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Article 4 min read

Why you should use historical data to automate inquiries

Automation is dominating the conversation in customer service right now. It’s little wonder so many businesses are starting to think about automating their support.

By Erika Madriñan, Partner marketing manager,

Last updated September 27, 2021

In fact, according to Gartner, by 2022 70% of all customer interactions will involve emerging tools like chatbots, machine learning, and mobile messaging, up from 15% from 2018. Customer service automation has proven to reduce agent frustration and turnover, increase customer satisfaction and improve customer loyalty.

Automation does not come without any challenges, however. Based on our interactions with clients across various different industries and geographies, these are the most common concerns:

  • Before automation
    Automation and AI can be difficult topics to really understand. Potential customers need to understand what automation REALLY means for their business – while building trust and without overhyping it.
  • When ready to automate
    Companies are often excited about the potential but overwhelmed by the process ahead. When starting with a blank slate there is confusion on where and how to actually begin. When there are more options because of more historical data the questions tend to be more focused on figuring out automation priorities in a data-driven manner.
  • When starting to automate
    The main questions here tend to be: How accurate will the virtual agent be and how will it actually drive customer satisfaction? And which should be automated first: easily-answered questions or questions easily influencing the CSAT?

These questions can be complex and plentiful. But the solutions don’t have to be. When it comes down to it, automation requires a strong understanding of your customer data and inquiries.

And of course it’s AI that uses data from people’s conversations to increase the accuracy of virtual agents. Which, down the line, leads to higher customer satisfaction. Imagine automating the wrong conversations — no value added, no benefits seen. Often our perception of the most frequently asked questions is different from what the data says.

Often our perception of the most frequently asked questions is different from what the data says.

Acquiring the right data sets provides insights into automation potential and common topics in your historical support data. This means you can not only easily build and prioritize the dialogues for your virtual agents but you can also provide the best answers to what your customers frequently ask.

Here are some of the key results from when customers use data for automation:

  • Discovered topics
    your past conversations with customers can be a treasure trove of useful data!
  • Automation potential
    how many messages the AI is able to understand
  • Impact on key KPIs
    Average Handling Time (AHT), Response Times, Hours Worked and more

    More important, here are the top 4 reasons why using data to automate your inquiries is the best strategy to kickstart your automation journey:
    • Reason #1: Deepen your customer understanding

      Once you know the most common customer pain points, you can identify where your resources are best spent. For example, you can hone in on where to put more hands on deck, where to apply automation and where your customer support could be more proactive. You can then turn these learnings into products and services that resonate more.

      Reason #2: Faster decision-making processes

      Data never lies. When your historical support data tells you what the most common inquiries are, you will know what conversations to prioritize in your CRM, automation workflows to build, FAQs to highlight and content to push.

      This is the topic visualization and data table that can be found within the report. It allows you to visualize the most common topics (suggested “Intents”) the AI has found in your data.
    • Reason #3: Increase customer satisfaction

      As you understand how your customers ask for help, you can improve your agents’ responses – virtual and human – with faster and more effective support. This leads to higher customer satisfaction and the likelihood of increased retention.
    • Reason #4: Increase deflection rate/ decrease contact rate

      Your agents get a new best friend through an automation platform that exists to free their focus away from repetitive and mundane tasks and towards more complex and empathetic ones. This is no exaggeration – this critical infrastructure can truly become an extension of your support team itself. The Impact Report shows how many conversations your bot can handle without breaking a sweat vs your agents.

    Historical data can not only kickstart your automation and understand your customers’ journey, it can also simulate new topic ideas for further improvement of your virtual agent.
    Since Ultimate is embedded within Zendesk, you can use the one-click integration to easily import your existing conversations and let the AI do all the work, all within minutes. This means you can get your automation journey started right away using insights from your historical data. is building the world’s best virtual agent platform. It’s the only customer service automation platform embedded in your Zendesk CRM and supports Chat, Support and Sunshine Conversations. The top-rated Virtual Agent by G2, it has proven success with Zendesk clients in Fintech, Retail, Travel and iGaming, across EMEA and AMER.

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