AI has evolved, and perhaps the greatest use case has been found in customer service. In time, you will predict call drivers, tame overflowing follow-up queues, and meet those SLAs every day. On this quest, AI-driven customer service automation (CSA) can be your biggest asset. 

Customer Service Automation is thus your glide path to delivering proactive service – even on weekends or during the holidays when volumes typically peak, but human agent availability is less.

However, there is a flip side to every coin. Despite its advantages, automation can seem a bit cold and impersonal. In an age where personalized customer experience is a competitive advantage, questions arise: Can AI replicate humane personalization?

Studies show that 33% of customers switched brands because they didn’t receive personalized service. 

Some of the above research participants probably encountered situations where the IVR timed out between prompts. However, the latest generation IVRs can skip prompts based on their web search history before calling. 

So the answer is NO. Automation does not make your customer support inhuman at all if chosen carefully. 

How Can Customer Service Automation Amplify the Human Touch?

When teams are under pressure to deliver efficiently, quality and compliance are often compromised. On most days, the average customer support agents have to scan multiple screens for information, take notes, and speak with customers- all at once. 

Scope of unwanted misses? A lot. 

But with AI? Almost negligible.

Here’s how customer service automation can help agents focus on humanizing an interaction while saving time and effort:

1. Start the Conversation the Right Way

The typical customer support interaction starts with a customer describing the problem and the agent confirming if they understood it correctly. This often takes several minutes as it includes verifying the customer details. If the agent can identify the issue right away, the rest of the interaction can proceed smoothly. If not, it just frustrates the customer.

On the other hand, a chatbot will have already collected account-related information before the agent comes online. It also provides the complete interaction history and sentiment analysis to the agent. This allows them to get straight down to business after greeting the customer. It also conveys competence and professionalism on the part of the agent and, by extension, your brand.

2. Gives Customers One and Done Solutions

Experts say that there is a direct correlation between First Contact Resolution (FCR) and Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT). However, this is easier said than done. 

The truth is a customer may need assistance with more than one issue. It is hence essential to sync workflows and procedures to give human agents more flexibility while handling customers.

Today, chatbots detect customer intent, scan customer CRM profiles, and present agents with the most relevant information – FAQs, sales scripts, knowledge base content – in near real-time. 

In addition, automation virtually eliminates procedure violations and provides handy tips and recommendations that agents can choose from.    

3. Follow-Up with Customers on Time

Meeting SLAs has become an uphill task for brands struggling with bandwidth issues post-pandemic. Follow-ups are often the first casualty when ticket volumes increase. 

AI-based queue management systems automatically sort and prioritize tickets by order of importance and time elapsed. In addition, they can send periodic status updates to customers via email, text, or IVR. This ensures prompt follow-ups even if it takes longer than expected to resolve the ticket.

4. Expedite Escalation Management

If your agents could quickly assess a customer’s state of mind through their conversation history and survey responses, most escalations could be defused. Every extra minute spent on the phone can aggravate an irate customer, and the agent could be taken off guard. In such cases, mere assurances often tend to fall flat. 

Instead, chatbots look for tell-tale signs like multiple tickets regarding the same issue or refund requests pending supervisor approval and flag it as a priority case.

This type of customer service automation can automatically connect such customers to a senior specialist, bypassing the escalation matrix if need be. It can also facilitate a seamless handover by displaying the interaction history and showing CRM profile data on the screen. 

Ultimately, it can provide conflict management tips and help the agent appease the customer. The result: better customer experience and a higher probability of retention.

Smarter Teams, Better Service with Customer Service Automation

In the omnichannel era, customer support teams need to adopt new strategies to stay relevant and drive ROI. As teams get leaner, AI-driven automation can help you find efficiencies that may be impossible to achieve otherwise. 

More importantly, it can reduce agent workload and help them build dynamic customer relationships. As a result, automation contributes to bottom-line growth and drives CSAT.

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