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Customer experience automation: A guide to doing more with less

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Customer Experience (CX) is the sum of all the interactions a customer has with a business. Beginning with the time the customer becomes aware that your brand exists, through their use of your products and services, to the after-sales assistance you provide, every moment counts.

It's no wonder, then, that 87% of companies believe that CX can be a differentiating factor for their brands. By promoting a journey tailored to each person, businesses make them feel special, helping to facilitate an emotional connection with the company.

When customers are able to develop this type of affective bond with companies, they almost invariably become more loyal to those businesses. In fact, a Nielsen study conducted in 2022 revealed that the second factor that most affects the purchase decision of consumers are emotional reasons and intangible elements (71%), including reputational qualities and brand value.

As your business grows, however, it can be difficult to balance efficiency and accuracy at scale – all while still maintaining the human touch that customer interactions require.

That’s why you need to learn how to unlock the full potential of CX automation. In this article, you’ll discover important concepts and figures related to CX automation, including:  

  • The benefits of an automated customer experience

  • The key metrics influenced by CX automation

  • Use cases and successful customer experience automation stories

  • Actionable tips to implement your CXA strategy

What is customer experience automation (CXA)?

Customer Experience Automation (CXA) is the process of automating repetitive tasks that occur throughout the customer journey. The objective of CXA is to reduce time spent on manual tasks, increase employee productivity, and deliver seamless, personalized interactions between businesses and their customers.

What are the main benefits of CX Automation?

1. It reduces inbound support volume

According to Intercom’s Customer Service Trends Report 2023, 47% of support leaders say they plan to invest in proactively answering customers’ frequently asked questions ahead of time.

In addition to having a clear vision of the customer journey and identifying issues before they arise, you can use a customer experience automation platform to:

  • Create a triage system and prioritize problem solving.

  • Collect without manual intervention all the crucial information necessary to troubleshooting. 

  • Offer self-service resources, like a knowledge base or AI-powered chatbot.

  • Identify recurring questions and leverage that knowledge to upskill your support agents.

Verena Kuhn, Head of Community Support at Pitch, experienced first-hand the benefits of customer experience automation:

2. It increases team efficiency

CX automation also helps support teams to do more with less. In fact, the previously mentioned Intercom report revealed that 71% of leaders plan to invest more in automation in the coming year to increase their efficiency. Some 68% of leaders, meanwhile, cited managing support costs as one of their primary reasons. 

By empowering your customers to find answers to their queries at their own pace, you can kill two birds with one stone.

On the one hand, you’re able to satisfy your customers' expectations of getting near-instantaneous answers to their queries. On the other, you free your support agents from repetitive tasks and allow them to focus on more complex activities that demand more time, attention and human perspective.

3. It leads to happier customers

Another finding from the Intercom report is that personalization is a key factor in driving happy customers and business growth: teams are 2x more likely to report an increase in customer satisfaction, customer retention, and customer loyalty when they invest in personalization efforts.

However, despite the clear benefits of doing so, more than half of teams (54%) lack the right tools to deliver personalization at scale. This is where customer experience automation comes into play. In addition to helping to create a tailored journey for each person, it also contributes to reducing response times and increasing the rate of problem resolution.

For example, you can trigger messages and user flows based on events (i.e., an action your customer takes on your site or when interacting with your product/service). So when your customers make a purchase or need to reset their password, you can send fast, accurate, and personalized messages to them, including their first name and relevant data to ensure they feel acknowledged and seen.

This CXA effort looks like this:

Key metrics influenced by Customer Experience Automation

1. Resolution metrics

Resolution metrics are statistics that measure not only how quickly you respond to a customer's queries, but also how accurately and effectively you do so. By implementing customer experience automation tools, you can improve your resolution metrics and facilitate smoother, more seamless customer experiences. 

The primary resolution metrics are as follows : first response time, first contact resolution, average resolution time, and resolution rate. Below, we’ll take a closer look at each of them.

First response time (FRT)

First response time (FRT) measures how long it takes for a support representative to reply to a customer query for the first time. You can calculate it by applying the following formula:

FRT = Total first response time for all tickets received ÷ Total number of interactions

While the benchmark varies depending on the industry you're in, the goal, obviously, is always to get the first response back to the customer as quickly as possible.

To find out whether your company has room for improvement, it’s critical that you follow your FRT rate closely. Surprisingly, though, only 20.1% of support teams track this metric, according to Klaus’s 2023 Customer Service Quality Benchmark Report.

But if you already know what your figures are, you can use customer experience automation tools, such as AI-powered chatbots, to boost your FRT.

A 2019 Gartner study demonstrates just how thoroughly automation will come to dominate self-service in the next few years. The research and consulting firm predicts that 1 billion tickets will be automatically generated by the interaction of the clients with the bots by 2030.

This staggering figure speaks to the expectation for rapidly expanding self-service solutions that not only understand customers' needs, but also allow them to proactively manage their own queries.

Because customers appreciate getting instant answers on the channels that best suit their needs at any particular moment, AI chatbots can serve as a great tool to reduce your FRT.

