By : Sarah Hurd | January 25, 2023 | 6 min read

Customer Service: From Cost Center to Value Driver 

The customer service landscape has changed dramatically over the past few years. 

Gone are the days when customer service was seen as an inevitable cost center that companies had to bear in order to keep their customers happy.  

With advancements in customer experience (CX) technology, customer service is increasingly seen as a way for companies to differentiate themselves from their competitors, stand out in a crowded marketplace, and even drive revenue.  

In fact, according to a recent study by Ultimate, 36% of business leaders are seeing direct revenue generation with customer support automation. We’re sure that number will continue to grow as more support teams adopt technology like AI chatbots and ticket automation software. 

But how exactly do AI and automation help turn customer service departments from cost centers to value (and even revenue) drivers? We’ll discuss three main ways in the article below.  

AI Improves Customer Satisfaction  

One of the biggest reasons to invest in CX technology is that it can improve customer satisfaction. This, in turn, leads to increased customer retention and a higher lifetime value of customers.  

AI can help service teams:  

  • Provide 24/7, omnichannel support: By providing a chatbot that is available 24/7 and on multiple channels like web, social, and more, you give customers the ability to resolve their issues where they want and when they want.  
  • Predict when customer issues will arise: AI can be used to predict customer behavior and preferences, allowing companies to proactively address potential problems before they arise. 
  • Offer easy navigation of self-help articles: Chatbots can provide customers with an easy-to-use interface for self-service support, allowing them to find answers to their questions and resolve issues quickly and efficiently. 

By improving a support team’s ability to resolve tickets quickly and with personalization, AI has become a key driver of customer satisfaction. And remember, a satisfied customer is often a repeat customer.  

AI Helps You Sell More 

Another way that CX technologies can drive business value is by helping you sell more. Below are just four of the main ways that AI-powered chatbots or intelligent virtual agents can drastically increase your revenue.  

  1. Personalize recommendations: You can use a chatbot to recommend products or services based on a customer’s past purchases or browsing history. This can help increase the likelihood that a customer will make a purchase. 
  1. Upsell and cross-sell: Chatbots can also be used to suggest complementary or higher-priced products to customers who are already considering making a purchase. 
  1. Reduce shopping cart abandonment: Chatbots can be a useful tool for helping businesses to address cart abandonment issues by encouraging customers to complete their purchases. For example, a chatbot could send a message to a customer who has abandoned their cart, offering them a discount code or free shipping if they complete their purchase. 
  1. Perform segmented marketing: AI can help businesses better understand their customers by analyzing customer data and identifying common characteristics and behaviors. This can be used to create more targeted marketing campaigns. 

These capabilities are perhaps the most recent ways that support teams are utilizing technology like AI to be seen as revenue drivers.  

Automation Reduces Operational Costs 

A healthy dose of automation can go a long way toward reducing a support team’s operating costs.  

For example, chatbots deflect a significant portion of customer service inquiries, including assisting with simple, frequently asked questions (FAQs) or providing information about account status or order tracking. By automating routine tasks, AI can help customer service teams focus on more complex and value-added tasks. In short, this helps: 

  • Reduce labor costs: By automating tasks that were previously performed by humans, such as responding to frequently asked questions or routing customer inquiries to the appropriate department, automation can help reduce the need for human labor. This means less time spent hiring, training, and retaining staff.  
  • Increase support team efficiency: Automation increases the speed and accuracy of tasks, allowing customer support teams to handle a larger volume of inquiries in a shorter amount of time.  

By empowering your human reps to be more productive, AI enables teams to save on operational costs..  

Conclusion: With AI, Customer Service Teams Become Revenue Drivers 

The expectations that customers have of support teams are constantly evolving, and so is the technology that enables customer service teams to do their jobs.  

With the right CX technology (Think: AI and automation), support teams can identify upsell and cross-sell opportunities, reduce operational costs, improve the efficiency of customer service teams, increase customer satisfaction, and ultimately bring in more revenue.  

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