How Capacity can automate customer support as labor shortages continue

How to Automate Customer Support as Labor Shortages Continue

It’s no secret the U.S. is facing labor shortages, and customer support roles are not immune. As organizations struggle to attract qualified employees to fill the gap, they’re also looking for other solutions. 

Automated customer service provides a cost-effective and scalable way for companies to keep up with customer expectations in this evolving digital world.

In this article, we’ll detail how automation improves operational efficiency, makes customers and employees happier, and increases profitability.

Why are companies facing labor shortages?

Many are speculating that the current labor shortages are caused by the COVID-19 rescue package supplement to unemployment benefits. Others say that outlook is too simplistic and list other factors including:

  • Increased child-care responsibilities due to the pandemic shutting down schools, child-care facilities, and activities for children
  • A reluctance to attend work outside the home because of ongoing health risks
  • Health complications for those who contracted COVID
  • A high number of employees who expect to return to their pre-COVID-19 workplace

COVID-19 isn’t the only influence. Many long-term trends are contributing to the labor shortages including:

  • A steep decline in the working-age population as Baby Boomers have reached retirement age
  • A large drop in labor force participation among 16-24-year-olds as they pursue higher education instead

What challenges do labor shortages create?

Labor shortages have serious implications. Some companies are unable to fulfill customer orders, while others struggle with allocating limited resources and overflow work. Even if companies find and hire employees, how can they keep these employees engaged, happy, and satisfied in their jobs if they are too busy keeping up with customer demand?

Why is automated customer service a great solution?

Automation is an obvious solution for addressing the labor shortage issues facing many businesses today. Here are some of the benefits of automated customer service for organizations:

Improved operational efficiency.

With automated customer support in place, companies can operate efficiently with a smaller support team. Both time and money are saved as artificial intelligence (AI) takes over lower-level tasks such as answering common questions or routing customers with duplicate support tickets.  

Increased profitability.

Customer support automation reduces labor costs but also allows businesses to focus on more strategic and profitable tasks, like creating new products and services and assessing customer feedback on a company-wide scale. As more of the customer service process is automated, employees have even more time to handle these and other important tasks.

Improved customer experience.

Automated customer service also improves the experience for the customer. They get instant access to customer support for simple requests and faster access to human agents for complex customer support issues. In some situations, the chatbot functionality of AI support automation platforms like Capacity can provide more useful responses than a human agent because it can access knowledge base articles and data from a range of sources in real-time. An AI-powered chatbot interacts with customers via conversations in natural language. This makes it easier for customers who are not tech-savvy to access the information and features they need via self-service. 

How should companies get started with customer service automation?

Companies need to review the customer support systems that they have in place and decide what to automate.

Some examples of how automated customer service can work include:

  • Answering frequently asked customer questions using an FAQ chatbot. When customers submit a ticket with a frequently asked question, the chatbot can provide a pre-written response with relevant information rather than having the same response written manually by different support agents multiple times. 
  • Automating tickets with duplicate information. If multiple customers submit the same ticket, a chatbot can be programmed to automatically route these tickets to one representative or team who will then follow up on all of them in quick succession.
  • Consolidating customer requests and complaints from different sources. If a customer contacts the company via the website and on social media, a chatbot can pull these messages together to ensure no details are missed.
  • Automatically identifying frequently unresolved problems and areas for improvement so that customers receive faster customer support resolutions.  
  • Responding appropriately to other trends and patterns in the customer data.   

Begin drawing out the steps for automation. Download the workbook. 

Why companies need customer support automation now.

Labor shortages make it imperative to find new ways to answer customer questions and provide real-time support. Automated customer service helps companies deliver on their promises to customers without having to recruit large numbers of service agents in a tough hiring environment. They can reduce costs without sacrificing service quality or risk losing top talent. 

Businesses that pass on the current opportunity to automate customer service risk losing customers to competitors and suffering a drop in revenue.

How can Capacity help?

The question of how to automate customer support becomes easy with Capacity.

Capacity connects all the tools and information that companies use to provide real-time answers to more than 80% of customer requests. As well as helping customers, it empowers team members to find the information they’re looking for without wading through a company’s knowledge database or various links.

If your business is looking to automate customer service, we can help.

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