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Your Essential Intro to Customer Service Automation

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Everybody expects—and deserves—the best customer service. But juggling countless daily tasks can leave your team overwhelmed and your customers frustrated. Enter customer service automation.

You’ve probably used chatbots before, but automated customer service can be so much more. Help desk software can streamline and manage your assignments, and text expander apps like Magical save your team precious time.

This guide will give you a rundown of customer support automation today—including its advantages, some of the best software options, and how to start automating your customer service tasks with just a few clicks. 🙌

What is customer service automation?

Customer service automation (a.k.a. customer support automation) is about using automation tools to improve your customer support functions.

There are two main benefits for your business here:

  1. Internal automation for customer support teams. Like using help desk software and workflow automation tools to make your customer support agents’ jobs easier.

  2. Customer-facing automation. Like using chatbots and conversational AI to answer customer queries.

What are the advantages of automated customer service?

When you set it up correctly, automation can help your team work better and improve the overall customer experience. Here are the top three benefits:

  • It saves time and reduces stress. A global Salesforce survey found that customer support teams’ workloads have become much more challenging since the pandemic. Queries are more complicated and customers are harder to satisfy. With customer support automation, you can save your team time and give them the headspace they need to deal with complex issues—before burnout starts to creep in. 
  • It keeps your customers satisfied. Often, it’s the unhappy customers who will get in touch with customer support. They’re already frustrated, and they need something fixed quickly. Automation can make this process much faster and more seamless.
  • It saves you money in the long run. More efficiency, happier customers, and less risk of staff burnout can all help to reduce your costs. It’s a win-win-win. 

In addition, you can automate different parts of your customer service to keep things humming along without needing as much human intervention, such as...

  • Automatically route calls and chats so the customer is linked up to the support agent they need.
  • Direct customers towards online resources and content hubs that can help them solve a problem.
  • Give agents scripted responses to specific queries so they can answer quickly (pssst … the Magical app lets you build and share expandable templates with your whole team).
  • Update the information in your company’s Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and/or help desk software once the call or message chain is done.

4 of the best customer service automation solutions

The good news is that if you’re looking to automate your customer service tasks, you’ve got a ton of software options available. Let’s take a look at some popular customer service automation solutions:

1. Magical 🪄

Software type: Workflow automation and productivity tool

Magical (yep, that’s us 😉) is a no-code task automation tool that saved customer support teams 91 years just last week. 🤯 

How does it work? With Magical, you customer service agents can easily:

  • Respond faster. With Magical’s text expander, your support team can create customer service response templates for common requests—like billing, delays, or questions about set-up. Support teams can save even more time by creating shortcuts for common phrases—like greetings, contact details, or thanking customers for reaching out. Once these useful text snippets are in your workspace, you can pull them up anywhere (without ever taking your hands off the keyboard).
  • Personalize responses. Magical’s text expansion features also come with text variables. These are a quick and easy way to personalize your messages by teleporting your customer’s details straight into the text. For example, you can set {First Name} and {Date} variables to make it easy to customize responses to each support ticket.
  • Update customer information. Need to update your CRM system or help desk software? Magical lets you teleport customer data across your open tabs. Say goodbye to copy-pasting!
“To be honest, I love using Magical instead of Zendesk macros. I can keep track of, curate, update, and delete my shortcuts. It's almost therapeutic. Magical ensures all my information is up to date, and is always improving (in terms of phrasing, tone of voice).” Jordan Birkbeck, Technical Customer Support Specialist at GoodNotes
Jordan Birkbeck, Technical Customer Support Specialist at GoodNotes

2. FreshDesk

Software type: Help desk platform

Have you ever seen a help desk in real life? Just imagine it: the agent sitting behind the desk, headset in place, all the product information at their fingertips. Well, help desk platforms like FreshDesk take this experience digital. 

FreshDesk is a help desk solution with a ton of versatile features. It comes with:

  • Collaboration tools and ticketing features. How does Agent 2 know if Agent 1 has engaged with a customer before? If two agents share a ticket, they’re both notified when the other makes progress. FreshDesk’s shared inbox also lets you prioritize, categorize, and assign ownership to tickets. 
  • Automation. FreshDesk’s ticketing system is powered by AI and automates ticket assignment using strategies like the round-robin method (i.e., incoming tickets are assigned circularly to online agents). FreshDesk also offers automatic email updates to notify agents and customers of any developments. It can also prioritize maintenance duties based on how much time has gone by.
  • Self-service tools. Yep, that means chatbots, knowledge bases, and automatic solution suggestions—all of which help to get your customer the information they need faster. 

