10 Ways Customer Service Automation Works Today (Updated July 2021)

Written by Emily Cummins  on   Jul 29, 2021

AI is transforming customer service, making it more convenient and personal by automating high-quality resolutions on consumers’ terms and empowering human agents to work smarter. The use cases for automated customer service seem endless, so we’ve pulled together the best opportunities for leveraging the power of helpdesk AI in customer service that we see today.


How are our customers using automated support to rethink retail customer service?
Learn how Nespresso, Tommy Hilfiger, and Westjet have turned support into a difference maker.


Here are the Best Automated Customer Service Use Cases

Use Cases for Customer Support on Autopilot

1. Constant, Direct Attention to Customers

AI can respond instantly to customers, faster than any human. This instant response is available all the time, making time zones irrelevant in the first few interactions with customer service. Human attention isn’t required for every scenario, and chatbot statistics show that a chatbot operating 24 hours a day can make an enormous impact on those tenuous first steps.

2. Automated Customer Service Responses to FAQs

Use AI to respond to the repeatable, and costly, issues that consumers ask about frequently such as return/exchange policies and processes. AI can also educate customers about complex services or products, like applying for a mortgage or comparing credit cards. We worked with Aflac to create an AI Agent to help educate people during the health insurance open-enrollment season, offering support through an insurance chatbot.

3. Facilitate Routine Actions

AI can help facilitate routine actions like checking in for a WestJet flight, ordering your favorite Starbucks coffee or a Domino’s pizza. Bank of America is using AI to make everyday banking more pleasant: instead of a website search and navigation to various Web pages, a customer can check their balance, confirm due dates and pay bills via a natural language conversation with virtual assistant Erica, a banking chatbot. Customer service software and artificial intelligence can also help answer customer questions about the shipping status of their eCommerce order.

4. Payments

Sometimes a customer service human being is more than you need, and that is no more often the case than in simple transactional exchanges, like a customer paying for a product or service that your company offers. That’s where AI for customer experience comes in. Those self-checkout kiosks at grocery stores are popular for a specific subset of customers for a reason: for a fast, no-frills payment process, nothing beats DIY with AI. Chatbots can serve the same function in an e-tail setting, acting as automated cash registers when a human is best utilized elsewhere.

Bonus: Three More Simple Use Cases for Automated Customer Support

5. Intent Discovery

The customer might not always be right, but they are rarely shy about telling you how they feel. Gauging a user’s mood, and finding out what kind of help they need, is all part of discovering customer intent. Are they mad? Probably best to get a human on the line ASAP. Are they sick of trying to get a hold of a human at other places and hope they don’t have the same issue with your company? Also, probably a good time for a human to hop on the line. Either way, it makes a lot more sense for AI to ask the question “what can I do for you?” before any valuable human time is spent doing what a machine can do.

6. Account Information

Nobody likes to put the same information repeatedly into web forms, then give that information again to customer service, and then again every time they’re routed to a new customer service agent. This is especially true when the information they’re looking for is simple customer information, like how long until their subscription ends or whether the address on file is current. Customer service chatbots are perfect for this kind of application, where the task is no more complicated than updating a database or reporting on its contents.

7. Troubleshooting

If your company offers products or services that need troubleshooting, say a TV or refrigerator, you could use AI to help customers first identify the problem and offer the steps to remedy the issue. Depending on the deployment channel, a knowledge base article, or rich video and images could be shared at optimal times to help customers more effectively help themselves. AI can also be used to proactively offer care advice. For instance, Nespresso uses AI to help customers descale their coffee machines using step-by-step tips delivered naturally via conversation.


Our webinar with Freshworks, Practical AI to Transform Customer Service,
is a great intro to learn how AI can work inside your existing CX.


Automated Customer Service Use Cases for Service Ops

8. Tag-team AI / Human Support

AI-powered automation tools can gather key important information from a customer before bringing in human service agents, such as account number, current needs or details around the issue they are facing. AI can also be used for account verification, like confirming security questions or matching account numbers to birthdays. This will optimize the agent’s time, ultimately getting a customer’s issue resolved quicker.

