It’s live! Access exclusive 2024 live chat benchmark data & see how well your team is performing.

Get the data

Lean into Automation

– Transforming Customer Service with AI & Human-Bot Harmony

Lean into Automation – Transforming Customer Service with AI & Human-Bot Harmony - Pillar blog hero banner

In a world where immediacy and personalization have become the cornerstones of brand communication, the realm of customer service is undergoing a revolutionary transformation. This transformation is rooted deeply in the integration of advanced automation and artificial intelligence.

The necessity to introduce automation into customer service operations is becoming stronger by the month. But why? Why should businesses lean into automation? How does it benefit organizations and customer experience? And what are the first steps for those at the beginning of this journey, and what advanced strategies can those who have already adopted automation employ to scale new heights?

Lastly, but crucially, this guide will also explore how teams can strike the perfect balance between the efficiency and scalability of automation and the necessity for human touch.


blog background image

What is automation in customer service?

Automation in customer service is a concept that is constantly evolving with the rapid advancements in technology. At its core, it involves using software, AI, and other digital tools to automate customer service processes, thereby enhancing efficiency and customer experience.

In the simplest terms, automation in customer service is about leveraging technology to handle routine tasks without human assistance. This includes everything from answering frequently asked questions to routing customer inquiries to the appropriate department or agent. The goal is to streamline operations, reduce response times, and free up human agents to increase the team’s capacity.

Here are some of them most effective automation technologies being used by customer service and support teams today:

Automation solutions

1. NLP Chatbot
Powered by NLP (Natural Language Processing) technology, these bots are designed to handle an organization’s frequent queries by providing predefined responses that are highly accurate and consistent. By automating a high volume of common queries, this chatbot reduces agent workload and increases support capacity. NLP chatbots can also be connected to core systems, allowing them to process payments, check inventory, update data, and much more.

2. Generative AI Chatbot
Using Generative AI & NLU (Natural Language Understand) technology, Generative AI chatbots deliver dynamic, human-like messaging to engage in varied customer conversations. The best Gen AI bots also automatically index website & company content to ensure they only deliver helpful & accurate answers, avoiding hallucinations that can deliver incorrect information. They can also be launched within a couple of hours with no coding knowledge and require very little maintenance.

3. Voice Bot
Voice chatbots communicate with customers via speech through digital voice and telephony channels. They automate voice-based interactions using speech recognition and synthesis to communicate with customers. Because voice bots can handle unlimited simultaneous conversations, customers receive immediate responses and agent query volume is decreased.

4. Agent Assist
Agent Assist supports live agents by monitoring conversations in real-time and suggesting appropriate responses that the agent can send to the customer. This reduces the time agents spend hunting for information, giving them more time to focus on resolving inquiries.

5. Automated Ticketing System
Automated ticketing systems manage and route customer support tickets automatically based on predefined criteria. This streamlines the ticket handling process, ensuring that customer issues are addressed efficiently and by the most suitable agent.

By integrating these automation tools, businesses can significantly enhance their customer service capabilities, ensuring that they meet the rising expectations of modern consumers. The key lies in not only deploying these technologies but also in optimizing them to work in harmony with human agents, creating the perfect human-bot harmony. More on this in chapter 4.

blog background image

Why should you lean into automation?

Embracing automation in customer service is far more than just following a trend; it’s a strategic imperative in today’s digital-first world. The customer service industry has been transformed by automation and AI and continues to be as this technology is continuously added to and improved.

Automation in customer service elevates the customer experience, while also improving operational efficiency and agent experience. Every party benefits – so here’s a deeper look into why every organization should be leaning into automation.

1. The state of the customer service industry

The customer service industry is undergoing rapid transformation, propelled by AI advancements and shifting consumer behaviors. The digital revolution has altered the landscape of customer interactions. Here are some of the key changes that are affecting businesses:

  • Rising customer expectations: With the rise of instant communication platforms, customers now expect immediate responses, 24/7. They also expect these interactions to be personalized and tailored to their preferences, as well as consistent across all channels and platforms.
  • Higher volume of interactions: The digital era has increased the number and variety of channels through which customers engage, leading to a higher volume of interactions that need to be managed.
  • Data-driven insights: Automation tools are not just about managing customer interactions; they also provide valuable data that can drive business decisions and improve service strategies.
83% of customers expect immediate engagement when contacting a company

2. The benefits of automation

  • Scalability
    Automation allows businesses to scale their customer service operations efficiently, handling a larger volume of interactions without a proportional increase in resources.
  • Improved customer satisfaction
    By providing quick and accurate responses, automation enhances the overall customer experience.
  • Operational efficiency
    Automation reduces the time and resources spent on routine tasks, allowing 1) human agents to focus on complex issues that require a human touch and 2) increase support capacity.
  • Cost-effective
    Over time, automation can lead to significant cost savings by optimizing resource allocation and reducing the need for a large customer service workforce.
  • Data insights
    Automation tools can collect and analyze customer data, providing valuable insights for improving service and personalizing customer interactions.
45% of end-users prefer charbots as the primary mode of communication for customer service

Leaning into automation is not just about keeping up with technological trends; it’s about strategically adapting to a new era of customer service. By leaning into automation, businesses can not only meet but exceed the modern customer’s expectations, positioning themselves as forward-thinking and customer-centric in a competitive market.

blog background image

How to lean into automation

Starting off with automation: The first steps

If you are yet to properly introduce automation into your customer service operations and most of your processes and interactions are still manual, then these are the first steps and technologies you should adopt:

Step 1 – Identify opportunities

  • Assess customer interactions: Begin by examining current customer interactions. Look for patterns and frequently asked questions. This step helps identify common areas ripe for automation.
  • Service process evaluation: Assess your customer service processes to pinpoint repetitive tasks. These often include answering basic queries, appointment scheduling, or providing standard information about products or services.

