the common ones; make no mistakes, as there are a dozen more of those. Well, let’s move on and learn ‘why automation is important in customer service.’

Why is Automation Important in Customer Service?

In a nutshell, automation in customer service plays a vital role and acts as a catalyst that enables improvements in the efficiency and effectiveness of customer service, enhances agent experience, reduces operational costs, and, in the end, leads to higher customer satisfaction and business growth. And that is why it is important!

What are the types of Customer Service Automation?

Although there are nearly a dozen types of automation in customer service, here, we will discuss only some of the most common ones while taking notes of unique applications and benefits. And here are those:

types of customer service automation

1. Chatbots

Chatbots are AI-powered conversational tools whose primary purpose is to improve customer experience. The majority of these are used in almost all sectors of business to interact with customers in real-time, answer basic questions, and resolve simple queries tediously.

2. Self-service Portals

Just as the name says, Self-service portals are a type of customer service that allows customers to find answers to their questions or solutions to their problems on their own. Comprehensive knowledge bases, FAQs, and Tutorials fall under this category.

3. Interactive Voice Response

This is the most common example of customer service automation software and is also known as phone/call trees. IVR systems interact with callers via voice prompts and keypad responses to gather information based on the inputs and then use that to route calls to relevant departments or direct them to relevant services.

4. Automated Ticketing System

We know ticketing systems are used to manually log and manage customer issues through tickets, assign them to agents, and track progress. So, automated ticketing systems are used to assist in that task and automatically route those tickets to the agent best equipped to solve the issues.

5. Email and SMS Automation

These involve using automated processes to send and respond to emails or text messages based on customer behavior. These include pre-written emails or text-based responses like order confirmations, appointment reminders, or feedback requests.

👍 You might like this: Types of Call Center Automation You Should Have

How to Automate Customer Service? 7 Tips and Strategies

how to automate customer service
  1. Determine ‘Your Needs’: Just like the beginner’s steps that are followed everywhere, here as well, you need to first identify your actual needs. For this, you might have to ask yourself, “Do I really need automation?” and if yes, then “What do I need?”
  1. Build up the Knowledge Base: In the second step, you should look into the kinds of questions customers frequently ask to develop a comprehensive knowledge base to provide customers with self-service support on most of those.
  1. Setup a Chatbot: Next, you can get help from experts for this if you want. Implement an AI chatbot to handle routine customer queries and provide 24/7 support. A chatbot can do all the things you want it to do, but only if you have the right system and software for it.
  1. Implement Templates: Following that, you need to put into action pre-built templates to create standardized responses based on predefined criteria. This factor can be used by human agents as well as the automation system.
  1. Train your Agents: Once the system is up and running, you can begin the tough part, i.e., training your customer service agents. If done correctly, the team can effectively leverage those automation tools to enhance their productivity and customer experience.
  1. Bring together Humans and Channels: Now, the main thing is to keep the human element, integrate various communication channels, and automate routine tasks to enable seamless collaboration between the two entities.
  1. Get Feedback: It’s also a good idea to evaluate your current stack and identify the ones that need immediate response. For this, you have to continuously gather feedback from customers and agents to improve processes and make sure it aligns with customer expectations and needs. 
👉Also read: Best Practices for Customer Feedback Management (CFM)

Now, without waiting any further, let’s get going with the topic that everyone wants to know more about.

5 Best Customer Service Automation software in 2024

Here is the list of the best customer service automation software in 2024 based on factors such as 

  • Customer reviews and testimonials
  • Features offered
  • Utility

1. Zendesk

Zendesk is a provider that has a broad range of powerful automated customer service features that can take on simple tasks and complex issues. It offers an easy-to-use and scalable customer service solution that lets businesses personalize the system according to their needs.

zendesk as customer service automation software

Zendesk is one of the highest-rated CSA software on G2 and can assist in the resolution of customer inquiries with its innate features like automated ticket routing, agent workspace, Unified omnichannel, and No-code chatbot.

2. LiveAgent

LiveAgent is a straightforward customer service platform that offers a good set of customer service solutions that have over 140 features and 200+ integrations. Customers have recognized the platform on review portals for its versatility, powerful features, and excellent customer support.

liveagent as customer service automation software

LiveAgent’s primary focus is to provide real-time customer interaction, multichannel help desk, and live chat software to businesses of all sizes. Some of its key features are omnichannel communication, canned messages, automated ticket distribution, and ticket/customer insights (CRM).

3. Hubspot

Hubspot is an automated customer service software provider aimed at improving customer satisfaction and retention through the management of customer communications, ticketing, feedback, and knowledge bases. It primarily focuses on catering to small to medium enterprises.

hubspot customer service automation software

By using Hubspot’s Service Hub, you can automate simple tasks and create customer portals to streamline your agents’ workflow and offer 24/7 customer support with Live chat, chatbots, and social messaging integration.

4. Salesforce

Salesforce is a customer service automation software that streamlines various aspects of customer support, including self-service, case management, and field service operations. Using its customer service automation software, companies can provide faster, more effective support to customers.

salesforce as customer service automation software

Features that make Salesforce unique are its omnichannel support, AI-powered chatbot A.K.A Einstein for Service, detailed analytics & reporting, knowledge & case management, and digital engagement across multiple channels.