First contact resolution (FCR)

First contact resolution (FCR) measures how often your customers’ queries are resolved after their first call, email, text, or chat session with your company’s support team. Here’s the formula:

FCR (%) = Number of issues resolved on first contact ÷ Total number of issues x 100

In short, FCR reveals how efficient your team is at solving customers’ queries in just a single interaction. And as with FRT, most companies are failing to monitor this metric – the Klaus report shows that only a third of companies measure their FCR.

The good news is that CX automation can help you provide intelligent routing. Intelligent routing refers to the utilization of customer data to route customers to the most suitable human agent or self-service resource, ensuring customers get exactly what they need without testing their patience or availability.

During the triage phase, a customer experience automation platform can also help you determine what drives repeat contact. By understanding the motivation behind customer queries, support reps can be better prepared to handle the issue properly. This, in turn, increases the chances of first contact resolution.

Average Resolution Time (ART)

Average Resolution Time (ART) measures the time each support agent takes to solve all opened tickets in a given time frame. 

It's a great KPI to objectively assess individual performance within your team. Yet again, though, Klaus’s report indicates that it’s being underutilized: only 22.2% of companies keep track of this metric. Here’s the formula to calculate it:

ART = Total resolution time for all tickets resolved ÷ Number of tickets solved

How can customer experience automation tools help you to improve your team’s ART? Through something called escalation triggers. These valuable resources allow you to set up rules and conditions that automatically route a certain challenging query to the senior agent or specialized team most qualified to solve it efficiently.

Resolution Rate (RR)

Resolution Rate (RR) measures the percentage of queries you actually solved compared to the total you received (the closer you get to 100%, it probably goes without saying, the better).

Apply the following formula and find out where you are now:

Resolution Rate (%) = (Number of Answered Queries - Number Unanswered Queries) ÷ Total number of received queries x 100


Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) measures how happy your customers are with your products, services and experiences. Questions are usually asked based on the Likert scale, with 5 response options:

  • 1 - Very unsatisfied

  • 2 - Somewhat unsatisfied

  • 3 - Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied

  • 4 - Somewhat satisfied

  • 5 - Extremely satisfied

According to the Klaus report, only 38.1% of support teams track their CSAT. Although there are many ways of calculating it, companies usually apply the following formula:

CSAT (%) = Number of satisfied customers (those rating your 4 or 5) ÷ Total number of responses x 100

With customer experience automation tools powered by AI, support teams are able to deliver 24/7 assistance, with faster and more contextual responses. These advantages will prevent your customers from having to repeat themselves over and over during multiple interactions, almost certainly improving their satisfaction levels.

Likewise, it’s possible to automate the process of sending satisfaction surveys to customers after a specific event, such as completing a purchase or finishing an interaction with a representative.

3. Ticket volume

Another metric that can benefit from automation is ticket volume. By implementing tools like chatbots and knowledge bases, you drastically reduce the amount of tickets that will require human intervention. In this way, more queries are resolved in less time.

Ticket volume doesn’t have a formula, but it can be summarized like this:

Ticket Volume = Total tickets for the selected period

Successful Customer Experience Automation Stories

Now that you know the power of CX automation, it's time to discover how successful companies have used these platforms to reduce time spent on repetitive manual tasks throughout their customers' journeys.


Aglet is a location-based app connecting sneakerheads, creators, and brands through virtual sneakers. From the very beginning of the company’s launch, Aglet has relied on Intercom as their chosen customer service platform.

With a complex and mobile-first product, Aglet needed a solution that could deliver a seamless experience and provide in-context assistance. However, they also recognized the importance of being flexible enough to accommodate customers wherever they were, meeting them on their preferred channels.

In fact, one of the biggest challenges Aglet faced was a diverse and dispersed customer base, spanning across various time zones. This resulted in a constant influx of support queries, keeping the company’s support agents occupied around the clock.

As a solution, Aglet quickly turned to the use of bots and automation, leveraging their power to manage high volumes of inbound conversations. This strategic decision allowed them to strike a balance between efficiently handling support queries and still providing a personalized and human-like support experience to their valued customers.

Because of its early adoption of automation tools, Aglet’s numbers now speak for themselves:

  • 57% of conversations handled by Resolution Bot are automatically resolved.

  • 2k+ support team hours saved.

78.8% self-serve support rate.

To date, [Articles] has helped 78.8% of our customers to self-serve answers to their own questions. That amounts to more than 250,000 inbound queries that we were able to resolve without human intervention.
David Hooper

Senior Support Manager at Aglet


Zip is a leading “buy now, pay later” company, providing quick and seamless solutions that simplify how people pay.

With offices across the globe, this fintech company needed a solution that could rise to the occasion and help the customer support team streamline its management of customer queries and reduce the overall workload of individual team members.

Another challenge Zip was looking to overcome was finding a way to ensure that its team was able to meet Zip’s SLAs for customers – an expectation the company’s previous support tool failed to fulfill.

By adding Intercom to their tech stack, Zip’s team has been able to scale their support efficiently, provide contextual assistance and meet customers when they need Zip the most. And they were able to achieve all of that without dramatically increasing their headcount.

The results of these efforts to create engaging and delightful experiences are clear:

  • 33.6% of conversations are automatically resolved by Resolution Bot.

