Customer service automation 101: benefits, examples, and top apps

Jacob Bank
Jacob Bank

High quality customer service has always been one of the best ways to win and keep loyal customers. But at high volume, it can be a ton of work, so you need automation.

By employing customer service automation you can:

  • Streamline your service operations (according to the Ultimated Customer Service Trends 2024, the #1 change in customer behavior in 2023 was higher expectations)
  • Reduce wait times (42% of respondents report that they actually prefer to use a chatbot because it enables faster response times, per Zapdo)
  • Increase customer satisfaction (Over 7 in 10 consumers expect AI to improve service quality, according to Zendesk)

This article delves into the world of customer service automation—from a breakdown of its inner workings to a curated list of the top software options.

What is Customer Service Automation?

Customer service automation involves the use of various technologies to handle repetitive and routine customer service tasks without the need for human agents.

By integrating software tools into customer interactions, businesses can efficiently manage customer inquiries, improve response times, and streamline the entire customer journey.

Automation in customer service typically includes:

  • AI-powered chatbots capable of understanding and responding to common questions through Natural Language Processing (NLP)
  • Knowledge bases that provide customers with immediate access to information
  • Automated ticketing systems that categorize and route customer issues to the appropriate service agents
"The goal of customer service automation is to give customers a better experience with faster, more accurate answers, while also freeing up customer service agents to address more complex issues that require a human touch." — Jacob Bank, Founder of

How does Customer Service Automation Work?

Customer service automation leverages technology to manage customer inquiries and streamline support operations, offering rapid and efficient service while allowing human agents to focus on more complex issues.

It works by employing a mix of software tools, such as AI-powered chatbots, knowledge bases, and workflow automation platforms like, which is a step ahead of tools like Zapier.

Here is how it typically operates:

  1. Initial Customer Contact: A customer reaches out through various channels (email, chat, social media).
  2. Automated Acknowledgment: The system auto-generates a response acknowledging the receipt of the query.
  3. Inquiry Routing: Based on keywords or customer selection, inquiries are directed to appropriate response paths or departments.
  4. Automated Responses: Common questions are answered instantly using predefined templates or knowledge base articles.
  5. AI-powered Chatbots: For more interactive sessions, AI-powered chatbots using Natural Language Processing engage in conversation, simulating human interaction.
  6. Escalation to Human Agents: If the issue is complex or requires empathy, the query is escalated to a human agent for personalized attention.
  7. Feedback Collection: Post-resolution, automated requests for customer feedback are sent to gauge customer satisfaction.

Here's an example workflow:

This automation flow ensures that routine tasks are handled swiftly, hence improving response times and overall customer experience while safeguarding the human touch for nuanced customer services.

Automated Customer Service Examples

Scenario 1: Immediate Response to FAQs

Imagine a customer reaching out via your company’s chat feature asking about your return policy.

Instead of waiting for a human agent, an AI-powered chatbot instantly provides the answer by accessing a knowledge base.

The chatbot accurately interprets the customer's question using Natural Language Processing (NLP) and delivers a relevant response.


  • Reduces response time
  • Frees up agents for more complex issues
  • Increases customer satisfaction through swift replies

Actions Automated:

  • Recognizing customer queries
  • Retrieving information from knowledge bases
  • Delivering accurate answers to common questions

Scenario 2: Enhancing Email Support with Automation

A customer emails a service request.

An automation tool categorizes the email based on keywords, assigns it to the appropriate team, and sends an acknowledgment receipt to the customer.

This ensures that customer inquiries are efficiently managed and response times are improved.


  • Eliminates manual sorting of emails
  • Streamlines workflow
  • Improves overall efficiency of customer service teams

Actions Automated:

  • Categorizing customer emails
  • Routing requests to corresponding departments
  • Sending automated acknowledgments

How to Choose Customer Service Automation Software

With an ocean of options, it's crucial for support teams to choose tools that align with their unique needs. Here are some pivotal questions to ponder when evaluating customer service automation tools:

