Striking the balance in automated customer service

In the modern era, automation is the new norm. This is particularly true of customer service, where many people have come to speak with chat bots just as often as they do human beings.


The advantages of automated customer service are clear: quick, accurate responses at much lower costs. However, it's important not to implement this at the expense of consumer satisfaction. Three quarters of respondents to a Harris Interactive survey say they believe it takes too long to reach a live agent, and frustration can lead to poor reviews and bad feelings towards your company.

How can you balance automation and human involvement in customer service?

  • Let your customers know it's automated!

There's a lot of mistrust about artificial intelligence (AI). A Syzygy report surveyed how Americans feel about AI in general and its use in marketing in particular. The huge majority (79 per cent) of respondents believed it should be a legal requirement that chat bots reveal their identity. To keep consumer trust it's therefore essential that you notify them when you are using robots or other automated means of communication.

  • Only automate simple interactions

Automation should be reserved for proactive or simple interactions - things like first line communication and FAQs. Anything more complicated and it's absolutely necessary to have a human on board who can show empathy, build trust and inspire positive reactions even when the customer is complaining.

  • Use automation for routing

One thing automation is great for is routing. Some customer service agents might be better at certain queries, whether that's because they know a certain language, geographical location or area of your company. Use automation to find out what the problem is and connect the customer to the person who has the most expertise in the area.

  • Target automation to your audience

Different audiences will be used to differing levels of automation. If your principal customers are millennials or Generation Z, for example, they'll probably be used to chat bots and other more advanced automation already. If your target audience are baby boomers or older, you may want to reserve automation just for the initial phone phase.
Whatever type of communication you choose, NetFortris can help. We have years of experience implementing business phone systems, and our in-built recording software means you can monitor customer service and constantly improve.


For more information on how we can transform your organization, reach out today.

Team NetFortris
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