3. Intercom

Software type: Customer relationship platform 

Intercom offers a suite of customer support tools to help businesses simplify and automate their customer service. Intercom’s package includes:

  • Chatbots. To let you offer 24/7 customer support 🕛and reduce your support team’s workload. Intercom’s contextual chatbots also interpret certain questions and send your customers to documents that might help them. 
  • Live chat. So your support team can easily resolve queries online.
  • Help Desk software. To help your customer service team manage and automate tasks like assigning tickets and tracking customers’ journeys.

One of Intercom’s most useful automation features is its “customer routing”. Intercom considers multiple factors—including account spend, message keywords, customer tenure, and more—to decide where to send your customers to get the help they need.

When your team spends less time routing support requests and responding to repetitive queries that could be handled by chatbots, they have more time to resolve the more complex support requests that actually require their attention.

4. Drift 

Software type: Chatbot and live chat

Drift is a dedicated chatbot builder—mainly aimed at B2B companies—with built-in live chat functionality. Drift’s visual flow builder makes it easy and intuitive to build chatbots and automate customer service tasks. 

As soon as the issue gets too complex for the bot, it connects your customers with a helpful human agent. Drift’s chatbots also come with “bot skills” that are great for automating customer support tasks such as:

  • Creating and assigning support tickets
  • Collecting phone numbers and emails
  • Scheduling meetings

How to automate your customer support

Now that we’ve seen what customer service automation solutions can do for your business, let’s explore how you can start automating your customer support today. 

1. Understand the support journey your customers prefer

When your customer has a problem, how do they want to resolve it? PwC’s research found that most customers still prefer interacting with humans:

PwC’s research found that most customers still prefer interacting with humans

(Source: PwC)

Here in the USA, 82% of customers prefer interacting with a real person. So while chatbots can help by reducing your team’s workload, they won’t replace every human customer service agent any time soon. (Turns out, resistance isn’t futile after all. 🤓)

With a hybrid solution, everybody wins. Chatbots can be the first touchpoint for customers, while your customer support team can be standing by ready to step in whenever there’s a need.

2. Consider your support agents’ everyday tasks

The 2021 Trends in Workflow Automation survey from Salesforce showed how overworked customer support teams can be. Although your priority is on giving the customer the best possible experience, it’s just as important to think about your team and how automation will impact their daily work. 

So ask them! Find out which repetitive tasks you can take off their plates with automation. And, when the humans need to step in, think about how you can help them bring their A-game to the tasks involved. 

3. Choose the right customer support software

Decisions, decisions. You have so many options when it comes to picking customer support software for your company. 

Maybe Magical is all you need to up your customer support response rates and slash through data entry while keeping your messaging personalized and consistent. But probably not—you’ll likely want to complement Magical with another heavy-hitting customer support solution to manage tickets and route customer calls. 

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution, and your ideal tech stack depends on the type and size of your business and the questions your customer service agents deal with every day.

4. Track your progress and monitor improvements

How do you know when your automation initiatives are successful? When more of your employees and customers are satisfied. 

Tracking your metrics will help you decide where to go next. You might find it helpful to keep an eye on: 

  • Response rates
  • Tickets resolved (numbers and rates)
  • Interactions per ticket
  • Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) and/or Net Promoter Score (NPS)

And don’t forget about your team. To understand their experience, ask for direct feedback or run surveys to find out what’s working and what still needs to be fine-tuned.

Final takeaways: getting customer support automation right

There’s no doubt about it—automation can make the jobs of your customer support agents easier and frees them up to manage the most complex queries. It can also improve your customer support process to make them easier, faster, and more enjoyable.

But to get the most out of customer support automation, it’s important to:

  1. Learn how automated processes impact your customer support journey.
  2. Make sure it helps your employees do their job smarter.
  3. Monitor your automation implementations to check they’re performing well. 

If you’re looking for simple automation without the complex setup, check out Magical. Used by customer support teams from some of the biggest brands in the world, our Chrome extension lets you ditch the drudgery of repetitive tasks. Add Magical to your browser with one click and spend more time doing what you’re best at: helping customers. 