9. Ticket Routing

Based on a customer’s interactions, need, profile, and loyalty status (via integration with a CRM), machine learning can route the ticket to the right agent based on their:

  • areas of expertise
  • real-time availability
  • the number of other open tickets they are currently managing

British supermarket Ocado, for example, uses support automation AI to intelligently route its 10,000+ daily emails to the right agent taking into account the topic, sentiment and the priority needed for a response. This makes sure the frustrated customer who had an issue with their online order is treated differently than someone who is providing positive feedback on the website.

10. AI Recommended Replies to Agents

Once the ticket is in the right human hands, automated customer service can still help get tickets resolved quicker. AI can suggest replies or actions based on various contextual factors, the customer’s profile, information the AI gleaned from an earlier exchange to enable the human agent to easily select the best response or update the response if needed. Sprint, for instance, is launching AI in its call center to analyze a topic and recommend real-time solutions to agents in real-time.

Conclusion on AI and Customer Service Automation

AI is now a member of the workforce, enabling companies to create customer satisfaction for high-quality, fast support. Working in tandem with human agents to deliver exceptional customer experience. AI today is best used in highly repeatable, simple scenarios like live chat, but in the future, AI will be able to manage more complex situations, playing an even greater role within an organization’s support team.


Find out what your ROI will be if you automate customer support with an AI chatbot platform. Try our free chatbot ROI calculator today.


For more information on AI and customer service, visit:

Can Telecom Customer Service Be Turned Around By AI?

Written by Dylan Max  on   Oct 8, 2019

A Look At The Opportunity For Customer Service Automation In Telecom

Customer service in telecom remains one of the worst in any industry. Can it be helped by better leveraging customer service automation?

According to the American Customer Satisfaction Survey, customer satisfaction with subscription television service peaked in 2013 at a score of 68 on the American Customer Satisfaction Index’s 100-point scale. Since then, it has wavered. The industry is now stagnant at an ACSI score of 62, tied with internet service providers for the last place among all industries tracked by the ACSI.”1

This boils down to a high volume of incidences, inconsistency across channels and issues, and long resolution times. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the best and most scalable means for telecom companies to provide the support that customers demand today. 

The Telecom Customer Support Landscape 

Every month, I get an automated alert from my phone carrier letting me know my credit card is being charged. If I respond to the text message with a related question – say why it’s higher this month than last –  crickets. I never get a response. 

And it’s not something specific to me. While telecom companies are trying to provide good customer experiences and have put it at the top of their strategies, customers like me still feel frustrated. The sheer thought of having to call my phone carrier with a billing question or my broadband provider when I have a connectivity issue makes me want to shudder.  

So why is it so hard for telecom companies to provide a positive customer experience? 

Volume and Reach 

If you look at the top ten searches related to customer service on Google, five are telecom companies.

Telecom companies represent 78% of the top 5 searches by volume in the United States over the last 12 months. Search results provided by Google’s Keyword Planner in September 2019.

You did not read this wrong. 919,000 people try to understand what’s wrong with their Verizon service every month in the US. 

Telecom customer service queries make up over 78% of the top five customer service queries and 63% of the top 10. 

Whether it’s issues related to billing, being charged for a service a customer never signed up for, service issues, installation requests, or collecting personal information, telecom companies are inundated with customer needs. What’s more, support is now expected on an increasing number of channels. Customer service chatbots are now expected to work over email support, social, chat, and voice. 

Fragmentation is Frustrating

Great segmentation within the business also leads to poor customer service. Customers interact with different business groups. This leads to inconsistency, fragmentation, and frustration. For instance, a person is often asked to provide contact information multiple times as they get passed around to the right department. Also, the tone of employees that your customers interact with varies greatly. In contrast, the sales process is enjoyable and fast. When a customer wants to cancel their contract or make changes to an account, it’s slow and frustrating. 

Providing a seamless, consistent experience is fundamental to high customer satisfaction (CSAT).

The Risk Of Poor Telecom Customer Service Has Never Been Higher 

Providing a positive customer experience is tied directly to customer retention.  A McKinsey + Company’s Report found that satisfied customers are 80% more likely than unsatisfied customers to renew their policies 2

Consumers overwhelmingly don’t have an emotional connection to telecom companies. To your customer, there’s little differentiation in service, quality or price. 

