Artificial Intelligence (AI) is here to stay, but will it help or hinder your customer service interactions? Customer support managers can use AI-powered tools to save costs, train their staff, and provide a better customer experience.
But remember: while AI customer service tools can provide great coaching and support for your teams, human agents will always be needed to handle complex issues, provide empathy, and ensure the quality of service.
Keep reading to learn more about how AI can elevate your customer service, and learn about 19 AI tools to support your team’s efforts.
- How is AI used in customer service?
- Examples of AI in customer service
- Benefits of using AI to improve customer interactions and experience
- 19 AI tools for customer service teams
- Can AI customer service software replace customer service?
- How to include AI in your customer service strategy
How is AI used in customer service?
By supporting your customer service team, AI can help you better connect with and serve your customers as follows:
- Increasing your team’s capacity to process customer conversations and tickets (through AI-based chatbots and ticket routing).
- Gathering and analyzing customer insights quickly, at scale to understand their wants and needs.
- Mitigating high cost issues, like customer login and account management for SAAS companies, and returns and refunds for ecommerce businesses. Using AI can minimize or prevent these issues from taking up your team’s time and your money.
The best use cases of using AI in customer service include strategies that combine both digital and AI tools with the “human” element of customer service, which will always be an essential part of the customer experience.
Examples of AI in customer service
Here are a few examples of how AI can be used in customer service solutions:
Customer service reps often have repeatable functions as part of their everyday routines. These may include answering common customer questions, organizing and updating customer records and files, or routing tickets to the appropriate department or customer service rep. Many tasks, including automated ticket routing, can be achieved with AI software to expedite repeatable, monotonous tasks that don’t require a human touch. Agents can then refocus on higher-priority tasks requiring human interaction.
Intelligent ticket triaging
Through machine learning, AI software can now automatically categorize and prioritize incoming tickets based on their urgency or topic. This ensures critical issues are addressed promptly and by the best-qualified staff member, reducing the time to triage tickets manually.
Faster response times
Never leave a customer waiting long to get a response from your team. AI-powered chatbots can be set up to respond to customer questions instantly, directing them to the resources and information they need. This can help eliminate most of your repeatable, quick-resolution queries from reaching a live team member, so they can focus on calls that require a more hands-on approach.
AI can take large amounts of data from multiple sources and analyze it to look for trends. It reviews data from sources like past customer service calls, reviews, emails, and more, to identify potential issues before they impact your operations. Knowing this can help you proactively develop solutions to fix the problem or prepare your agents to appropriately deal with the increase in queries.
When you have global customers, you can use AI to save money on 24/7 staffing of your customer service desks. AI tools can answer customer questions outside your regular business hours, so you can still deal with customer tickets immediately without the added expense of staffing a customer service department all day and night. This also helps customers in other time zones get the support they need when they need it, not based on your “office hours.”
Personalized customer experiences
Businesses that create personalized experiences for their customers will likely generate 40% more revenue from these activities than their competitors who don’t use personalization. AI can be used to analyze past customer behavior and use predictive analytics to tailor ads and communications to optimize up-sells and cross-sells with a higher chance of success for each individual.
Real-time agent assistance
AI can analyze live support conversations and present your agents with a set of playbook responses, links, or other relevant information automatically, ensuring consistency. It can also guide your customer service agents through complex procedures efficiently, speeding up the time to resolution for customers.
AI customer support software can analyze recorded support calls to highlight successful strategies and identify areas for improvement. It can provide valuable insights into the customer journey and experience that you can use to maintain high service standards.
By using Natural Language Processing (NLP), AI tools can analyze customer feedback and interactions at a high level to surface general sentiment themes.
Idiomatic’s AI-driven sentiment analysis platform takes things a step further, using contextual machine learning to derive specific, actionable insights. This means you’ll better understand how your customers feel without hours of manual data analysis. These insights can be used to understand which customer experiences have friction so you can remedy them or update your support playbook so agents can better respond to these queries.
Your customer service members can use AI tools as real-time translators. This helps them support customers in multiple languages or accents, broadening the support coverage and enhancing the customer experience.