5. Intercom

Intercom has a unique approach to customer support; it uses automation and messaging to offer the best possible experience for customers and teams. It offers a messenger that works alongside existing support tools, an AI-powered chatbot called ‘Fin’ that can resolve up to 50% of support questions, and a ticketing system that treats people like people.

Intercom as customer service automation software

Intercom can integrate over 350 CRMs, email, ticketing, social channels, reporting tools, and internal databases and has features like live support through chat, shared inbox, and product tours.

Customer Support Automation Best practices: Do & Don’ts

Dos and dont's of customer service automation software

Now that you are well aware of the best Customer Service Automation software in 2024. You might be thinking of using those for your business, but before you do that, here are some practices that you must follow.

✅Dos

  • Automate the right tasks: Identify repetitive, low-complexity inquiries that benefit from automation. Think FAQs, order tracking, password resets, etc.
  • Focus on efficiency and convenience: Simplify processes to save time for both customers and agents. Offer self-service options like knowledge bases, chatbots, and interactive troubleshooting tools.
  • Maintain a human touch: Use clear, compassionate language in automated responses. Offer easy escalation paths for complex issues and ensure agents are readily available when needed.

❎Don’ts

  • Over-automate: Don’t replace all human interaction with automation. Customers value personal connections and expert assistance for complex problems.
  • Ignore Continuous Improvement: Keep automated systems up-to-date and improve them regularly. Automation may become outdated and ineffective if it is not updated as client needs change regularly.
  • Neglect human touch: Automation should work alongside human agents, not replace them. Ensure easy exchange between automated tools and live agents for complex issues or escalation needs.

Customer Service Automation Future & Trends

We can say that the future of customer service automation will itself be driven by several trends and innovations that aim to improve efficiency and customer satisfaction. The following are some of the key trends that we have already witnessed or can expect to see in the future:

  • A variety of real-time communication and support methods, including live chats and video chats, are becoming increasingly popular.
  • Companies are increasingly automating repetitive tasks and processes using various AI-powered methods to increase efficiency and reduce response times.
  • Chatbots will become more intelligent and capable, allowing companies to provide faster and more effective service on a massive scale.
  • The omnichannel support trend is expected to continue in the future, as customers expect seamless, consistent support across multiple or all channels.
  • In the near future, creating continuous feedback loops between all departments will be a key focus of forward-thinking organizations.
✅ Check Out What is Digital Customer Engagement

How does KrispCall help with automating customer service?

Being a cloud telephony provider, KrispCall has all the capabilities of call center software. It offers virtual phone numbers that are available in more than 100 countries and comes along with exceptional features like IVR to automate call distribution to the right agent and department and a bunch of call management features to handle inbound and outbound calls effectively and efficiently.

On top of that, it has other capabilities, like call analytics & reporting, that can be used to better service delivery and integrations with popular CRM software and other business tools. 

Final Thoughts!

Automation in customer service delivery is the new norm and can be considered a necessity for businesses that aim to provide exceptional service to their customers in a more personalized and effective way while improving their operational efficiency.

Many customer service automation software are available in the market. You can choose it based on its utility, features offered, and customer reviews, whichever suits your business needs. 

In this rapidly evolving market, especially in the era of automation, it is crucial to regularly update and experiment with new tools if you want to maintain a competitive edge.

FAQs

What is AI customer service?

AI customer service is one of the many forms of automated customer service delivery. It refers to the utilization of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies to interact with customers and provide support to them.

AI customer service, as a term itself, is a collection of a bunch of tools like chatbots, sentiment analysis, natural language processing, and other AI-powered solutions that are used to automate responses, gather consumer insights, and improve the overall customer experience.

Can AI replace human customer service?

For the time being, we can say that AI is unlikely to completely replace human roles in customer service as it lacks emotional intelligence and understanding. Also, it can already be observed that AI can help human agents be more efficient and handle the most repeatable and automatable work. So, we can conclude that AI will automate the role of customer service professionals not replace them.

Then again, it must be noted that the landscape of Artificial Intelligence is evolving day by day and is getting better and better. There is, therefore, no way to predict the real outcome.

What is CRM service automation?

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) service automation is the process of automating repetitive, manual tasks in customer relations or sales to streamline processes and improve productivity & operational efficiency.

What is a customer service chatbot?

A customer service chatbot is an AI-powered computer program conversational tool that interacts with customers to provide instant support and assistance with their queries and requests via text chat, voice command, or both. Chatbots can handle routine service issues, freeing up human agents to focus on more complex tasks. They are designed to provide assistance 24/7, can support multiple languages, and offer consistent support across various channels. 

Can automation improve customer service?

Yes, automation can definitely improve customer service in a variety of ways. Some examples of improvements are:

  • Time can be saved by automating routine tasks, allowing human agents to focus on more complex issues.
  • Automation can reduce support costs and improve operational efficiency.
  • The response time on tickets can be improved by automating the process.
  • With automation, 24/7 support can be provided, and customer expectations can be met more quickly.
  • By automating processes, services can be delivered faster and more reliably, improving customer satisfaction.
Arun Chaudhary

Arun is SEO Analyst at KrispCall. He has written in extensively in the field of cloud telephony and call center solutions.

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