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Your Essential Intro to Customer Service Automation

Everybody expects—and deserves—the best customer service. But juggling countless daily tasks can leave your team overwhelmed and your customers frustrated. Enter customer service automation.

You’ve probably used chatbots before, but automated customer service can be so much more. Help desk software can streamline and manage your assignments, and text expander apps like Magical save your team precious time.

This guide will give you a rundown of customer support automation today—including its advantages, some of the best software options, and how to start automating your customer service tasks with just a few clicks. 🙌

What is customer service automation?

Customer service automation (a.k.a. customer support automation) is about using automation tools to improve your customer support functions.

There are two main benefits for your business here:

  1. Internal automation for customer support teams. Like using help desk software and workflow automation tools to make your customer support agents’ jobs easier.

  2. Customer-facing automation. Like using chatbots and conversational AI to answer customer queries.

What are the advantages of automated customer service?

When you set it up correctly, automation can help your team work better and improve the overall customer experience. Here are the top three benefits:

  • It saves time and reduces stress. A global Salesforce survey found that customer support teams’ workloads have become much more challenging since the pandemic. Queries are more complicated and customers are harder to satisfy. With customer support automation, you can save your team time and give them the headspace they need to deal with complex issues—before burnout starts to creep in. 
  • It keeps your customers satisfied. Often, it’s the unhappy customers who will get in touch with customer support. They’re already frustrated, and they need something fixed quickly. Automation can make this process much faster and more seamless.
  • It saves you money in the long run. More efficiency, happier customers, and less risk of staff burnout can all help to reduce your costs. It’s a win-win-win. 

In addition, you can automate different parts of your customer service to keep things humming along without needing as much human intervention, such as...

  • Automatically route calls and chats so the customer is linked up to the support agent they need.
  • Direct customers towards online resources and content hubs that can help them solve a problem.
  • Give agents scripted responses to specific queries so they can answer quickly (pssst … the Magical app lets you build and share expandable templates with your whole team).
  • Update the information in your company’s Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and/or help desk software once the call or message chain is done.

4 of the best customer service automation solutions

The good news is that if you’re looking to automate your customer service tasks, you’ve got a ton of software options available. Let’s take a look at some popular customer service automation solutions:

1. Magical 🪄

Software type: Workflow automation and productivity tool

Magical (yep, that’s us 😉) is a no-code task automation tool that saved customer support teams 91 years just last week. 🤯 

How does it work? With Magical, you customer service agents can easily:

  • Respond faster. With Magical’s text expander, your support team can create customer service response templates for common requests—like billing, delays, or questions about set-up. Support teams can save even more time by creating shortcuts for common phrases—like greetings, contact details, or thanking customers for reaching out. Once these useful text snippets are in your workspace, you can pull them up anywhere (without ever taking your hands off the keyboard).
  • Personalize responses. Magical’s text expansion features also come with text variables. These are a quick and easy way to personalize your messages by teleporting your customer’s details straight into the text. For example, you can set {First Name} and {Date} variables to make it easy to customize responses to each support ticket.
  • Update customer information. Need to update your CRM system or help desk software? Magical lets you teleport customer data across your open tabs. Say goodbye to copy-pasting!
“To be honest, I love using Magical instead of Zendesk macros. I can keep track of, curate, update, and delete my shortcuts. It's almost therapeutic. Magical ensures all my information is up to date, and is always improving (in terms of phrasing, tone of voice).” Jordan Birkbeck, Technical Customer Support Specialist at GoodNotes
Jordan Birkbeck, Technical Customer Support Specialist at GoodNotes

2. FreshDesk

Software type: Help desk platform

Have you ever seen a help desk in real life? Just imagine it: the agent sitting behind the desk, headset in place, all the product information at their fingertips. Well, help desk platforms like FreshDesk take this experience digital. 

FreshDesk is a help desk solution with a ton of versatile features. It comes with:

  • Collaboration tools and ticketing features. How does Agent 2 know if Agent 1 has engaged with a customer before? If two agents share a ticket, they’re both notified when the other makes progress. FreshDesk’s shared inbox also lets you prioritize, categorize, and assign ownership to tickets. 
  • Automation. FreshDesk’s ticketing system is powered by AI and automates ticket assignment using strategies like the round-robin method (i.e., incoming tickets are assigned circularly to online agents). FreshDesk also offers automatic email updates to notify agents and customers of any developments. It can also prioritize maintenance duties based on how much time has gone by.
  • Self-service tools. Yep, that means chatbots, knowledge bases, and automatic solution suggestions—all of which help to get your customer the information they need faster. 

