Interacting with automated response systems when contacting a business for customer service is commonplace in today’s world––whether it’s via chat, text, email, or phone. Many organizations have replaced human interactions with technology to cut down on costs and increase the productivity of the entire customer service department. But is this really what’s best for customers?

This technology certainly comes with its advantages, but business leaders have noticed data showing how a quality customer experience directly correlates to its success. As a result of these findings, titles like “Director of Customer Service” and “Chief Experience Officer” have begun to emerge. Although this is a step in the right direction, studies show that 59% of customers believe brands have long forgotten the need for human interaction in customer service.

Most businesses understand the need to operate a highly efficient customer service department. But to achieve this, organizations must find the right balance of technology and human touch. Here are some steps they can take to enhance automated tools while still delivering excellent customer service:

The perfect combination: human personality and SMS automation

Being greeted by an automated voice on a phone call is a frustrating experience for many customers. Similarly, some find it confusing to communicate with customer service via a computerized SMS conversation. That said, 75% of customers will still choose to interact with a person no matter how advanced automated technology becomes. As much as interactive AI evolves, there will always be an inherent lack of personalization and accommodating nature with technology that only a human can have. With that being said, innovations in customer service tech have still made great strides.

Overall, businesses need to be thoughtful and cautious when automating customer service interactions. Hence the need for platforms like telephone and SMS to be used frequently. Today, these platforms can use an actual agent’s voice and personalize automated texts, which humanizes automated conversations like never before. Customer service departments should avoid sending automated text messages with the same information to every customer. Simple steps such as using a person’s name or other custom details in the SMS will allow companies to build a solid rapport and connect with their customers as much as possible over text.

Use client behaviors to personalize emails

Organizations can now send personalized, real-time emails to their customers thanks to innovative technology. These emails can even be fit towards their customers’ behaviors like purchase history and website visits.

As a rule of thumb, marketers should choose what customer identification data matter most to them so their emails can be personal, spontaneous and practical. Even further, marketers must carefully plan the timing of these emails. Casual window shoppers become regular, paying customers when this outreach is effectively done. Personalized emails convert new customers and keep loyal customers in the know on company offerings and announcements.

Know the purpose of your communication

Before organizations send out an SMS or email, they must ask themselves: what is the purpose behind this communication going out to our customers? In order to provide the best answer, research and data collection must be completed as a first step. To make automated messaging as humanized as possible, organizations need to understand their customers’ wants and needs and align with their expectations.

Customer service should be a top priority for any business. A proper mix of technology and human interaction should enhance customer experience and keep them satisfied. Many companies have succeeded by combining human personality with SMS and automation, personalizing emails based on a customer’s online behavior and aligning communication with customer expectations. As technology and automation improve, the need for customer service departments to evolve will only increase.