9 ways companies will use AI in customer service in 2023 (2023)

AI has been part of popular culture (type: Terminator) for generations, but recent developments in ChatGPT and AI bots have revived the discussion about its role in business. Business leaders and consumers are now more aware of the benefits of artificial intelligence in customer service and how it can make our lives easier.

How can artificial intelligence help customer service? according toZendesk Customer Experience Trends Report 2023, many customers useZendesk Artificial IntelligenceTime to resolution improved by 30 percent, and companies using Zendesk bots saw a two-point year-over-year improvement in customer satisfaction. Read on to learn how your business can get the most out of AI in customer service.

  • How artificial intelligence can improve customer service
  • Benefits of using AI for customer service
  • AI examples in customer support
  • What are the challenges of artificial intelligence in customer service?

How artificial intelligence can improve customer service

As technology continues to evolve, we see new ways artificial intelligence can improve the customer experience. Here are some examples of how you can use AI in your company's customer service.

1. Improve agent efficiency and productivity

AI can improve agent productivity and efficiency through tools and automation that streamline workflows.Business chatbotSimple requests can be handled, while the automated process eliminates time-consuming, repetitive tasks. This reduces your team's workload, freeing your agents to focus on high-value tasks and complex customer issues.

AI can evenAnalyze customer interactionsand understandfeelings of customersand intent. This allows the bot to recognize positive, negative, and neutral language so it can accurately route tickets to agents when a switch is needed and reduce escalations due to sentiment detection. Sentiment is included in the conversation when it is forwarded to a human agent. As a result, advisors know how to handle the interaction and are prepared to avoid escalation or moderate escalation situations.

71% of consumers say AI should be able to understand and respond to their emotions and feelings during customer service interactions.

For example, Zendesk offers a plethora of AI-powered productivity tools that help simplify an agent's job. These tools include:

  • advanced robotsSave your agents time by greeting customers on your website or messaging channels with friendly first-line support and answering frequently asked questions. They are pre-trained to understand the key customer issues in your industry and can recognize intent, language and emotion. Zendesk offers onerobot builder, so you can compose answers for your chatbot and create a more conversational experience.
  • Triage wiselyUse AI to automatically analyze customer requests and determine intent, sentiment, and language. Based on that information, it sends the request, along with the client context, to the proxy best suited to handle it.
  • Intelligence in the context panel, an AI assistant in Agent Workspace that provides insight and guidance for troubleshooting. It reveals customer intent, sentiment, and language and suggests next actions (such as relevant responses), helping agents resolve issues faster.
  • Content tips, an AI-based capability that identifies knowledge base content gaps based on popular topics and flags existing content that needs improvement. This makes it easier to keep self-service resources relevant and up to date.

rhythmic energy, a renewable energy company, used bots to respond quickly to customers and reduce escalations to support teams. With Zendesk AI, Rhythm Energy diverted 46% more work orders and reduced escalations by 50%.

Example scenario:Customers send messages throughFacebook Messenger for Business, asking, "Where is my order? It should have been delivered yesterday." AI can understand that the sentiment is negative, andcustomer is angryaccording to their tone. As such, it automatically sorts tickets to the right agent, helping businesses avoid further escalations.

2. Actively recommend to customers

With access to the right data and customer context, bots can proactively make personalized recommendations based on customer preferences, website behavior, previous conversations, and more.

According to Lauren Hakim, product marketer at Zendesk, one of the most effective uses of AI chatbots is active engagement.

“Bots can help you get ahead of customer queries by driving engagement and retention through meaningful, timely, and personalized interactions, and increasing sales and conversions.”Lauren Hakim, product marketer, Zendesk

For example, artificial intelligence can be an effective toolPrevent customers from abandoning their shopping cart.The customer may have additional questions about the product, experience shipping issues, or not fully understand the checkout process. AI can automate workflows to help close sales with chatbots that offer discounts, send reminders to customers to complete purchases, or proactively reach out to see if they have any questions.

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Example scenario:AI recognizes that specific website visitors often add items to their cart before giving up. Bots proactively send messages with discount codes to visitors to facilitate purchases.

3. Provide customers with 24/7 all-weather service

By deploying AI-powered chatbots, customer service teams can provide convenient,24/7 supportThis means that customers can contact your company at any time (day or night) and receive real-time assistance, even when the support agent is offline.

chatbots, such asZendesk-bot, available 24/7. They can answer common questions or provide self-service resources, such as help center articles, to help customers find answers or complete simple tasks. As companies expand into global markets, always-on support is critical to maintaining a great customer experience.

24/7 support available,Photo albumWith a Zendesk bot, it can answer common questions and, if applicable, hand off the conversation to a live agent. Since implementing Zendesk, Photobucket has improved time to first resolution by 17%, time to first response by 14%, and customer satisfaction by 3%.

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Example scenario:A customer calls for support at 3:00 AM PT. The chatbot immediately greets them and asks a series of questions. The bot captures the customer's information and opens an asynchronous ticket via email. The bot also provides relevant articles in the help center, while the support team handles requests.

