Customer Service: When is Automation a Good Idea?

Automation with customer service has to be handled with care. While customers are now used to computerized answering services instead of a receptionist picking up the calls, there’s also usually a decline in the service level when having trouble getting hold of a real person. Companies must strive to use automation in a manner that is a net benefit to the customers – not just the bottom line.

Women making a phone call

When approaching automation from this perspective, it tends to work well for everyone concerned.

Routing Calls Better

Using speech recognition software, it’s now possible for VoIP call center software to route calls better. The simpler interactions when asking whether the caller would like to talk to customer services, or the sales team can be understood when either request is made. This is more personal than “dial 1 for customer services or dial 2 for the sales team,” but it requires a more sophisticated software and testing process.

Managing Human & AI Together

The people at Humach are hard at work creating a merger of a sort between humans and machines to assist them in working better together. They understand that with the current level of AI and natural language, only basic queries should be vetted by machines on a call. For the most part, systems just aren’t yet smart enough to handle the whole call with a human-affected voice but AI driving it.

Training a system for individual clients to train it to handle the types of queries that the company receives regularly or that are specific to the industry helps to make the customer service experience a better one. Humach are leading the way in this pursuit.

Elevating Complex Questions/Concerns to a Customer Service’s Representative

AI systems are now equipped enough to run a caller through a series of questions and route them to a customer services representative. This can be done when the query falls outside of the set parameters that half the calls usually fall into – perhaps like paying an outstanding bill or getting a statement emailed.

The combination of automation to deal with incoming calls initially and pairing that with the human element is working well. Customers are actually happy with the move toward this type of voice solution because it beats trying to figure out a number-based one where getting to speak to a human being is so difficult. When phone systems are designed to solve easy problems and route the difficult ones to the customer services team, that’s a higher level of service than previously offered.

customer service agent


When automation through call answering, vocal questions, voice recognition and blending of human assistance is done carefully, it has been found to increase customer satisfaction significantly. It’s also affordable for businesses, especially ones with a significant volume of calls to handle.

For the customer services representatives, it’s not the threat they might mistakenly believe it is. In fact, it automating calls often stops them having to waste time answering basic questions, so they can dig into the meatier ones that are more important. Customer and employee satisfaction goes up, while costs are managed when embracing automation with traditional customer services.


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