  • ⭐️ What repetitive tasks can be automated to free up time for your team?
  • ⭐️ Do I need to use dedicated Customer Service Automation tools or can I get by with workflow automation tools (e.g., Zapier)?
  • ⭐️ Does the software offer integration with your existing customer service tools?
  • ⭐️ How does the automation handle complex customer inquiries? Is there an efficient handoff to human agents?
  • ⭐️ What kind of AI and Natural Language Processing capabilities does it provide?
  • ⭐️ Can it adapt to your specific customer journey and enhance the overall customer experience?
  • ⭐️ Is the software's response time quick enough to meet customer expectations in real time?
  • ⭐️ ​​Does it include a Knowledge base for addressing common questions?
  • ⭐️ How does the tool collect and leverage customer feedback?
  • ⭐️ What is the balance between automated responses and human interaction?
  • ⭐️ How user-friendly is the automation tool for both your agents and your customers?

By carefully considering these aspects, Customer Service Managers can ensure they opt for a solution that not only automates routine tasks but also enriches the customer service landscape.

The 8 Best Customer Service Automation Software

Here's a roundup of some of the best Customer Service Automation Software to help you make the right decision:

1. Zendesk

Zendesk is a robust service-first CRM company that builds software designed to improve customer relationships. It is known for its ease of use and scalability to suit both small businesses and large enterprises.


  • Multi-channel support (email, chat, voice, social media)
  • AI-powered automated responses with Answer Bot
  • Integrated knowledge base management
  • Advanced analytics and reporting tools


  • Comprehensive feature set
  • Extensive integrations
  • Strong community and marketplace


  • Full suite can be expensive for small teams
  • Initial learning curve


  • Support Team: US $19 per agent/month
  • Support Professional: US $55 per agent/month
  • Support Enterprise: US $115 per agent/month
  • Suite Team: US $69 per agent/month
  • Suite Growth: US $89 per agent/month
  • Suite Professional: US $115 per agent/month

2. Intercom

Intercom specializes in conversational customer service and engagement platforms, offering a personalized messaging-first experience.


  • Targeted chatbots and personalized messages
  • Customer engagement and segmentation tools
  • Customizable workflow and automation capabilities
  • Integration with other business tools


✅ User-friendly interface

✅ Strong automation for user engagement

✅ Versatile use-cases for sales and support

❌ Pricey for smaller teams

❌ Can become complex with extensive customizations


  • Essential: $29 per seat/month
  • Advanced: $99 per seat/month
  • Expert: $139 per seat/month

Note: Intercom uses an add-on structure for features like AI Chatbot, Proactive Support, and Multi-Channel support incurring additional fees.

3. Freshdesk

Freshdesk is a cloud-based customer service software that offers businesses of all sizes a powerful and streamlined support solution.


  • Omnichannel support (chat, email, phone, social media)
  • AI chatbots for immediate assistance
  • Easy to set up and manage SLA policies
  • Gamification for agent motivation

Pros and Cons

✅ Intuitive design ideal for startups

✅ Affordable pricing

✅ Good scalability options

❌ Reporting can be limited without customization

❌ Automation can require manual input for setup


  • Free up to 10 agents
  • Growth: $20 per agent/month
  • Pro: $45 per agent/month
  • Enterprise: $70 per agent/month

Freshdesk also offers add-ons for generative AI assistance, AI-powered analysis and recommendations, and phone support.

4. Help Scout

Help Scout is designed for companies that want an easy-to-use customer service solution with a focus on human interactions.


  • Shared inbox for better team collaboration
  • Beacon for hovering chat and contact forms
  • In-depth conversation metrics
  • Customizable knowledge base

Pros and Cons

✅ Sleek, simple interface

✅ Effective knowledge base feature

✅ Great customer support

❌ Less suitable for very large teams

❌ Limited advanced features


  • Standard: $25 per user/month
  • Plus: $50 per user/month
  • Pro: $65 per user/month (Annual only)

5. Salesforce Service Cloud

A part of the Salesforce product suite, Service Cloud is an enterprise-level customer service solution with extensive features and customization.


  • Comprehensive CRM capabilities
  • Case management and AI-powered routing
  • Extensive analytics and reporting
  • Support for IoT integration


✅ Highly customizable

✅ Strong ecosystem and community

✅ Works well for complex businesses

❌ Can require dedicated admin for setup and maintenance

❌ Higher price point


All prices are billed annually:

  • Starter Suite: $35 per user/month
  • Professional: $112 per user/month
  • Enterprise: $231 per user/month
  • Unlimited: $462 per user/month

6. Gorgias

Gorgias is a customer service automation platform that specializes in providing seamless integration with popular e-commerce platforms like Shopify, Magento, and WooCommerce.

