The Pros and Cons of Customer Service Automation

Many experts believe that Artificial Intelligence or AI is the way forward. We see big tech companies investing in AI and ways to implement AI in their services. Google, for example, recently announced Google Duplex, an AI-based virtual assistant capable of doing incredible things, including making a phone reservation on your behalf.

AI is helping businesses refine the customer experience they deliver in many ways. Some solutions available today are already using AI for purposes such as automation. In customer service, automation can help streamline the whole process, which makes helping a larger number of customers easier. That said, customer service automation still has its pros and cons.

Pros

One of the main benefits of using automation is the substantial increase in agility. Since your support officers no longer need to worry about mundane, repetitive tasks, they can focus on helping customers better.

The use of chatbots and AI-based automation also allows businesses to service more customers, all while keeping the team lean and efficient. Automation certainly reduces the cost of customer service in many ways.

It is even possible to implement an entirely self-service support system that customers can use. Rather than dealing with every request manually, customers can get support via a helpdesk that is fully or partially automated.

That sudden reduction in costs also means a boost to your bottom line. According to various studies, automation enhances efficiency levels by as much as 50%. That increase in efficiency translates to a big gain in profit.

To complete the list, there is also the fact that the enhanced speed and efficiency of customer support delivery mean you can retain more customers over a longer period of time. Mistakes can be avoided, and customers will be happier with their experience.

Cons

As mentioned before, automating customer service is not without its disadvantages. For starters, there is always a lack of emotional connection that customers can sense when everything is automated. Even with an advanced chatbot and AI in place, the support experience will still feel detached.

You can balance this by limiting the things that you automate inside the helpdesk or CRM system. It is also possible to let human support officers and AI-based chatbots to work together.

AI is relatively young; it has so much more to learn. While automating straightforward tasks and dealing with simple issues is easy for AI, it has yet to acquire the ability to resolve complex issues. The AI itself is learning and improving, but it is not ready to fully automate customer service just yet.

And then there is the initial investment of automating customer service. Some solutions are available as SaaS (Solution as a Service), so a big initial investment may not be something you worry about. Even so, you still have to consider the costs of switching to a new system entirely.

Lastly, asking customers to do things themselves using an automated support system is not the approach you want to utilize in a market this competitive. Businesses are trying to find new ways to connect with customers, and that often means offering a personalized customer experience at every turn.

So, should you automate?

Automation brings a lot of benefits, but it has its disadvantages too. The best way to automate customer service right now is by combining the tools and solutions available today with experienced and trained human support officers. This way, you get the best of both worlds.

You get the efficiency and reliability of automation, all while maintaining the human touch and a personalized experience for customers to enjoy. Find the right balance between these two elements and start delivering exceptional customer service every time.

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