12 real-world uses of AI highlighting opportunities (not threats) for customer service teams

Natalie Smithson
AI enthusiast | Tea addict | Focused on using AI assistants to win the working week
chatbot ai success

If you work in customer service you can’t ignore the current buzz around AI. Speculative articles suggest AI is ‘coming for your job’, but will AI really replace customer service agents?

Goldman Sachs estimates “two-thirds of all current jobs are exposed to some degree of AI automation,” but also says automation has “historically been offset by creation of new jobs” which, in turn, prompts “long-run employment growth”. Since we’ve been creating AI assistants for almost a decade (way before the current ChatGPT panic erupted), we’ve witnessed the steady transition to AI-driven customer support firsthand.

Experience shows us AI has given our clients across all industries many opportunities to reinvent customer experience and we’re sharing 12 ways you can enhance your support services today with an advanced AI assistant working alongside your teams, not in place of them.


  • Rising customer dissatisfaction needs urgent change for burnt-out support agents and AI is already helping to ease these tensions
  • Use an AI assistant to help with everything from providing a 24 hour service and increasing accuracy and productivity to consolidating your systems, removing language barriers, and hitting customer service goals
  • A 2023 university study found customer support agents using an “AI-based conversational assistant” increased their productivity by 14%
  • Far from being a threat, AI serves as an opportunity to enhance agent capabilities, improve operations, and elevate customer experiences overall, acting as an ally for customer service support, helping to make their work more rewarding and efficient
  • Introducing an AI assistant has many positive outcomes for customer service leaders and their teams – from the onboarding and skills development of new agents to improved job satisfaction and agent retention

Overcoming current challenges in customer service

Support teams are often under constant pressure to answer and resolve customer queries quickly, yet they don’t always have the tools or environment they need to do this well:

  • Information they need is spread across multiple systems, so they can’t find it quickly
  • Information is incorrect or out of date, resulting in problems and complaints later on
  • Agents are handling multiple queries at the same time, leading to an increased chance of mistakes
  • There’s a backlog of enquiries, so as agents rush to catch up they can miss important details
  • Work can get repetitive, leading to a sense of boredom and potentially then a lack of care

All the while, complaints from frustrated customers coming in as a result of these kinds of inefficiencies can really start to grind a support team down.

Rising customer dissatisfaction needs urgent change for agents

You won’t be surprised to hear there’s an unacceptably high level of abuse directed at customer support agents these days, regardless of industry.

Thankfully, AI is already helping to ease these tensions, from managing travel plans and booking information instantly online, so there’s no need for customers to speak to someone, to helping people with everything to do with food shopping, from suggesting recipes to helping them shop sustainably.

Using AI to transform agent work environments

If poor data systems, inefficient processes, constant juggling of tasks or clawing through a repetitive workload creates misery for your customer support teams, using an AI assistant to improve services can help cut complaints or frustration. When this stress eases off, your support agents will have time to focus on more profitable and rewarding work that pleases them and your customers.

Augmenting the work of human agents in customer service today

In a 2023 study by ContactBabel, 100% of respondents agreed AI will be used to help contact centre agents ― 66% agreed strongly. Everyone recognised artificial intelligence is important to contact centres, but only 4% felt strongly AI would replace agents.

Industry experts now excitedly report AI is “turbo-charging customer service” and as customer service leaders begin to see the potential of using AI to enhance services, we answer the question – how can it immediately help your customer service agents?

Views of the role of AI in the contact centre
Source: 2023 UK Contact Centre Decision-Makers’ Guide (20th edition)

Here’s a list of all the areas where an AI assistant can jump right in and lend your people a hand. By working alongside your agents, AI boosts service speed, makes customers happier, and, best of all, takes some of the load off your teams. It’s a win for your customers and a career boost for your support staff.

12 practical ways AI improves work for customer service agents

With so many potential uses for AI in customer support, it’s important to choose the right starting point based on the unique needs of your teams and overall business. Whether you’re keen to boost morale, be more proactive or productive, or get rid of the mundane tasks, there are lots of ways you can make a start today:

1. Address customer queries instantly

An AI assistant provides fast, consistent replies to customer inquiries round the clock. No delays. No automated messages promising a response ‘within X hours or days’. Remember, an instant reply must fully resolve the customer query otherwise it’s not true AI automation, it’s just another route to creating a backlog of enquiries for your team. An advanced AI assistant is key to speaking with and assisting your customers in real time, so your team doesn’t have to.

🎉 Biggest win for the agent

Cuts out stress and frustration caused by long wait times and reduces the chances of getting harsh feedback or abuse.

2. Boost productivity

Let an AI assistant handle routine tasks, even complex ones through seamless integrations with your business systems. A 2023 university study found customer support agents using an “AI-based conversational assistant” increased their productivity by 14%, which could be the difference between hitting and not hitting your contact centre targets.

🎉 Biggest win for the agent

More time for tasks that require specialist expertise, strategic decision-making, or essential skills in empathy every agent should learn, enhancing overall job satisfaction.

3. Consolidate systems

Use an AI assistant to compile all essential information into one single, easily accessible platform.

🎉 Biggest win for the agent

Speed up tasks with all necessary data conveniently located in one place.

4. Provide a 24/7 hour service using AI

Our AI assistants manage 30% of all enquiries outside traditional business hours, catering to customer demand for convenience. You can easily overcome an emergency too: When Mytime Active had to unexpectedly close their contact centre, their AI assistant managed customer communication, meaning their support agents returned to zero complaints.