It offers a wide range of features designed to streamline customer support processes and enhance user experience.


  • Helpdesk ticketing system for efficient issue tracking and resolution
  • AI-powered chatbots for automated responses and customer self-service
  • Macros and templates for quick and consistent replies
  • Order tracking and shipping notifications
  • Customer data consolidation, including order history and contact information

Pros and Cons

✅ Deep integration with e-commerce platforms for seamless customer support

✅ Offers time-saving automation and self-service options

✅ User-friendly interface for easy navigation and setup

✅ Robust analytics and reporting capabilities


  • Limited customization options compared to some other platforms
  • Pricing can be higher for larger teams or higher volumes of support requests


All prices are monthly:

  • Starter: $10/month
  • Basic: $60/month
  • Pro: $360/month
  • Advanced: $900/month

7. Kayako

Kayako is a comprehensive customer service platform that provides businesses with all the tools they need to deliver exceptional customer support.

With a variety of features and a user-friendly interface, Kayako is designed to streamline customer service processes and improve customer satisfaction.


  • Excellent helpdesk ticketing system
  • Live chat can be integrated into websites, apps, or even social media platforms.
  • Knowledge base where businesses can create and organize articles, FAQs, and tutorials
  • AI-powered tools to analyze customer interactions and sentiment

Pros and Cons

✅ User-friendly interface

✅ Unified customer view

✅ Comprehensive reports and analytics

❌ Pricing structure may be a hurdle for small businesses or startups


Kayako offers flexible pricing plans based on the number of users and required features. Businesses can request a quote based on their specific needs.

8. Front

Front is a collaborative inbox tool that helps streamline communication with customers across multiple channels, including email, SMS, chat, and social media. It allows service reps to have access to the same information, ensuring a consistent and efficient customer experience.


  • Supports email, SMS, chat, social media, and other communication channels
  • Automatically assigns conversations to specific employees
  • Enables collaborative drafts and comments for responding to customers
  • Helps prevent multiple responses to customers and emails slipping through unnoticed

Pros and Cons

✅ Improves customer experience by providing a consistent and efficient communication process

✅ Automates conversation assignments to avoid duplicate responses

✅ Facilitates collaboration among team members for better response quality

✅ Supports a variety of communication channels for comprehensive customer support


  • Starter: $29 per seat/month
  • Growth: $79 per seat/month
  • Scale: $99 per seat/month (Annual only)
  • Premier: $229 per seat/month (Annual only)

Automate Customer Service with provides a cost-effective solution particularly suited to small, agile teams.

With our platform, you can automate simple yet essential customer support workflows, integrating seamlessly with tools you already use like Gmail, Slack, CRMs, and even project management tools like Notion or Airtable.

This flexibility allows your team to enhance productivity without the overhead of more complex systems.

Key Automations Possible with

  • 🔄 Auto-Assigning Inquiries: Automatically direct customer inquiries to the appropriate agents based on pre-set criteria, ensuring that every customer gets the right attention without delay.
  • ⏰️ Follow-Up Scheduling: Use customer feedback to automatically schedule follow-ups, making sure no customer query goes unresolved.
  • 🙋 Instant Answers: Integrate with knowledge bases to provide immediate responses to common questions, enhancing customer satisfaction.
  • 🚥 Priority Management: Prioritize issues based on urgency, ensuring that critical customer needs are addressed promptly.

Plus,’s Human in the Loop feature distinctively integrates human decision-making into the workflow automation process.

This means that for more nuanced or complex queries, your team can intervene at just the right moment, combining the efficiency of automation with the irreplaceable value of human judgment.

As a startup, we utilize our own tools to automate our customer support. This allows us to provide quick responses effectively while retaining the flexibility to escalate issues to human agents when necessary.

By automating routine tasks, our team can focus on enhancing product features and customer experience, driving greater value for our users.

If you’re looking to enhance your customer service capabilities without the heavy investment in traditional systems, offers the perfect blend of simplicity, efficiency, and flexibility.

Automate with a human touch using — sign up today, no credit card required.


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