3. Intercom

Software type: Customer relationship platform 

Intercom offers a suite of customer support tools to help businesses simplify and automate their customer service. Intercom’s package includes:

  • Chatbots. To let you offer 24/7 customer support 🕛and reduce your support team’s workload. Intercom’s contextual chatbots also interpret certain questions and send your customers to documents that might help them. 
  • Live chat. So your support team can easily resolve queries online.
  • Help Desk software. To help your customer service team manage and automate tasks like assigning tickets and tracking customers’ journeys.

One of Intercom’s most useful automation features is its “customer routing”. Intercom considers multiple factors—including account spend, message keywords, customer tenure, and more—to decide where to send your customers to get the help they need.

When your team spends less time routing support requests and responding to repetitive queries that could be handled by chatbots, they have more time to resolve the more complex support requests that actually require their attention.

4. Drift 

Software type: Chatbot and live chat

Drift is a dedicated chatbot builder—mainly aimed at B2B companies—with built-in live chat functionality. Drift’s visual flow builder makes it easy and intuitive to build chatbots and automate customer service tasks. 

As soon as the issue gets too complex for the bot, it connects your customers with a helpful human agent. Drift’s chatbots also come with “bot skills” that are great for automating customer support tasks such as:

  • Creating and assigning support tickets
  • Collecting phone numbers and emails
  • Scheduling meetings

How to automate your customer support

Now that we’ve seen what customer service automation solutions can do for your business, let’s explore how you can start automating your customer support today. 

1. Understand the support journey your customers prefer

When your customer has a problem, how do they want to resolve it? PwC’s research found that most customers still prefer interacting with humans:

PwC’s research found that most customers still prefer interacting with humans

(Source: PwC)

Here in the USA, 82% of customers prefer interacting with a real person. So while chatbots can help by reducing your team’s workload, they won’t replace every human customer service agent any time soon. (Turns out, resistance isn’t futile after all. 🤓)

With a hybrid solution, everybody wins. Chatbots can be the first touchpoint for customers, while your customer support team can be standing by ready to step in whenever there’s a need.

2. Consider your support agents’ everyday tasks

The 2021 Trends in Workflow Automation survey from Salesforce showed how overworked customer support teams can be. Although your priority is on giving the customer the best possible experience, it’s just as important to think about your team and how automation will impact their daily work. 

So ask them! Find out which repetitive tasks you can take off their plates with automation. And, when the humans need to step in, think about how you can help them bring their A-game to the tasks involved. 

3. Choose the right customer support software

Decisions, decisions. You have so many options when it comes to picking customer support software for your company. 

Maybe Magical is all you need to up your customer support response rates and slash through data entry while keeping your messaging personalized and consistent. But probably not—you’ll likely want to complement Magical with another heavy-hitting customer support solution to manage tickets and route customer calls. 

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution, and your ideal tech stack depends on the type and size of your business and the questions your customer service agents deal with every day.

4. Track your progress and monitor improvements

How do you know when your automation initiatives are successful? When more of your employees and customers are satisfied. 

Tracking your metrics will help you decide where to go next. You might find it helpful to keep an eye on: 

  • Response rates
  • Tickets resolved (numbers and rates)
  • Interactions per ticket
  • Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) and/or Net Promoter Score (NPS)

And don’t forget about your team. To understand their experience, ask for direct feedback or run surveys to find out what’s working and what still needs to be fine-tuned.

Final takeaways: getting customer support automation right

There’s no doubt about it—automation can make the jobs of your customer support agents easier and frees them up to manage the most complex queries. It can also improve your customer support process to make them easier, faster, and more enjoyable.

But to get the most out of customer support automation, it’s important to:

  1. Learn how automated processes impact your customer support journey.
  2. Make sure it helps your employees do their job smarter.
  3. Monitor your automation implementations to check they’re performing well. 

If you’re looking for simple automation without the complex setup, check out Magical. Used by customer support teams from some of the biggest brands in the world, our Chrome extension lets you ditch the drudgery of repetitive tasks. Add Magical to your browser with one click and spend more time doing what you’re best at: helping customers. 

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