🎉 Biggest win for the agent

Fewer queries to address at the start of the workday and reduced need for constant online presence.

5. Assign urgency with AI

A next-gen AI assistant can flag urgent issues, such as imminent travel plans or same-day deliveries, so potentially upset customers are soothed promptly.

🎉 Biggest win for the agent

Swift tackling of urgent issues lowers the chances of confrontational encounters and stressful situations.

6. Increase accuracy

Use an AI assistant to give customers scripted answers set by you, so customers get the same answers every time. This is especially important now LLMs like ChatGPT are being used to transform customer service because, currently, generative AI used without supervision will give your customers a different message every time. Make sure there’s a human in the loop on any platform you use to approve messaging and keep it consistent.

🎉 Biggest win for the agent

Minimises the likelihood of avoidable misunderstandings or potential complications, including legal issues.

7. Be more proactive

An AI assistant can guide customers to suitable products, personalise suggestions based on their needs, automatically suggest additional purchases during checkout, and prevent abandoned carts by eliminating confusion.

🎉 Biggest win for the agent

Shifting from reactive to proactive measures eases customer interactions and mitigates potential issues.

8. Spot patterns in enquiries

Detect common trends in customer enquiries, so you can add necessary integrations, processes or channels to improve your service.

🎉 Biggest win for the agent

Smoother processes mean you can constantly improve services and get recognition for it, boosting agent job satisfaction.

9. Transform customer insights

Better understand customer preferences, behaviour, wants, needs and pains by capturing data across all channels and storing it in one place ready to offer a completely personalised approach.

🎉 Biggest win for the agent

More frequent, enjoyable, and effective engagement with customers.

10. Support multiple languages

Detect a customer’s language, so you can give immediate support without any delays, and train your AI assistant to recognise different dialects, industry-specific jargon, idioms or even slang.

🎉 Biggest win for the agent

Removes language-based barriers, contributing to more seamless interactions, avoiding miscommunication.

11. Streamline live chat

An advanced AI assistant can transfer live chats to agents showing all pre-existing customer information, so the query can go straight to the most suitable agent and customers don’t ever have to repeat themselves.

🎉 Biggest win for the agent

Never getting caught off guard with an incoming query or having to deal with a customer who becomes frustrated at being passed from person to person.

12. Reduce repetitive tasks

Assign the mundane tasks that can often lead to burnout (one of the most common reasons customer support agents leave their jobs) to an AI assistant.

🎉 Biggest win for the agent

Lessens the chance of burnout by removing tedious and uninspiring tasks from their workload.

These 12 uses for a smart AI assistant highlight the transformative role of AI in customer service support today. Far from being a threat, AI serves as an opportunity to enhance agent capabilities, improve operations, and elevate customer experiences overall, bringing big wins for customer service leaders as well as agents.

How AI levels up success for customer service leaders

We’ve seen how using an AI assistant can change the game for customer service agents individually, but what about the bigger picture? How does AI impact those in leadership roles and affect the success of their teams or department as a whole? Here are three crucial advantages of using an AI assistant:

1. Make hiring easier

Having an AI assistant on your team tackling routine enquiries means agents won’t have to master every minor detail of everyday tasks, they can rely on a central AI-powered database for instant reference. Instead, agents can learn more specialist, highly valuable skills for handling unusual, challenging, or sensitive enquiries. This boosts personal competency and confidence, but also helps reduce customer queries that might otherwise escalate and result in complex complaints.

Benefits for you and your teams

Considerable savings on the training and induction of new agents, plus the convenience of having one central, easy-to-access knowledge base.

2. Keep staff for longer

With 33% of contact centre leaders saying “high agent turnover is one of their biggest pain points”, this is perhaps the most urgent issue to tackle once you’ve established a support team. Using an AI assistant to respond to customers instantly and offer them a more convenient and personalised service can help eliminate pressures, so customer support agents stay longer in their roles.

⇒ Benefits for you and your teams

Reduced recruitment costs, since replacing a team member “often costs a business more than that employee’s salary”, and less upheaval for your teams managing high staff turnover.

3. Hit your customer service goals

Be it Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) or Objectives and Key Results (OKRs), a constant stream of data across all channels means you can seamlessly track your progress on any goal you set for your team.

⇒ Benefits for you and your teams

Reduce spend on acquiring new customers and keep agent morale high while you’re at it.

Incorporating an AI assistant into your customer service operations can lead to many positive outcomes for customer service leaders and their teams – from the onboarding and skills development of new agents, to improved job satisfaction and agent retention, there’s increased customer loyalty to benefit from too. The right AI assistant in the right role, handling all the right queries, can impact customer service support at every level.

Act now: Reshape your customer service support with an AI assistant

Mustafa Suleyman, co-founder of DeepMind (Google’s AI research lab), said in discussion with Rory Stewart and Alastair Campbell, over the next five to seven years “there’s going to be a very disruptive transitionary period where we need people to retrain and re-skill”. He gives examples of “cognitive manual labour,” like “managing call centre enquiries,” saying these tasks will be impacted the most, but not replaced by AI for another twenty years. That means there’s plenty of time to plan for automation and the changes to come.

Now is the time to start revolutionising your customer service experience and preparing your teams, and it’s never been easier to get started. You don’t need any technical experience to launch an AI assistant, all you need is your website URL and you can have an advanced AI assistant live by the end of the day ― take a look at our how-to guide to see just how easy it is!

  • Reward your agents with more challenging roles.
  • Inspire career progression and loyalty.
  • Get ahead of other customer service leaders and future-proof your organisation now.

Ready to make a fast move into advanced AI?