  • $500k saved thanks to bots and automation.

68% of customers who interact with Custom Bots don’t need human support.

Since implementing Resolution Bot and Custom Bots, our resolved by self-serve support rate has climbed to a healthy range of 34–38%, which saves our customers time and makes their experience more efficient.
Martin Gohary

CX Operations Manager at Zip U.S.


Nuuly is a curated fashion destination for anyone who loves sartorial styles and trends and is exploring how to wear, buy, and sell clothes in ways that are gentler on the planet and their wallets. Based in Pennsylvania, this retail company wanted to be able to talk to their customers quickly and in a friendly, empathetic way while tackling all the logistical challenges that popped up along the way.

To deliver personalized support to a large number of customers, the team turned to Intercom's customer experience automation features. As the volume of incoming conversations increased, they cleverly utilized tags in Intercom to identify common patterns in the questions they received. 

To address these frequently asked questions, Nuuly took the opportunity to create a customized Resolution Bot, playfully named “Chat Cat,” which proved to be a valuable tool in efficiently resolving customer queries.

Nuuly’s results after leveraging bots and automation to power support at scale were impressive:

  • 96% CSAT.

  • 12,000 monthly conversations.

  • 27.4% questions automatically resolved by Resolution Bot.

What do you need to implement a customer experience automation strategy?

1. Identify suitable triggers

For customer experience automation to be successful, you need to identify which activities are the most time-consuming and require human intervention. Then, you should carefully observe what the triggers are for these actions. The table below provides several examples:

  • Trigger: New Customer Registration

  • Automation: Send a personalized welcome email or message to onboard them effectively.

  • Trigger: Abandoned Shopping Cart

  • Automation: Send an automated email or push notification with a gentle reminder or a special discount to encourage them to finalize the transaction.

  • Trigger: Order Shipment

  • Automation: Send the customer an automated email or SMS with the tracking information to keep them informed about their package's delivery status.

  • Trigger: Purchase Completion or Service Interaction Finished

  • Automation: Send an automated survey or feedback request to gather their thoughts and opinions on their experience.

  • Trigger: Recurring Purchase (e.g., monthly subscriptions)

  • Automation: Send reminders to prompt them to place the next order before their current subscription expires.

  • Trigger: Special Occasions

  • Automation: Send personalized messages or exclusive offers to customers on their birthdays or other important milestones.

  • Trigger: Post-Purchase Follow-Up

  • Automation: Send a thank-you email or follow-up message to customers after they make a purchase to ensure satisfaction and offer assistance if needed.

  • Trigger: Product Updates or Releases

  • Automation: Send automated emails, notifications, or messages, tailoring the information based on their past preferences.

2. Create the ideal combination of actions

In order to create the ideal combination of actions for customer experience automation, you need to identify the key touchpoints throughout the customer journey, from brand awareness to post-purchase follow-up.

Then, you should gather customer feedback and analyze the pain points. Remember that customer opinion is one of the most valuable pieces of data you can obtain, as it provides essential, firsthand evidence into which areas are most in need of improvement. 

After collecting this information, it's time to map out your automation opportunities by identifying  repetitive and time-consuming tasks.

Let’s say you’re facing the following scenario:

  • Pain Point: High volume of customer inquiries during peak seasons, leading to long response times and customer frustration.

  • Automation Opportunity: Implementing a chatbot to handle routine inquiries and provide instant responses.

Here are a few of the actions you can combine: 

  • Add a chatbot powered by Natural Language Processing resources to understand and respond accurately to customer queries.

  • Integrate your chatbot with your help center to answer common questions.

  • Design a smooth transition flow from chatbots to live agents when the chatbot encounters complex queries or when customers request human assistance.

3. Choose the right customer experience automation platform

The best customer experience automation platform is the one capable of adapting to your business needs with as little effort required from you as possible. With that piece of criteria as a given, you need to evaluate providers against four other crucial characteristics:

  • Ready to use: The chosen platform shouldn’t take months to deploy or require special technical skills, like coding or programming.

  • Flexibility: It needs the ability to escalate with your business and work efficiently with different volumes of queries.

  • Integration: It must be interoperable; that is, able to integrate with your existing tech stack.

  • Omnichannel approach: This will guarantee that customers and support agents can seamlessly transition between different channels without losing context or relevant data.

Ready to thrive in customer experience automation?

With the rise of artificial intelligence, customer experience automation has become an essential and largely unavoidable trend. Everywhere you look, there are FAQs, knowledge bases and AI-powered chatbots ready to answer your burning questions at any time of the day. And that’s a good thing! 

If you want to reduce your ticket volume and increase customer satisfaction in minutes, Intercom has got you and your business covered. We help you offer support across channels, borders, and platforms by:

  • Automating manual tasks (such as routing, snoozing, and closing out conversations) with no code needed.

  • Personalizing and building journeys that deliver real value for your customers.

  • Detecting a customer’s idiom and triggering custom-language automations across 43 languages.

  • Integrating the tools you use everyday with over 400 pre-built apps in our app store.

And much more. 

Start your free trial today and leverage the benefits of customer experience automation.