Automated customer service, with a human touch

Jan 14, 2019

The human touch is key to good customer service, we discuss how chatbots can assist human agents and increase their productivity.



A lot has been written about robots replacing humans, especially in relatively repetitive tasks. In the customer service world, this has often translated into the automation of at least part of the interactions with clients. The results have been varied.

Some companies have managed to create seamless interactions, others have had mixed results and others still have managed to perfectly recreate the frustrating experience of traditional, phone-based, customer service menus.

The human touch is key to good customer service

As a result, companies that receive high-stakes customer service messages or that place a lot of value on a human to human interactions, have often shied away from automation and missed out on a lot of potential benefits. Thankfully, there is a different way of doing things that could help automate without losing the human element.

We call it the “Helper Bot Method” or, in the festive season, the “Santa Claus method”. Its core principle is simple, the customer service interaction will always be between two human beings. One of them, however, will have a magic helper bot that will do most of the hard work, in much the same way that the Elves help Santa.

In this type of set up the bot or AI listens in on the conversation and whenever the customer asks for some information it goes and finds it. Just like the Elves, however, it does not deliver it directly to the customer, instead, it hands it to the customer service agent (Santa), who makes sure everything is correct, and edits it, before passing it on to the customer.

This ensures that the message passed on to the customer sounds human and answers the correct question. At the same time, it also ensures that the precious (and expensive) time of the customer support agent is only used upon those aspects of the interaction that require a human touch.

Well-designed chatbots can help your customer service team

Investing in even a simple helper bot can have a dramatic effect on the productivity of a customer service team by freeing up time that would otherwise be used in tasks that humans are not well suited for. Bots are generally a lot faster and better than humans at talking to computers and databases. They never get tired, don’t make mistakes, and can handle hundreds of queries simultaneously.

Moreover, in the same way, that bots can be used in customer-to-agent communications they can also be integrated into in-company communication, and fetch information from human beings in other departments. They are the ultimate multitaskers and can come in many forms.

The technology behind them may seem daunting but with the right guidance, they can be implemented in extremely effective ways. To get you started we have put together a crack team of experts that will help you find the best solution for your company – free of charge. Get in touch with them!