3 tactics to reduce customer support costs and improve service in 2023

Natalie Smithson
AI enthusiast | Tea addict | Focused on using AI assistants to win the working week
chatbot ai success

Customer support managers face a seemingly impossible balancing act this year, improving service while cutting costs. Here are three tactics you can use to reduce customer support costs and create a better experience for your customers this year, achieving both goals at the same time.

Break down costs to incentivise savings

One of our clients, Barking & Dagenham Council, was spending around £192,000 per month on customer support calls and emails. When they broke down that spending to better see where their budget was going, they found every individual enquiry cost them £4.80.

This metric became a big incentive for the whole team ― it helped motivate them to find ways to reduce costs and encouraged them to shift enquiry handling to their AI assistant. In return, they were able to focus their deeper customer service on the enquiries that needed a person to speak to the customer, which improved customer satisfaction scores.

To reveal your own cost per enquiry, simply take your monthly customer support expenditure and divide it by the number of calls, emails and live chats you get.

Start automating customer enquiries

To keep costs lean this year and maximise savings, customer service leaders are choosing to automate customer support. In healthcare and banking alone, Juniper Research predicts by 2027 up to 90% of customer queries will be handled by AI assistants.

Barking & Dagenham Council were able to automate 6% of all their customer calls straight away using an advanced AI assistant. In their first six months, it saved them the cost of 10,000 customer enquiries. Bear in mind even complex transactions or complicated processes can be automated by adding simple integrations to a web-based AI assistant.

As a result of automating customer queries, the Council has seen a 67% uplift in customer satisfaction, reporting the AI assistant is “exceeding customer expectations”.

Make customer service more convenient for people

Offering a 24-hour service is a great way to instantly improve customer support, so your customers can get help when they need it, even if it’s the middle of the night.

Worrying if your customers will take to new digital services has been a natural concern for many customer support leaders, but since 2020 the use of chatbots has doubled. 83% of Legal & General customers now turn to their AI assistant first rather than use traditional methods of contact, preferring instant responses to questions during the day or night.

Such a positive experience shows you can improve customer service and reduce customer support costs at the same time since you’ll spend a lot less on an AI assistant than you will on hiring more agents to cover a 24-hour service. A customer support agent typically costs around £13.20 per hour in the UK, whereas you can launch an AI assistant for as little as £99 per month.

Work in new ways this year to cut costs and boost customer satisfaction

In the past, you might have relied on a mix of permanent, temporary and zero-contract resource to handle cost cuts, and that often has a detrimental impact on service and satisfaction scores.

Launching a chatbot is a tried and tested way to cut costs while improving satisfaction, but the majority of standard tools and plans have cost implications and technical complexities.

The new way to transform the value you can create within customer support is to embrace AI. A next-generation AI assistant is quick to create, it makes fewer mistakes, learns quickly to improve the customer experience, and is already cheaper to run than a traditional chatbot tool.

Barking & Dagenham Council were successfully able to reduce customer support costs and significantly increase customer satisfaction with the help of an advanced AI assistant and achieved a 533% return on investment (ROI) in just nine months. To see what you can achieve for your organisation, calculate your estimated ROI today using our handy savings calculator.