2024 Trends: Customer Service Automation Is The Key to Faster ROI for SMBs

October 11, 2023

This post is part of G2's 2024 technology trends series. Read more about G2’s perspective on digital transformation trends in an introduction from Chris Voce, VP, market research, and additional coverage on trends identified by G2’s analysts.

Customer service automation benefits smaller companies' ROI   

Among businesses, the customer service departments are routinely seen as cost centers under constant risk for downsizing. This is especially true for enterprise businesses because they can have truly gargantuan support departments to manage the deluge of customer support tickets.

However, this can also concern smaller teams that don’t want to dramatically increase overhead while providing excellent customer service. 

Customer service automation (CSA) products aim to address the business need for cost efficiency by providing conversational interaction to customers with minimal agent oversight.

G2 data shows a positive correlation between company size and time till ROI

The graph below shows data on how company size has a positive correlation (r = 0.64) with self-reported return on investment from adopting customer service automation into their tech stack. 

A bar chart of G2 data depicting months until ROI by company size.

On average, small businesses only require a little over 13 months to experience ROI on their purchase, while enterprise-sized businesses need almost 22 months for ROI. 

This average nine-month difference is three business quarters' worth of productivity before companies feel a CSA product has been fully accepted into their company and is providing more value than its initial cost.

In G2’s 2023 Buyer Behavior Report, companies of all sizes list ROI in six months as a top three consideration when determining which software product to adopt. Mid-market companies listed ROI in six months as #1, enterprise businesses listed it as #2, and SMBs listed it as #3.

A table depicting the top 3 software purchasing decisions by company size.

A bar chart depicting satisfaction rating scores across different company sizes.

CSA software product providers must investigate why smaller companies observe faster ROI. Many of these benefits SMBs experience can be used to improve the adoption experience of larger companies.

  • Simpler tech stack: Easier and quicker to integrate new technology.
  • Flatter hierarchies: Customer support agents with more resources provide better answers, which creates better training data for AI.
  • Youth and comfort with tech: Younger companies are more entrepreneurial and more likely to adopt new technologies.
  • Quality and quantity of data: SMBs have smaller data lakes and data infrastructure. The result is a cleaner database with fewer redundancies.
  • Guided learning: Active training alongside a customer support agent as a company grows provides higher quality input than old datasets with little context.

Risk reduction drives smaller businesses to adopt generative AI-powered automation

Adopting new and untested technologies is a risk for any organization, especially in the case of providing excellent customer experience. 

G2 data shows SMBs experiencing faster ROI with AI-powered products than their larger counterparts. Furthermore, all company sizes report high satisfaction ratings with these products. 

For companies providing CSA products, a better understanding of what challenges larger companies face and what advantages smaller companies have can help them provide better service to their clients. 

AI will become pivotal in customer service, and many companies are scrambling to implement this technology with as little financial risk as possible.

Understand why customer service automation is a game changer for businesses.

Edited by Shanti S Nair

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2024 Trends: Customer Service Automation Is The Key to Faster ROI for SMBs Read G2's 2024 Trends content written by our market research experts. In 2024, we see a large ROI for companies adopting Gen AI and customer automation software. https://learn.g2.com/hubfs/Trends%202024%20Jeffrey%20Lin.png
Jeffrey Lin Jeffrey is a research analyst at G2 with a focus on Customer Service and HR software. Prior to joining G2, he worked in Human Resources for Amazon. In his free time, he spends time playing video games, exploring cities, and traveling when possible. https://learn.g2.com/hubfs/jeffrey-lin.jpg https://www.linkedin.com/in/jeffreylilin/