Benefits of using AI to improve customer interactions and experience
AI tools and software can help customer service teams deal with high or overwhelming volumes of support calls and conversations. It can help with the day-to-day operations.
Here are the benefits of using AI in your customer support department:
- Improve efficiencies: AI is good at identifying trends in large amounts of data. For example, it can identify the issues your support agents spend the most time on and make recommendations for improving efficiencies so they can be more productive.
- Faster response times: With AI systems automatically routing tickets to the next available agent with the required specialty or knowledge, customers get responses faster. This often results in faster time to resolution because the best-suited agent manages that ticket. With an AI customer service bot, response and resolution time can be much quicker, as the AI chatbot can deal with common queries. Either way, faster responses and resolutions can help increase overall customer happiness.
- Greater team consistency: Chatbots can be programmed to speak in a consistent tone and voice to match your brand. You can also set them up to provide consistent responses to each customer, ensuring they receive the highest level of service every time.
- Scalability potential: With AI-powered tools the AI your team can more easily scale operations and support. AI chatbots can quickly handle low-priority or easy-to-solve common queries, so your agents, who have limited working hours, can focus on the tasks that require their attention.
- Improve internal training and onboarding: Training your support agents can be improved when you use an AI tool. New agents can observe how the AI handles customer inquiries and use it as an example of how they are expected to perform. And AI can prompt agents with responses and resources during their first days and weeks until they get more familiar with your processes, scripts, and offerings.
- Gather more accurate customer insights: Your AI customer service software can collect valuable data from its interactions with customers and, through integrations with your other software and systems, look for trends and patterns. It can identify common issues and areas of customer or agent friction, and suggest areas for improvement.
19 AI tools for customer service teams
Before you dive too deep into all the AI tools for customer service teams on your own, we’ve done the research for you. Here are some helpful AI customer service software options for your team:
Generative AI tools like ChatGPT can help ease your agents’ workloads by helping answer routine queries and provide basic customer support. At the most basic level, agents can ask a question or query into the software and use the responses as inspiration for their response to the customer. It can generate responses to customer queries, summarize conversations, or translate questions.
To take it a step further, customer support teams can now harness the power of generative AI to train their own ChatGPT models and build custom chatbots. This allows them to ensure customer queries are answered in the most human-like way possible, based on a company-sanctioned playbook.
Zendesk’s Answer Bot
This AI tool acts like an extension of your customer service team. It can be “online” 24 hours a day, even outside support team business hours. Zendesk Answer Bot can handle your low-priority customer queries for you, organize tickets, and help route tickets to the correct department or individual for processing when they’re back in the office.
Freshdesk helps you scale your support services without exponentially increasing costs (aside from your software subscription). It’s great at resolving both minor issues and complex ones with ease. The key feature is its ability to manage your tickets and automate support system workflows while engaging with your customers in real time.
Zoho Desk (Zia)
Zoho Desk helps you simplify the customer experience and improve your team’s productivity. The software’s virtual assistant, Zia, chats with your customers for you and notifies team members when she needs help to solve a customer query. She can tag your support tickets based on sentiment and other appropriate tags to make picking up and resolving support tickets more manageable and quicker than manual analysis.
Idiomatic is a customer feedback analytics software that helps you identify the customer feedback issues that cause the most time or money, helps determine which can be solved with automation or a chatbot, and enables you to invest in better workflows and customer self-service support options. It does this by analyzing the why behind customer feedback using advanced AI that’s customized to your business.
It gives you a complete, data-driven voice of customer picture to see where customers are happy, predict who is likely to have a higher customer lifetime value) and where they have roadblocks (so you can fix them to increase customer retention and satisfaction).
Ada helps you create customized chatbots that can handle a wide range of customer queries faster than waiting for a live agent to pick up the ticket, assess the need, and begin the customer conversation. It leverages Large Language Models (LLM) to quickly understand the customers’ query, speed up ticket analysis, and start the necessary automation or workflows.
