The Top 10 Customer Support Automation Examples and Use Cases

A woman pointing to a slide showing automation examples.

AI-powered customer service automation has so many applications, and as the tech evolves, the use cases do too. Here are some of the most common — and a few unexpected — use cases that prompted businesses to adopt support automation.

Automation can do more than tell you where your order is. When the average consumer thinks automation, they think ecommerce chatbots, so you might be wondering if automation is suited to your business and your customer support team. 

The good news is: while it might not have been a good fit 5 years ago, the technology advances of today mean it probably is. AI technology (and the public’s trust in it) is evolving. Just look at ChatGPT’s overnight success — the generative AI chatbot gained over 1 million users within a week of launch. And its capabilities have opened people’s eyes to just how human and accessible AI can be. 

AI-powered customer support automation has truly hit the mainstream. Gartner reports that making better use of AI remains a top priority for contact center leaders and according to McKinsey, 63% of organizations plan to increase their investment in AI over the next 3 years. What’s more, in our 2023 Trends Survey, 88% of business leaders reported that customers’ attitudes toward automation have improved over the past year. 

So with the technology constantly advancing, competitors adopting AI faster than ever, and customers increasingly trusting in the tech, it follows that more and more businesses are able to use automation for more complex use cases. 

Before we dive into automation use case examples, let’s go over the different types of automation:

Chat automation

Also known as chatbots, chat automation provides instant support to your customer via a live chat widget on the front end of your website. On the backend, a simple chatbot can retrieve answers to FAQs and surface self-serve resources from your knowledge base. The best AI chatbots, however, can take that a step further — instantly resolving requests, pulling customer details from your CRM to have personalized conversations, and gathering information for your agents if an inquiry needs to be escalated. 

Ticket automation

Ticket automation is the automation of anything that enters your CRM as a ticket — whether that be an email or a DM on Instagram. It also encompasses process automation, including triaging requests, tagging them, routing them to the right person and more.

Combine chat and ticket automation and what do you get? An AI-powered virtual agent (also sometimes referred to as a “bot”) that will revolutionize your customer support. 

Check out the all the latest AI Automation trends for 2023 at the Customer Support Academy. 

The top 10 customer support automation use cases

Here are a few examples of automation use cases that drove businesses like yours to adopt customer service automation. 

1. Increase availability of customer support services

One very common reason for automating your customer service is to be able to provide 24/7 support to your customers outside of regular office hours. With a virtual agent live on your site, your employees can still clock out at 5PM. Meanwhile, you can rest assured your bot will provide self-serve resources or instant resolutions for simple requests and escalate the issues that need human involvement. Your virtual agent can even ask a few initial questions to gather context for the agent that will eventually handle it the next morning. 

And, if you choose an automation solution that integrates with your CRM — like Zendesk or Salesforce, for example — your bot can even pull historical information from your customers’ files to help resolve the inquiry further. 

Learn how used automation to provide instant, 24/7 support in 4 languages without hiring a single extra agent.

2. Cut down on operational costs

Offloading the simplest tasks associated with customer support is an easy way to cut down on operational costs. By automating your most common inquiries, you can:

  • Drive down inbound chat and ticket volumes
  • Improve cost-per-contact ratio and cost-to-serve ratio
  • Reduce average handling time (AHT)

Not only does automation directly influence how many people actually end up speaking to an agent, it makes everyone’s lives easier once they do speak to an agent. Automation can make sure the inquiry is routed to the right person and the ticket is filled with information that’ll help resolve cases faster, driving down labor costs. 

What’s more, when companies are able to do more with fewer agents, automation can help cut down on the costs associated with training, managing and hiring additional agents. 

Discover how Verkkokauppa is saving 400 agent hours per week — and €330K per year — with automation.

3. Eliminate manual tasks

Routine actions, like changing a password or checking on a flight status, don’t need human involvement. Nor do many process automation tasks like routing and labeling tickets. With a few simple backend integrations, answers and resolutions can easily be automated. This frees up your agents to focus on more complex tasks. 

Learn how Pockit reduced its email backlog by 95% in just two weeks. 

4. Provide support for agents

Speaking of your agents… With manual and repetitive tasks taken care of by automation, they can work more efficiently and effectively. They can take on more complicated (and more rewarding) issues that require human empathy. Furthermore, this enables them to upskill — taking on new responsibilities or learning to manage your virtual agent can lead to more prestigious career opportunities within customer service. 

5. Improve customer service metrics

Automation can help businesses improve many key customer service metrics, such as first response times (FRT), first contact resolution rates (FCR), and, usually as a result of these other improved metrics, even customer satisfaction (CSAT)

ICYMI: Learn how to measure the success of your support in this on-demand event. 

6. Provide faster and more efficient service

Once you adopt automation, your customers can say goodbye to waiting in live chat queues. A virtual agent can instantly respond to your customers and assist your agents with providing more efficient service. 

“Virtual assistants can make it easier and more effortless for organizations to maximize the efficiency of their service teams while delivering an exceptional customer experience. This capability enables businesses to expand their contact center offering without increasing headcount and provide 24-hour service with minimal human involvement.”
- Chris Mina, Head of Contact Center Product Management at Vonage, our communications API partner

7. Expand to new markets and languages

Some virtual agent platforms are able to provide support in multiple languages. Ultimate’s, for example, can recognize 109 languages thanks to our built-in-house language detection software. This means that expanding your service to new markets or broadening your support without hiring additional agents has never been easier. 

Watch on-demand: How to launch customer support in 109 languages

8. Improve customer relationships 

Most of the use cases that have already been mentioned are foundational for providing quick and efficient customer service, which leads to higher customer satisfaction and increased customer retention. But in addition to faster, better support, sophisticated automation platforms will enable more personalized customer interactions. 

Some examples of automating personalized experiences could be:

  • Suggesting products or services your customers might like based on past behavior
  • Distinguishing between groups of customers (e.g. providing a different experience for a logged in user or a loyalty program member)
  • Talking to customers on the platform of their choice, including messaging channels like Messenger, Instagram or WhatsApp 

“This conversational approach starts the relationship off on the right foot, giving the customer quick access to the information they need, as well as full control over when and how they engage with you. When you offer immediate engagement in this way, you'll have a better chance of increasing sales and earning customer loyalty.”
- Yash Kotak, Senior Director, Product Management at Vonage and Founder of

9. Reduce transfer rates by improving automated routing

Automation can help businesses reduce transfer rates by routing support tickets and emails to the appropriate agent, reducing the need for customers to speak to multiple agents. To up routing efficiency even more, you can also ensure certain types of requests are routed to a certain group of agents based on skills, languages, and areas of specialization. 

Learn how AI can fast-track ticket resolution. 

10. Generate revenue

Automation is often seen as a cost-saving measure, but smart CS leaders are realizing it can actually be a money maker too. Your customer support bot can perform certain sales-related tasks, like upselling and cross-selling. For example, instead of merely processing a return, your virtual agent could suggest replacement products or make buyers aware of a promotion that’s going on.

Read the case study to see how Telia uses automation to generate direct revenue via customer support.

The business case for customer support automation’s many use cases

Customer support automation is quickly becoming a necessity in today's fast-paced and competitive business environment. The benefits of automation are clear — automation can provide 24/7 support to your customers, cut down on operational costs, free up support agents to focus on more complex issues, improve customer service metrics, and overall provide faster and more efficient service. Recent advancements in both the AI technology powering customer service automation and consumers' trust in AI mean that now is a great time for businesses to explore automation and its increasingly complex use cases. 

Found a use case that resonates?