4. Offer personal support

According to our Customer Experience Trends report, 59% of customers expect companies to use the data they collect to personalize their experience. AI can use this customer data to provide personalized support by:

  • Provide assistance to customers based on past behavior or questions
  • Keep customers informed about relevant products and services based on purchase history
  • Send relevant discounts based on items stored in the customer's shopping cart
  • Serve customers in their preferred language

60% of consumers say they recognize personalized recommendations and find them valuable.

Is it possible for customers and bots to engage in rich, personalized conversations?Zendesk Artificial IntelligenceBuild on a customer intent model specific to customer service. This means you can configure bots to deliver immersive customer experiences, evenconvey empathyIn an authentic, friendly way.

Example scenario:AI automatically sends a friendly message wishing the customer a happy birthday, including a 50% discount code. AI can send it to customers' favorite messaging channels, address them with the correct pronouns, and recommend products based on their purchase history.

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Consumers expect AI to fundamentally change services

Check out our free report to learn how artificial intelligence will transform customer service and how your business can embrace and leverage the technology.

Download the free Artificial Intelligence reportDownload the free Artificial Intelligence report

5. Collect consumer insights

Using AI in customer service can empower customer service teamsCollect consumer insightsFor example, with Zendesk, intelligence-in-context panels are equipped with AI-driven insights that give agents access to customer intent, language, and emotions so they know how to communicate. All relevant data is stored in a unified workspace so agents don't have to switch between applications to get the information they need.

AI helps agents navigate the interaction and delivers the most relevant answers to agents based on customer insights and context.

Agents can choose to reply automatically, saving time. Intelligence in context panels can help reduce agent stress by reducing manual tasks during peak hours.

Example scenario:The customer's order was lost in the mail, so the customer contacted the company via live chat. AI can provide agents with tips that suggest refunds or replacements for lost products.

6. Create powerful smart workflows

Moving customers to different departments and representatives does not make for a good customer experience. With AI you can create powerful, intelligent workflows, support customers faster and create more efficient agents. This eliminates wait times as customers are intelligently routed to the agent best suited for the job.

With Zendesk, support teams can use AI to route requests to the right people based on:

  • Customer intent, sentiment and language
  • agency power
  • agent status
  • agent skills

Example scenario:A customer called because they were charged a different price than expected for an add-on. The AI ​​understands the customer's angry tone, understands that the customer speaks Spanish, and captures the customer's account type and billing information. The AI ​​finds an available senior agent who handles billing discrepancies and speaks Spanish and completes the transfer, complete with customer context.

7. Provide multilingual support

Conversational AITechnology uses natural language understanding (NLU) to detect the customer's native language and automatically translate the conversation;AI-enhanced multilingual supportskill.

Customers experience easier and more efficient support because translations can be performed instantly (without the need for a human translator).

few multilingualSupport automation softwareUsing your customer service solution to give AI access to customer information can make conversations more personal. This includes data about customers' locations, the devices they use, purchase preferences, conversation history, and more.

Example scenario:The bot automatically detects the customer's language based on the customer's location and the text in the chat window.

8. Assist with agent onboarding and training



When agents join a new customer service team, they have a lot to learn. With Zendesk AI, every customer service representative gets a virtual assistant to make things easierOnboarding new employees and training agents.Advanced AI helps agents accelerate and improve customer service by:

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  • Gradually increase the complexity of the requests they handle through intelligent routing
  • Suggests the next action to take in a given situation

With Zendesk, Rhythm Energy can spend less time training new agents while maintaining the same level of high-quality customer service.

“Zendesk is easy to learn because everything is automated,” said Brandon Cancino, Client Service Manager at Rhythm Energy. "We can take an agent with no knowledge out of training and have them help customers like a lifetime agent."

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Example scenario:Newly hired agents who have recently undergone training can still handle live customer service requests with ease. Bots assist agents by providing relevant help center articles and suggested answers to customer questions, helping agents get up and running faster.

9. Save agent time by automatically recognizing customer intent

Zendesk Advanced Bots come with pre-trained customer intent models that can solve common, industry-specific customer questions based on customer service data. This means advanced bots can automatically recognize customer intent and triage requests, such as password resets or billing questions, and provide more personalized, accurate answers. The bot can then share the intent with the agent for more context.

These bots can be deployed across messaging and email channels to deflect customer inquiries and handle repetitive tasks such as troubleshooting or collecting feedback so agents can focus on customer inquiries requiring human contact. Instead of spending hours manually configuring chatbots, you can set up an advanced bot with just a few clicks.

Example scenario:Customers send Instagram DMs saying their order never arrived. Sophisticated bots automatically understand intent based on customer language and respond with an offer to send a replacement or refund.

Benefits of using AI for customer service

According to our Customer Experience Trends report, 72% of business leaders say expanding the use of AI and bots in customer experience is a key priority over the next 12 months. Additional benefits arise when companies invest resources in AI for customer service. Here are a fewThe main benefits of artificial intelligence for companies.

