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  • Writer's pictureIdeas to Solution

Increase Customer Value with State-of-the-Art Automation

You’re on a call, trying to get an issue resolved with a customer service representative. They put you on a “brief hold,” and 15 minutes later you’re talking to a different person who needs you to repeat your entire request.


That’s an understatement.

Casual businessman chatting with the chatbot via mobile smartphone application while working on a laptop computer | Automation

We’re all familiar with this infuriatingly frequent scenario.

But in this day and age, companies can, and should, do better.

Unfortunately, many businesses don’t understand the options available to improve their customer service, or if they do, they think they can’t afford them.

The cost of not integrating automation

To illustrate this dilemma, let’s look at a fictional company we’ll call Widget Central.

Their outdated processes were causing eternal customer wait times with both phone and email support as well as in other areas – and their customers were vocal with complaints in online reviews and call escalations.

Dave, Widget Central’s harried Head of Customer Support, suggested that the company implement some automation solutions but was told that it would be too expensive and that Widget Central customers wouldn’t take to “impersonal” interactions.

But Dave knew they couldn’t NOT afford to make changes, so he set out to prove that some simple and incremental automated processes could make all the difference.

Research has shown that:

Customer expectations for speed, flexibility, personalization, and seamless interactions are rising, and small to mid-size companies are finding that state-of-the-art automation can be transformative in providing value, meeting customer expectations, and maintaining those relationships.

Automation - Your Competitive Advantage for Customer Value

Customers today expect (or demand) fast, seamless, effective interactions, and meeting their expectations is imperative for being competitive and building long-term customer relationships.

State-of-the-art automation provides robust solutions for streamlining processes, delivering instant responses, and tailoring experiences to individual needs.

But automation doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing initiative. It can be implemented in stages for any business - in fact, starting with small steps can prove the value to cynics early on, paving the way for larger and more transformative process improvements.

Manual processes and outdated systems often fall short, leading to customer frustration and lost sales. For example, something as simple as implementing chatbots and self-service portals can go a long way in reducing call volume and long wait times for customers seeking answers to simple questions that don’t require human interaction.

The reduced wait times minimize frustration and free up time for employees to focus on tasks that can’t be automated.

Robotic process automation (RPA) reduces the need for human involvement in data entry, invoicing, report generation, and order fulfillment - again, resulting in employees spending more time on higher-value activities like customer interaction, problem-solving, and strategic planning.

Other benefits of RPA solutions include:

  • The ability to shift to 24/7 operations. Imagine how much could be accomplished during those additional hours, through automated chat, order fulfillment, proactive notifications, and support availability.

  • Scalability, allowing companies to adapt to fluctuating workloads and realize increased productivity, cost savings, and improved workflows.

  • Enhanced data management and compliance via improved data accuracy and reporting

  • RPA robots don’t get tired, eliminating the likelihood of human error and increasing productivity and cost savings.

  • Improved customer experience via quicker inquiry resolutions, reduced payment processing times, invoice generation and data analysis, personalized communications and recommendations, and tailored support responses.

The combined benefits above can drastically increase a company’s competitive edge in the market. But let’s look at how combining automation with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning can unlock even more powerful automation.

Beyond the Basics: IoT, Machine Learning, and Bot Frameworks

Looking beyond the fundamental benefits of automation, the Internet of Things (IoT), machine learning, and advanced bot frameworks can bring access to a new level of customer experience through such features as predictive maintenance, personalized product recommendations, and proactive outreach based on sentiment analysis.

  • Predictive maintenance is a system that uses IoT data to monitor equipment health remotely and optimize maintenance schedules across complex infrastructures. The benefit is that alerts are sent out before a breakdown, so needed maintenance can be scheduled proactively, preventing costly downtimes and improving efficiency and resource allocation.

  • AI-powered personalized product recommendations leverage AI-powered algorithms such as customer purchase history and preferences to tailor recommendations to specific customers or customer segments to increase sales and customer satisfaction.

  • Automated sentiment analysis can identify and analyze negative customer feedback to address potential issues proactively and improve the customer experience.

  • Bot frameworks use a range of tools to understand human language, enabling the use of chatbots to help customers with questions or issues without the need for human interaction.

Overcoming Potential Barriers

As with any technology, careful planning is critical to achieve success and return on investment, and automation is no different. Responsible implementation and seeking the advice of experts when needed will reduce the chance of investing in the wrong technology for your needs.

Educating your workforce on effective use and best practices is critical to reaping all the benefits of any new initiative.

What’s truly exciting is that automation complements human work, so when your new systems are in place, your employees can finally focus on higher-value activities to drive growth and value for your company.

Where to Start?

By now, you can see that automation is not a trend – it’s a strategic necessity for success.

Automation can increase the value you bring to your customers by providing improved quality measures, fast answers to questions, personalized after-sales support, reduced processing times, and increased flexibility with 24/7 operations.

Figuring out where to start can feel overwhelming, but don’t let that lead to inertia. Start by researching what has worked for other companies in your situation.

Industry case studies are valuable for understanding how other organizations have implemented similar technologies.

Once you better understand your company’s needs, starting with incremental improvements can ensure you’re heading in the right direction before embarking on a large-scale initiative.

And consulting with a technology partner for guidance on what will work best for your industry and unique challenges will go a long way to ensuring that you have a clear and well-thought-out road map for implementation and that your investment will drive the results you need.

In the case of Widget Central, they started by implementing 24/7 chatbots to answer common questions and automated email responses, providing links to information that could resolve customer inquiries in the interim between the request and a human response.

The results were promising, with a decrease in escalations and complaints.

Dave has been cleared to look into further automation solutions, including self-service portals, automated sentiment analysis, and personalized product recommendations.

I2S - Your Partner for Automation

Although the journey can seem overwhelming, partnering with a reliable guide is pivotal to ensuring successful planning, integration, education, and adoption.

Ideas to Solutions (I2S) is a strategic partner experienced in navigating the many options for implementing automation in your business. We provide tailored solutions for specific business needs, streamlining the integration process and ensuring the right strategy for your unique business.

Reach out to explore and implement state-of-the-art automation in your business:


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