Believe it or not, not really that long ago, to engage in a restorative cup of coffee, you had to jump out of bed and mess around with an espresso machine while you tried to awaken yourself. But with reconfigurable coffee makers, you can sober up to a satisfying cup of joe and continue your morning. 

Companies now have a similar option: proceed to log through a manual process or significantly improve work with automation of manual work. 

In a 2018 survey of more than 280 US firms, 62 % of respondents identified three or more operation inefficiencies that could be overcome by automation of manual work. The study showed that administrators spent at least 8 hours per week on an average on manual data activities (manual workflow).

Automation customer service vs Manual customer service

Manual ProcessAutomated Process
How it is managedNeeds a human to drive it through every phase and decide who to deliver it to. The software is designed for auto-assigning tasks. 
Reminders A human needs to send it to everyone. The system can send an email and mobile alerts at fixed times. 
Starting Physical or digital types are stored in various locations. All digital forms are maintained in the same destination. 
Completion of form Both fields have to be filled manually. Multiple fields may be auto-filled with standard descriptions and estimates. 
Tracking   Must send notes to everyone to figure out where the things are. The system maintains a record of the progress of each component. 
Audit Trail Completion events are convenient to falsify and may be missing information.The system records every operation at an appropriate time. 
Communication Process-related interaction often takes place outside the setting of the process (email, messaging). All communication is absolutely within the framework of the workflow managed service. 

Cumbersome Manual customer service 

Do you want a more in-depth explanation of distinctions? Let’s describe the standard purchase order approval from both automation vs manual process. 

Let’s presume you need to make a purchase order for 500 new gadgets. In a manual process, you can either use a print copy of the purchase order request form or access a spreadsheet file from an online folder. Then you’ll have to fill in every detail and give it to your manager via e-mail. The manager must authorize it and give it to the procurement authority, who will set up the PO. 

There are, however, a lot of holes in this procedure. First, there could be a number of fields and possibilities for data processing errors in the process. Third, there’s no way for you to find out how deep this process goes. You need to send an extra email to see if your manager has authorized it. Unless he/he replies to the “approved” with procurement on cc, the procurement process is now left with an email without an attachment. Data security and precision is also a matter of concern, as you need to make sure that no one interferes with the numbers and the PO is valid.

Here are some of the advantages of automated customer service over conventional manual customer service :

Pre-emptive action

Automation of manual work can provide a degree of responsiveness that is not humanly feasible. In the future, virtual assistants will be able to foresee what your clients are searching for by knowing how people communicate with your company. When the virtual assistant has an awareness of who the users are, it will be able to deliver responses before your clients or customers even realize they have queries. 

The growth of chat applications

The number of customers using messaging apps surpassed social media in 2015. Besides interacting with friends and workmates, people are also using chat applications to communicate with brands. Messaging platforms provide a brand new place for organizations to interact with current and potential customers.

You only have to train them once

Hiring and preparing employees may take money and time. In reality, it costs an average of $4,000 or more to employ a call center support agent and an estimated $4,800 or more to train staff. These expenses can rapidly increase with an increase in staff attrition, a common issue in call centers. Automation systems will deliver a tremendous amount of time and cost reductions in this area. AI helps you to provide your customers with the tools they need to be effective in order to reduce their turnover. A tool like Watson that comes pre-programmed with business and domain information. Even still, all you have to do is practice it once. 

Customer service that’s always-on

Automated customer service is not limited to time zones or national holidays. It offers companies the opportunity to provide customer service on an daily basis and address problems as soon as they occur. This ensures that customers will have their questions answered 24 hours a day and do not have to wait hours or even days for reply. This can have a major impact on customer satisfaction and churn. It also demonstrates that a organization is dedicated to serving its consumers – which is important for brand credibility and confidence. 

Innovation with cost reduction

Unique and modern technology can deliver advanced customer service over traditional customer service at a fraction of the price. A prime example of this is call automatization technologies, which integrate machine learning and extensive speech recognition to enhance traditional interactive voice response mechanisms, while providing a 60 percent – 80 percent cost saving over outsourced call centers operated by humans. 

Necessity for speed

Not only can AI help you to engage your audience faster with self-service, but your human agents will be faster with a virtual assistant by their side. Agents today fail to keep up with the high number of questions coming in, and find that much of the time they do is spent addressing regular FAQs. Use Automation and AI to provide your employees with the real-time data they need to efficiently satisfy customers.

Personalization is key

Personalization can significantly increase customer service engagement, boost user loyalty, improve product retention, and fuel repeat transactions. AI and automation will also provide a framework for the human agents to understand who they are communicating to. Recognize their order history, their search preferences, and what their experiences have been with your company so far. Having this data readily available, they would be better prepared to provide the best possible consumer service, customized to the needs of the customers.

Besides these advantages of automated customer service, some of the cons of automated customer service over manual customer service could be lack of emotional connect, difficulty to use and resolve complex issues, and costly installation as well.