The cost to switch to another provider is lower than ever, and there are more competition and choice today. Just consider the rise of cord-cutting, as cable providers lose a staggering 14,000 customers per day 3. WeChat and others are also emerging as competitive alternatives to SMS customer service. Customers are not afraid to look for alternatives.

Customer Service is the Key 

With this convergence of factors, customer service excellence is what can get someone to stick around. According to PWC, “even when people love a company or product, 59% will walk away after several bad experiences, 17% after just one bad experience4.” 

If getting in touch with a company is frustrating or if customers are not treated nicely, they will churn. A competitively-priced alternative is a click away. 

How Automation in Telecom Can Drive Higher CSAT

The average wait time to reach a call center agent for a telecom company is 5 minutes. Only 44% of operators offer web chat as a support option. When you hear stats like these, it makes sense that telecom is failing at customer service 5. Our society expects effortless, on-demand, and personalized experiences. 

Incorporating AI for customer experience into the workforce can help resolve over 50% of customer service issues instantly. Think about high-volume, mundane and repetitive queries. These can be eliminated from your human agent’s workflow so they can resolve high-touch and complex issues faster. Examples of Telecom workflows that can be delegated to AI include:  

  • Top-up or recharge: Enable customers to replenish mobile account data instantly. 
  • Modify plans: Whether it’s adding a line, changing plans or adding roaming for an upcoming international trip, AI connects in real-time to back-end systems to close tickets. 
  • Incentives to churning customers: Only 28% of telecom companies offer an incentive to avoid churning 5. An AI Agent identifies which churning customers are high-value and worth the cost of an incentive. The AI Agent offers a promotion at the initial termination request. 
  • Account termination: A customer terminates a contract, AI easily communicates with the customer and makes updates on the back-end. There’s no delay in completing a request. The relationship ends on a positive note. 
  • Billing questions: A customer has a question on a new charge or why the amount changed from month-to-month. An AI Agent either responds immediately or gathers necessary data before elevating to human agents. 
  • Network issues: An AI Agent reactively gives updates to a customer about an issue or proactively lets someone know about planned service and outages. 
  • Delivery fulfillment: Conversational AI agents keep customers updated on the status of new hardware or parts. 
  • Product / Service research: For prospective customers, an AI Agent guides a customer through the discovery and research process. It helps people compare plans. A Virtual agent drives profitability through up-selling. 
  • Reduce truck roll: AI Agents help customers help themselves. They can help troubleshoot issues, activate a SIM card or reconfigure equipment.

We Are Data Addicts

Whether we’re streaming TV or reading the news on the go, we’re consuming data 24/7. Telecom companies provide services that are fundamental to our lives. We expect swift resolutions when there’s an issue. Negative customer experiences boost churn and can cause brand degradation over time. Positive customer experiences can keep customers around. 

Customer service automation empowers telecom companies to put the experience of their consumers first. Let us show you how quickly we can launch a powerful support organization run by human and machine intelligence. Schedule a demo with Netomi’s chatbot platform.

References 

  1. American Customer Satisfaction Index: https://www.theacsi.org/news-and-resources/customer-satisfaction-reports/reports-2019/acsi-telecommunications-report-2018-2019/acsi-telecommunications-report-2018-2019-download 
  2. McKinsey & Company: Customer Experience – New Capabilities, New audiences, New Opportunities https://www.mckinsey.com/~/media/mckinsey/featured%20insights/Customer%20Experience/CX%20Compendium%202017/Customer-experience-compendium-July-2017.ashx
  3. BGR: Cord Cutting Statistics 2019 https://bgr.com/2019/05/09/cord-cutting-statistics-2019/
  4. PWC: Experience is everything. Get it right. https://www.pwc.com/us/en/services/consulting/library/consumer-intelligence-series/future-of-customer-experience.html?
  5. KPMG: Still Searching for a Better Customer Experience https://assets.kpmg/content/dam/kpmg/xx/pdf/2017/07/searching-for-a-better-customer-web.pdf//