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  • Sharon Climo

Is there such a thing as over-automation?




Automating your key systems is the way to turn your enterprise into a 21st century, digital business. But are we getting carried away with automation? And could we be systemising areas which could benefit from a more personalised, human touch?

Personalisation of the customer experience is vital. Automation can play a big part in creating targeted, data-based personalisation for each customer. But not everyone loves automation.

36% of customers in a recent survey would rather wait on hold to speak to a human agent when they have an issue, rather than interacting with an AI-powered virtual assistant to self-serve.

So, how do you get the balance right between automation and a genuine human touch?

A big part of offering a top-notch customer experience (CX) is having direct, personal human interactions with your customers. So, which tasks should you be automating? And which should you leave for your human team to deal with?

Here are a few ways to get the automation/human balance right:

  • Automate your basic admin tasks – most of us hate the tedious, time-consuming admin tasks. With smart use of software tools and customised AI assistants you can quickly automate things like onboarding new customers, answering basic FAQs or sending out reminders and notifications to your customers.

  • Automate your key finance tasks – many of the current crop of cloud accounting platforms have automation and artificial intelligence tools built in as standard. These tools help you automate your invoicing process, the collection of customer payments and the matching of transactions for your bank reconciliation process. This makes your bookkeeping and cashflow more effective and delivers real-time financial data.

  • Don't automate the whole customer journey – customers want efficiency but not impersonal automation throughout their entire customer journey. 77% of customers say they’re more loyal to businesses that offer top-notch service – and being able to speak to a human agent can be a big part of personalising and humanising these interactions.

  • Make your people integral to your brand – the personality and experience of your people is vital to your brand identity and your CX. Have as many human interactions with customers as possible and tailor your interactions in the most personalised way.

  • Don't put efficiency over and above having a human face – people buy from other people. Because of this, having a human touch is vital for delivering a top-class CX to your customers. You can have a slick, automated buying experience when it adds convenience, but don't remove people entirely from your offering. Without humans, you have a software process, not a real, living, breathing business.


There’s no denying that automation and smart use of AI will be vital for creating an efficient and productive digital business. But it’s important to never discount the importance of people, human interactions and real customer relationships when building and growing your business.

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