What’s next for customer service? To find out, we polled 400 CS experts.

We recently revealed some preliminary findings from our investigation into how AI affects customer service. In order to help support teams seize this enormous opportunity, we wanted to share more of the insights we’ve gained from more than 400 support leaders in North America, given how quickly the business is evolving as a result of these technology developments.


We polled over 1,000 worldwide support leaders and practitioners to better understand the effects of AI on the customer service sector. In our upcoming State of AI in Customer Service Report for 2023 (sign up to our newsletter so you don’t miss it ), we’ll be sharing our results as well as practical tips on how to use AI to achieve a competitive edge and propel business growth.


Here are some observations we’ve made in the interim based on responses from North American respondents:


AI will fundamentally change the support industry and provide up new prospects for support representatives.

AI has the ability to increase productivity and reduce support costs.

AI will fundamentally change the support industry and provide up new prospects for support representatives.

Let’s talk about the big issue: Will AI eventually replace customer support representatives? We’re certain that there’s no need for panic at this time.


Any new technical development frequently causes some measure of apprehension. Customer service is a significant industry that Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI, the firm that developed ChatGPT, recently singled out as one that might be “massively impacted” by ChatGPT. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that just over half (51%) of support leaders express concern regarding the possible adverse effects of AI on the customer service sector.


Altman talks on the tremendous opportunities AI can open up while also pointing out how it may have a detrimental impact on jobs: “[These systems] will enhance many jobs and make them much better, more fun, and much higher paid, and they’ll create new jobs that are difficult for us to imagine even if we’re starting to see the first glimpses of them.”


Automation has enhanced human support teams, not taken the place of them, freeing them up to focus more of their time on relationship-building activities.


Modern analogs include automation. We’ve previously seen how automation supports practitioners and executives in saving time, increasing productivity, and becoming more customer-centric. This is corroborated by our data, which reveals that 64% of support leaders think their automation efforts are already paying off.


In other words, automation has enhanced human support teams rather than replacing them, allowing them to focus more of their time on important relationship-building tasks and less time on manual, repetitive tasks.


AI will act similarly. In the next five years, customer support roles will be transformed by AI, according to nearly three-quarters (74%) of support leaders. Many people think that AI will give support agents new job options and titles like “chatbot developer” and “chatbot analyst.”


In the next five years, 74% of support leaders anticipate that AI will fundamentally alter the customer service industry.


Therefore, even though the definition of “customer support rep” may begin to alter, we believe these developments will ultimately lead to more rewarding job options for customer service professionals, allowing them to concentrate on tasks that only people can complete.



What’s the distinction between AI and automation in customer service?



The application of technology to repetitive operations and processes in customer service is known as automation. Simple chatbots, routing rules, and automatically generated article ideas are a few examples of automation in customer support.



When it comes to customer service, artificial intelligence (AI) refers to the use of sophisticated machine learning or natural language processing techniques to, for instance, comprehend more complex questions and produce contextualized solutions.



AI has the ability to increase productivity and reduce support costs.

Following the recent economic unpredictability, many firms are intensely focused on making sure they are laying strong foundations to support them in remaining resilient both now and in the future.


To do this, support leaders are looking to AI for assistance as they explore for methods to increase team productivity, cut expenses, and ensure they are seeing a solid return on investment on the technologies in their customer support tech stack.


“58% of support leaders say that by implementing AI, they expect to lower support costs over the next five years.”


According to our research, 63% of support executives are enthusiastic about using AI and automation to boost their team’s productivity in the upcoming year. Support leaders believe that this enhanced productivity will benefit other sectors and enable them to make long-term financial savings: By implementing AI, 58% of respondents indicate they intend to lower support expenses over the following five years.


63% of support leaders are eager to use automation and AI to boost team productivity in the upcoming year.


So how will AI assist support teams cut costs and save time? Three ways that support leaders observe efficiency increasing are as follows:


According to 42% of respondents, providing 24/7 support while utilizing AI to automatically answer more complicated queries than ever before using the knowledge that already exists in your help center will result in the greatest efficiency improvement.

According to 36% of respondents, offering speedier customer service will result in the highest increase in productivity since AI will shorten the time it takes support agents to formulate the ideal response. Your team can be enabled to handle inquiries that need a human touch even faster if a top AI-powered bot handles the majority of the issues in your support queue.

25% believe that AI will help them improve customer experiences by supplying reliable sources for AI-generated responses and giving the most difficult inquiries to your support staff to lessen irritation.

Prepare yourself for a new era of customer service.

The introduction of cutting-edge AI technologies like ChatGPT has shocked the world. What was previously considered to be a far possibility is now in our immediate vicinity – it has arrived.


We’ll offer insights from more than 1,000 worldwide support leaders and practitioners in our upcoming State of AI in Customer Service Report for 2023, along with practical guidance to help you and your team continue to drive business development in this new era of customer service.


Future has arrived. Have you prepared?

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