LivePerson delivers safe, secure AI experiences for your customers. It provides your agents with a real-time conversational toolbox to help them deliver efficient engagement with their customers. This platform allows your agents to manage customer care and conversations within its platform.
Salesforce Service Cloud Einstein
Customer Service Cloud Einstein is built into your Salesforce CRM. With this integration, Einstein can analyze multiple aspects of a customer’s history and experience to predict customer behavior and potential future issues better before they happen.
Pega Customer Service
Pega gives you AI-powered workflows and automations for your customer service teams. Its proactive AI looks at all available data and information and anticipates your customers’ problems to resolve them before they need to contact your help desk team. Pega also provides your agents with real-time guidance and workflow automation support for your chatbots and agents.
Genesys provides your team with an AI-powered chatbot that works 24/7 with persistent messaging conversations. This means customers can begin a chat conversation with the bot at any time and pick it up later to continue the conversation.
IBM Watson Assistant
Watson Assistant integrates easily with your CRM and back-end systems so you can track the customer journey from start to finish for better issues analysis.
Kustomer is a visual chatbot builder tool. It creates an omnichannel experience to deliver personalized experiences and drive faster customer resolutions. It can even predict problems and proactively message your customers with a resolution or updates (such as a delay in shipping for a recent purchase).
Adobe Experience Cloud’s Real-Time CDP
Real-Time CDP collects data from multiple systems and sources and combines it with the power of generative AI to refine your customer segmentations and generate playbooks. It pulls in customer data sources and uses it to provide one-to-one experiences and personalization at scale across every customer digital touchpoint.
Gong helps you identify the qualities and conversions of your best agents, so other team members replicate their success. It captures all agent-customer interactions and uses AI to generate insights that can be shown to other agents as guidance during support calls.
DigitalGenuis helps you increase agent productivity by providing real-time suggestions to your agents. With its Agent Assist feature, time-consuming and repetitive tasks are sped up and managed from a single page while generating necessary tracking links and return labels as required.
Medallia Agent Connect
Agent Connect helps engage your customer service teams working remotely and in-house. If an agent makes a mistake (as shown through negative feedback), the Agent Connect AI provides immediate support to help them self-correct or get help from their team. It offers insights to help you share and reward agent wins, gets new team members up to speed on best practices faster, and uncover trends and feedback your agents need to improve their performance.
CallMiner uses AI and machine learning to give you deeper customer intelligence insights so your team can deliver better customer experiences. It analyzes customer chats and calls and uses this data to coach your agents to better align with your customer needs.
Unbabel is a Language Operations Platform fueled by AI. It uses machine learning translation to enable multilingual customer conversations within high-quality translation workflows that adapt as needed so you can provide a reliable, consistent customer experience. It’s more cost-effective and faster than routing customer issues to human agents with translation skills.
Lingpad provides quick, smart, and scalable multilingual customer service software for real-time translation support. It supports omnichannel customer support translations for support tickets, emails, FAQs, knowledge base articles, manuals, and more. It also integrates with other customer experience and support software and systems.
Can AI customer service software replace customer service?
AI is a powerful tool that uses machine learning to get smarter and more customized for our needs. However, it can never completely replace the human element of customer service. AI customer service software has many capabilities, but human judgment, empathy, and creativity are always needed.
We suggest using AI tools to help your team work better but not substitute the highly valuable work of human agents.
How to include AI in your customer service strategy
AI can be a valuable part of your customer service strategy. Choose AI software that allows your team to increase their productivity while also improving online customer experience.
Including Idiomatic’s AI-driven customer feedback analytics software as part of your strategy can provide the insights you need to scale. It features pre-tagging and triaging of support tickets, human-quality insights, 24/7 monitoring for spiking ticket volumes, tracking for different user segments, and immediate data availability.
Idiomatic helps you optimize your customer service operations to support high-performing agents in creating the best customer service experience possible. Through customer service automation and real-time insights, you can respond to customer requests quicker, get real-time monitoring and insights to act on issues faster, save time manually processing and triaging tickets, and achieve the scalable growth you’ve been seeking.
Request your Idiomatic demo today to see how it can support your customer service team’s efficiency.