Step 2 – Implement automation solutions

  • Automated ticketing

If you offer ticketing support, then adding automation to the system is a perfect first step. To start, set up your ticketing operations to automatically update case status so your agents don’t have to. With Comm100’s automated ticketing system, you can send automated responses to acknowledge receipt of a support request and provide estimated response times to help manage customer expectations.

  • Automatic chat & ticket routing

To streamline your operations, adopt technology that lets you automatically assign chats and tickets to specific teams or departments. Better still, with Comm100 smart routing you can auto-direct chats to designated agents based on experience and skill, as well as prioritize chats based on urgency or customer importance.

  • Generative AI chatbot

The best chatbot to start off your automation journey is one based on Generative AI technology like Comm100 Generative Answers Chatbot. This bot is designed for ease and speed of deployment. As well as being built on the latest technology and vast LLMs, it also automatically indexes your website & company content so you don’t have to create any new bot content. This is why it only takes two hours to set up with no technical experience. The bot can manage common queries and engage in limitless conversations.

Step 3 – Measure and optimize:

  • Performance analytics: Regularly review the performance of your automation tools. Look at metrics such as response time, resolution rate, and customer satisfaction.
  • Customer feedback: Implement mechanisms to collect customer feedback on their experience with

Already using automation: The next steps

If you have already begun to add automation into your operations but know there’s so much more you could be doing to improve efficiency, then here are some suggestions for the next steps.

Step 1 – Adopt an advanced AI chatbot

  • Once you’re comfortable with basic automation and chatbots, consider upgrading to a more advanced NLP-powered chatbot that can handle more queries and perform tasks.

Comm100 Custom Answers Chatbot can manage 80%+ of all queries and perform tasks through flexible integrations with your core systems. This bot provides predefined responses to frequently asked questions so you have greater control, high accuracy, and can deliver personalized experiences.

Step 2 – Implement AI-powered agent automation

  • To help your agents work faster, it’s important to equip them with automation tools too. Agent Assist is a perfect example of this – during conversations it suggests relevant answers to agents that they can click and send without wasting time typing or searching for the answer. Many common service requests – order tracking, account management, balance checking – require agents to work through a set of questions and hunt through external databases. Agent Assist includes Robotic Process Automation (RPA) to simplify how information is collected and processed. This intelligent agent automation improves efficiency and increases support capacity.

Step 3 – Continuous improvement:

  • Stay informed: Keep up with the latest in AI and customer service technology through webinars, industry blogs, and community engagement.
  • Iterative refinement: Regularly revisit your automation strategy, refining it based on new technologies, customer feedback, and performance data.

In both cases, the goal is to create a customer service ecosystem where automation enhances efficiency without losing the personal touch that customers value. This approach doesn’t only improve operational efficiency, but it also drives customer satisfaction and loyalty in the long run. Let’s explore this human-bot balance more in the next chapter.

blog background image

The importance of Human-bot Harmony

As we embrace the technological advancements in customer service, it’s crucial to address the concept of human-bot harmony. This balance is not just a luxury; it’s a necessity for businesses striving for excellence in customer interactions.

Understanding Human-bot Harmony

Human-bot harmony refers to the seamless balance of automation with human agents in customer service. It’s about leveraging the efficiency and scalability of automation while maintaining the empathetic and complex problem-solving abilities of human agents.

While we’ve proved the undeniable benefits of automation in this guide, it can’t and shouldn’t function alone. Human engagement is still a vital aspect of student support. Certain complex and sensitive issues often require human empathy, creativity, and complexity that even the most advanced AI cannot provide.

Here are four key aspects to consider when achieving this balance:

  • Complementary roles: Use bots for routine inquiries and data gathering, freeing up human agents to handle complex or sensitive issues.
  • Seamless handoffs: Ensure smooth transitions between bots and human agents. If a bot cannot resolve an issue, it should seamlessly transfer the customer to a human agent, ideally with the context of the interaction.
  • Continuous learning: Implement systems where bots learn from human agents. Over time, this reduces the learning curve and enhances bot efficiency.
  • Feedback loops: Establish mechanisms for customers to provide feedback on their interactions with both bots and human agents, allowing for ongoing refinement.

This balance is at the heart of modern customer service. It’s about creating a balance where technology enhances human capabilities, leading to a more efficient, effective, and satisfying customer service experience.

Wrap up

Introducing automation into your customer service operations is essential. From the streamlined efficiency of AI-driven chatbots to the empathetic touch of human agents, the landscape of customer service is evolving into a more responsive, efficient, and customer-centric domain.

Now is the time to embrace this transformation. Whether you’re taking your first steps into automation or looking to deepen your existing strategies, you can leverage Comm100’s suite of automation tools to improve your operations and achieve the perfect balance of human and bot engagement.


Article by

Kate Rogerson

Kate is the Content Marketing Specialist at Comm100. She has extensive experience in content creation for technology companies across the world, including the UK, Australia and Canada. She specializes in B2B messaging, branding and soccer trivia.