How customer service automation can improve your business

It’s no secret that high-quality customer service is key to business success. Customers expect companies to both understand and provide assistance for their needs — and fast. However, when you’re building a business, providing high-quality customer service at a moment’s notice can be an uphill battle.

Enter customer service automation. Automation makes it possible to offload dozens of inefficient or unnecessary touchpoints throughout the customer service cycle, freeing support teams to tackle high-priority items faster and more efficiently.

In this post, we’ll explore some of the benefits of customer service automation as well as some tasks that your support teams can automate today.

What is customer service automation?

Customer service support teams are crucial to ensuring customer satisfaction. Unfortunately, providing customer service — through support tickets, emails, and online chat conversations — often involves time-consuming, manual tasks. Automated customer service solutions can help your team deliver personalized customer support, while eliminating redundant, complex processes.

Automation harnesses artificial intelligence (AI) to carry out routine customer support tasks. Whether it’s providing assistance directly to customers, tagging support tickets, or routing bug reports to the appropriate team members, customer automation cuts back on manual labor without affecting the quality of customer service. In fact, it can improve response times for small or growing support teams.

Purpose-built customer service automation can take several forms, but the most common are chatbots, contact information forms, and surveys. Recently, customer self-service portals and knowledge libraries have seen a dramatic rise in popularity, thanks to the use of AI automation. With this technology, users can read through frequently asked questions (FAQs) or step-by-step guides to locate the information they want — all without having to speak with a customer service representative.

What are the benefits of automating customer service?

Each customer support team has a different method for processing, extracting, and classifying customer data. However, the majority of these methods begin with someone individually reading or listening to customer concerns, then tagging and routing each one to the appropriate party. In comparison, customer service automation drastically reduces the need for support team involvement, which leads to loads of benefits.

The most obvious benefit of automating customer service is reducing manual labor. With more time funneled back into their support team’s daily workflow, businesses can provide higher-quality customer experiences.

Automated customer service doesn’t replace the need to build relationships with customers; instead, it makes it easier to forge trusting, mutually beneficial relationships. So automating customer service can increase customer satisfaction.

Now more than ever, customers want someone to answer their questions or solve their problems as fast as possible. Automated workflows — such as chatbots or a self-service online library — increase access to customer resources, so customers don’t have to wait for human-to-human interaction. Plus, a self-service feature reduces the volume of support requests overall, helping teams better prioritize customer issues.

10 customer service tasks you can automate

There’s no better time than now to automate redundant customer service tasks and increase your customer support team’s bandwidth. Here are 10 customer service tasks that you can easily automate today.

1. Collecting important information and assets from customers 

You can include contact forms in an email, in your client portal, or on a specific landing page on your site.

With a contact form, you can ask customers for basic information — like their name and email address — and you can ask them to provide more detailed information — like a screenshot of a particular issue.

Customer service automation can even add new contact information into your customer relationship management (CRM) tool through help desk tickets, purchases, newsletter subscriptions, event registrations, and database entries.

Pro Tip

Looking for a quick way to add a contact form to your website? Check out our contact form templates.

2. Getting customer feedback

Just like gathering customer contact information, collecting customer feedback can be as easy as adding customized forms to landing pages or emails.

Pro tip: You don’t need to reinvent the wheel every time you need a feedback form. Instead, use one of our feedback form templates or build your own within minutes using the Jotform Form Builder.

3. Triaging bug reports

Whether customers submit bugs via support tickets, live chat, or a report button on your site, you can use automation to route and keep track of them.

Pro tip: You can keep track of all bug reports using this Jotform Tables issue tracker template.

4. Running surveys

There are lots of reasons to run a survey, from looking for beta testers to getting product feedback and measuring customer satisfaction.

If you’re having trouble gathering responses to customer service surveys, customer service automation can deploy popups on-screen based on specific scroll triggers to help generate a better response rate.

For instance, you can tie automation to how long a user spends on a page or to a point they’ve scrolled to on the page — that way, you can deliver a survey only to the most interested visitors. This can improve the number and quality of responses you receive.

Pro tip: When you’re looking to gather any kind of information, from product feedback to customer satisfaction, check out our survey templates.

5. Gathering product feedback

Implementing customers’ feature requests can dramatically improve consumer perception of your product or service, but manually sorting through and classifying these requests can be both time-consuming and tedious.

Just as you can tie customer service automation to customer surveys, you can also tie it to specific trigger actions, like submitting a feature request. Then you can sort responses into buckets — such as “nice to have” or “essential for UX” — and rank them by priority automatically, so your team can act on them.

6. Responding to issues in real time

Chatbots use a messaging interface to rapidly conduct pre-scripted conversations through natural language processing (NLP). With AI NLP technology, chatbots use keywords from an initial help message to identify and answer customer concerns.

This technology allows support teams to instantly resolve basic issues or funnel more complex issues to the appropriate support team member, drastically reducing the number of help desk tickets.

7. Sending automated responses

Unsure of what to do with completed support tickets or newly acquired contact information? Automate email replies with preset responses.

Similar to the NLP technology harnessed for chatbots, a variety of consumer actions — such as submitting a survey response, joining an email list, or signing out of a support ticket — can trigger automated email sequences. Basically, you can say goodbye to manually welcoming customers to your email list.

8. Assigning requests to team members

Intelligent text analysis tools, like NLP, automatically sort through and tag customer feature requests and support tickets according to topic and urgency. These requests can then automatically go to the party best equipped to deal with them. This process can also quickly identify and flag high-priority support issues, such as server outages.

9. Fielding FAQs

Does your customer service team receive the same question over and over again? With automated customer service, you can collect and sort these questions automatically into a convenient list of FAQs. Then you can add these items to a self-service knowledge library.

10. Building a knowledge base

Self-service knowledge bases contain support articles that address the most common customer service questions.

As opposed to someone on your team answering each question individually, customer support automation can index each question into a helpful widget that toggles to the bottom or top of a user’s screen as they scroll. Organizational automation can funnel users through a preloaded search bar or knowledge library of a brand’s most common inquiries.

With the help of customer service automation, support teams can gain valuable time throughout their workday. The result? You’ll see improved response times on high-priority tickets, reduced manual labor, and improved customer satisfaction. Discover how customer service automation can help your support team and your business today.

Photo by Mikhail Nilov from Pexels

This article is originally published on Dec 02, 2021, and updated on May 11, 2022.
AUTHOR
Aytekin Tank is the Founder and CEO of Jotform. A developer by trade but a storyteller by heart, he writes about his journey as an entrepreneur and shares advice for other startups. He loves to hear from Jotform users. You can reach Aytekin from AytekinTank@Jotform.com

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