How to leverage customer support automation to reduce costs 

Customer support automation helps you offer a better customer experience while reduing costs. Sound complicated? Read on learn about concrete applications that get you there.

Published ·March 20, 2023

Reading time·4 min

Automation is a major trend in customer service. It helps offer a better customer experience while reducing costs. As customers are more and more willing to use digital channels to try and solve their issues themselves, it’s only logical to leverage automation for an optimized customer service. 

On the other hand, human contact remains paramount for customer satisfaction. Foundever™ proprietary research shows that requests over the phone are regaining popularity even among digital natives. And while there are more and more self-service solutions available, the quality of human contact is what makes the customer experience outstanding. 

Automation or human touch? You can have both if you use automation technologies and agent-facing tools that help your customer service teams deliver the best possible human support.  

Five concrete applications of automation in human-assisted support 

1. Interactive Voice Response (IVR) 

Voice-based channels are back in fashion! Traditional interactive voice response (IVR) systems have been helping connect callers with the right agents for a long time. Their technology has evolved to offer a lot more than “Press 1 for assistance.” With new, intelligent IVR, users can explain their request more easily using natural language and are directed to an available agent who has the necessary skills to resolve the issue at hand. 

No more tedious transfers where the customer has to repeat their request, saving them and the agent precious time, thus increasing their satisfaction. 

2. Intelligent automation 

Once an agent is handling a customer request, there are ways to make their work a lot easier. Robotic Desktop Automation (RDA) can automate time-consuming, repetitive tasks including collecting information from multiple sources, troubleshooting steps and next-best actions, and completing after-call work. 

This gives agents time to concentrate on the more interesting part of their job: helping the customer, showing empathy and adding the human touch that makes the customer experience exceptional. 

3. Knowledge bases 

Giving your agents digital access to a comprehensive information ecosystem and automatically suggesting knowledge items that help them handle customer inquiries is another way to help improve human support. 

Your staff gets access to relevant information in real time, during the conversation with the customer. That means more precise answers and accelerated handling time of requests, which, in turn, increases customer satisfaction while lowering operational costs. 

4. Digitalization of devices 

If your customer service handles tech support for electronic devices, you may think your agents need to have all these devices at their disposal to efficiently help customers resolve their issues. But this can be difficult and costly to equip your teams with all the latest models of smartphones or other devices and the updated version of the software running them. 

The solution: digitized devices. The agent has access to all the versions, even the most recent ones, directly via a web app on their desktop, allowing them to test and troubleshoot on the customer’s device without having to find the right model on the contact center floor. This greatly facilitates troubleshooting and tech support while significantly reducing costs. 

5. Self-service 

Including self-service solutions in human-based support may seem like a paradox, but self-service is a highly efficient means of automating human-based support. It’s all about creating the right gateways. The customer might want to solve their request themselves and will use your self-service content to do so. But if they need additional information or further assistance, they need to be able to turn to an agent easily. 

Issue resolution is already on its way, leaving the agent with the more value-added part of their job and giving them time to add that little extra empathy and human touch that takes your good customer service to exceptional. 

The advantages of customer support automation 

Cost efficiencies 

When combining automation and human support, you get the best of both worlds — and decreased costs. Automation is by no means meant to replace agents with robots. But increased efficiency and reduced handling times create significant cost efficiencies. 

Great CX and employee experience 

We have already established that automation helps improve the customer experience (CX). But it also makes the work of your agents easier. As tedious, repetitive tasks are executed automatically, the job becomes more interesting. Your associates can concentrate more on creating tighter connections with your customers instead of searching invoice information, writing post-call reports, etc. And the happier your staff is, the better their performance, and the better the customer experience — a great employee experience is a prerequisite of great CX! 

Higher accuracy of answers, shorter handling times 

Helped by information from different sources, virtual devices and relevant knowledge items, agents can respond faster and more precisely to your customers’ requests. And because all this information is at your agents’ fingertips, automation not only increases accuracy but also the speed of request resolution. 

The best of both worlds 

Automation is a great way to optimize your customer support while reducing costs. The important thing to remember is that human connection is more important than ever. And digital solutions and automation should be leveraged to enhance this connection so your associates can deliver the support your customers expect. 

To find out more about how to successfully implement digital transformation, read the tips from Alexandre Rabouille, Head of Customer Success at Foundever.