  • AI keeps costs low: Artificial intelligence tools such as chatbots, intelligent categorization and workflow automation enable customer service teams to process more tickets without adding staff. AI augments agents, increases efficiency and productivity, and adds cost to your bottom line.
  • Artificial intelligence provides fast, consistent support:AI allows you to provide instant support without agent intervention. When a customer needs to be transferred, AI provides key information and customer context, guiding agents with insights and suggested actions to expedite resolution.
  • AI improves customer satisfaction and retention:Business useZendesk-botAccording to our CX Trends report, we saw a two-point improvement in CSAT year-over-year. Fast, convenient and consistent service is the key to winning loyal customers.
  • AI vermindert agent burn-out:AI takes the burden off tedious tasks, reducing the workload of support teams. When agents can focus on the tasks that match their skills, their work is more fulfilling.

Examples of artificial intelligence and automation in customer support

Some examples of artificial intelligence and customer support automation include chatbots, natural language processing (NLP), facial and speech recognition,Interactive Voice Response (IVR)in Intelligent Virtual Assistants (IVA's).

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AI technology is relatively new and will continue to evolve and improve. As technology advances, business leaders can use new and innovative artificial intelligence tools to improve customer experience. Here are some examples of artificial intelligence and automation in customer support.

  • chatbot:A kind ofConversational AICustomer questions can be understood and automatically answered in a friendly manner.
  • Natural Language Processing (NLP): machine learning technologieCan understand and answer voice commands and translate text.
  • Face and voice recognition:Biometric artificial intelligence, which uses algorithms and math to detect and distinguish human facial features and voices for authentication purposes.
  • Interactive Voice Response (IVR):An automated phone system tool that answers incoming calls, understands voice responses, and provides options for next steps, such as routing calls to the correct agent or department.
  • Intelligent Virtual Assistant (IVA):AI programs that understand voice commands and perform tasks for customer service agents.

What are the challenges of artificial intelligence in customer service?

Like any emerging technology, implement itartificial intelligence in the workplacecan present unique challenges. Here are some of the biggest hurdles to consider as you begin integrating AI into your business. When choosing AI software, make sure you look for solutions that can help your team overcome these challenges.

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The cost of implementing AI

Implementing and maintaining AI can be expensive- but it doesn't have to be. Costs vary based on AI type, complexity, company size, hardware, capabilities, AI development team and engineers, maintenance, training, and more.

With AI solutions like Zendesk, deploying AI can be cost-effective. Zendesk AI works out-of-the-box, meaning you don't need a huge developer or IT budget to implement it.

In addition to costs, companies must also consider the ROI of AI. Many teams experience high ROI through increased efficiency and productivity, balanced staffing, and savings through a consistently high-quality customer experience. With Zendesk's advanced AI, you get agent AI tools like AI bots with machine learning, intelligence in context windows, suggested knowledge base articles, and content prompts that help you realize value quickly.

Train AI on a specific model

To spot patterns and answer customer questions accurately, you need to train your AI system on specific models. Training and configuring AI is often a time-consuming process, requiring hours of manual setup.

But Zendesk's advanced AI is pre-trained using customer intent models to understand industry-specific issues, including retail, software, and financial services. This saves your company time and money so you can see benefits from day one with just a few clicks.

Long implementation period

Implementing AI for customer service requires a lot of planning, testing, and refinement. That's why it's so important to choose an AI solution that takes this work out of your team's hands. Without the right AI partner, deploying the technology can take a long time. This can bring your business to a halt as the process can take months.

But with Zendesk, AI for customer service is accessible to everyone and can be set up in minutes instead of months. There's no heavy lifting required from developers, data scientists, or IT, so your teams can quickly deploy AI across your enterprise and get to work. It's also intuitive, with all the tools available for agents to access and use in a centralized workspace.

Choosing AI: smart decisions for customer service

Welcome to the future of artificial intelligence in customer service. use of artificial intelligenceImprove customer satisfaction, improving the employee experience and simplifying support can help your business grow. Investing in artificial intelligence to improve customer service should be a good idea.

FAQs

How companies use AI in customer service? ›

A reimagined AI-supported customer service model therefore encompasses all touchpoints—not only digital self-service channels but also agent-supported options in branches or on social-media platforms, where AI can assist employees in real time to deliver high-quality outcomes.

What to expect from AI in 2023? ›

In 2023, we can expect to see further advancements in natural language processing, computer vision, and machine learning. These advancements will allow AI to understand and process information even more effectively, enabling it to make better decisions.

How would AI make customer support more engaging and satisfactory for customer class 9? ›

Through preprogrammed questions and answers, AI chatbots can help answer customer questions. Through that AI-assisted Q&A process, your company is able to qualify leads. As your chatbot fields questions, it also helps to make sure your product is a good fit before sending a new customer to sales.

How AI will change customer service? ›

Through data collection, data analysis, and data classification, AI customer service does not only learn the consumer behavior of customers but also categorizes people into different groups based on their interests and consuming habits.

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