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Get Ready for AI Customer Service Agents

Updated Aug 01, 2023

Table of Contents

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  • Through artificial intelligence (AI) platforms, businesses can improve their customer service with tools like chatbots. 
  • While AI solutions can save companies time and money, poor implementation can frustrate customers.
  • With thorough and thoughtful training, businesses can develop AI solutions that reduce mundane tasks, freeing up team bandwidth for complex customer requests. 
  • This article is for business owners who want to know if AI customer service solutions are right for their business. 

Artificial intelligence (AI) offers a world of possibilities for improving daily life. From speech recognition to automated stock trading, computers are becoming increasingly capable of understanding and conducting tasks that once required human involvement. 

For businesses, AI can offer invaluable help in streamlining common customer service functions via tools like chatbots. These solutions have drawbacks ― no fix is perfect. But with the right knowledge and planning, you can implement an AI customer service solution that helps your bottom line and keeps your customers happy. We’ll explore the AI customer service landscape and share tips for successfully implementing AI customer service solutions. 

AI customer service is on the way

AI’s workplace automation capabilities can save small businesses significant time and money when implementing support solutions. Many organizations already use AI tools to increase efficiency and accuracy when addressing customer service inquiries. But the general public hasn’t yet reached a consensus on how they feel about these machine-automated tools. 

Common AI uses in customer service today

If you’ve ever utilized a chat help feature to track an order or reset a subscription password, you’ve interfaced with AI. A 2023 Ipsos survey found that 68 percent of respondents have interacted with an AI chatbot. These automated customer service agents are versatile tools for addressing common customer inquiries. Jonathan Shroyer, chief customer experience officer of Arise Games, explained that chatbots can save time for business owners and customers. 

“Many customer requests involve simple questions about a product or service,” Shroyer noted. “These can be about operating hours, pricing, locations, order status and more. Automated solutions, such as AI chatbots can effectively handle these inquiries by providing quick, accurate answers, thus reducing wait times for customers.”

Shroyer noted that AI customer service tools can be particularly useful for straightforward tasks like appointment scheduling and password resets. Organizations may also be able to use AI as a tech support entryway. Automated agents can be trained to answer simple troubleshooting questions before identifying issues that require human evaluation. 

Businesses also use AI tools to learn more about their customers and better meet their needs. According to a 2023 Smart Communications study on financial institutions and AI, 77 percent of respondents see AI as a high investment priority for better understanding a customer’s conversational intent and improving outcomes. When AI systems can decipher the full meaning behind a request, they can determine more easily which questions must be directed to a human representative. This includes picking up on positive or negative language, so you know when de-escalation might be necessary. 

Did You Know?Did you know

Customer service is one of many ways AI is transforming business. Cybersecurity, data research and CRM solutions are also benefiting from AI technology.

Customer perception and AI

While many people have directly interacted with an AI customer service tool, these interactions don’t always leave customers happy. The Ipsos survey found that 88 percent of respondents still prefer help from a human agent over a chatbot. That said, customer opinion of AI tools may hinge on the specific task they’re trying to accomplish. Shroyer described the many nuances behind common AI customer attitudes. 

“On the positive side, many customers appreciate the speed and convenience of AI solutions,” Shroyer explained. “They can get instant responses at any time of day, which can enhance their experience and lead to higher overall satisfaction. However, some customers might find AI impersonal or frustrating, particularly if the AI does not understand their query or if they have a complex issue that requires human intervention. Privacy concerns are also a factor, as some customers may feel uncomfortable interacting with AI due to data security issues.”

AI customer service solutions have enormous potential for businesses. But if you don’t want your new AI tool to result in negative customer reviews, keeping these concerns in mind is crucial. 


AI is in a nascent phase ― nascent at best. Only 35 percent of Ipsos respondents felt that businesses’ AI chatbots have addressed their inquiries effectively.

Should you implement AI solutions for customer service?

Integrating AI into your customer service approach has advantages and disadvantages. So, how do you know if AI is right for your business and its unique customer service needs? Below, you’ll find examples of when an AI solution is a great idea ― and when you might need to involve a human customer service representative. 

Pros of using AI customer service solutions

Here are a few upsides of integrating AI into your customer service approach. 

  • AI can boost productivity: One of AI’s greatest strengths is its potential to boost productivity across all industries. If you’ve got a dedicated customer service team handling numerous incoming requests, AI can streamline the simplest but most time-consuming inquiries. This way, you empower your customer service team to solve customers’ most complicated issues.
  • AI can free up time: If you’re starting a new business and lack the resources for a customer service staff, AI tools can free up your time. You can focus on improving your product and gaining customers instead of spending precious hours on mundane tasks like login troubleshooting. 
  • AI helps you provide 24/7 support: Tools like chatbots let you provide round-the-clock customer support. If a customer runs into an account issue at midnight, they won’t have to wait until business hours to get the problem solved. 
Did You Know?Did you know

AI technology can help if your business is expanding internationally. You can offer customer support in multiple languages, making your business more accessible.

Cons of using AI customer service solutions

AI is still in its infancy; as with any emerging technology, there’s still much to improve. 

  • AI tools can feel impersonal: One of customers’ most common frustrations is that AI tools can feel like talking to a robot. Nobody likes that, for obvious reasons.
  • Training AI tools takes time: It takes time to properly train AI models on customer behavior. However, some companies don’t have the time or resources to train their AI chatbots properly. 
  • Implementing AI tools can be pricey: While AI can save you money in the long run, it’s not free to set up. It’s important to know exactly what needs you’re trying to solve with AI solutions and whether the return on investment justifies the initial cost. 

Which businesses benefit most from AI customer service solutions? 

AI tools aren’t better for any one particular industry. If you’re considering an AI-based tool for your business, evaluating the customer requests you receive is more important. Joe Wheeler, author and chief experience officer at CX/Digital, emphasized that AI implementation is smoother when customer requests are straightforward. Your product and service offerings often dictate the complexity of your customer service questions.  

“Companies that serve a narrow set of customers with specific product [and] service offerings offer a limited number of choices,” Wheeler explained. “IKEA is a good example of a company with lots of products [that] limits the number of colors and materials within a product line to reduce the complexity of ordering, assembling and servicing. Simplifying product offerings leads to customers encountering fewer problems, which leads to being able to automate more parts of the service experience.”

When deciding whether to implement AI chatbots, review your common customer questions and examine your responses ― how complex or straightforward are they? If the same easy-to-answer questions eat up half your workday, AI chatbots could be worth the investment. 

Key TakeawayKey takeaway

AI customer service solutions work best for uncomplicated, frequently asked questions. They free the customer service team to deal with complex requests ― and help you keep your customers happy.

6 tips for successfully implementing an AI customer service solution

Since AI for customer service is still experimental, making mistakes during rollout is expected. However, if you know how to plan ahead and what to look out for, you can implement a customer service tool that works. Keep the following in mind if an AI solution makes sense for your customer service strategy. 

1. Balance AI tools with a personal touch.

One of the biggest missteps a company can make is assuming AI is a set-it-and-forget-it solution. In reality, AI is meant to support, not replace, your overall customer service plan. Ruoall Chapman, senior project manager and implementations engineer at Sendmarc, stressed that AI is not a complete substitute for your other customer service efforts.

“One common mistake companies make when implementing AI customer service solutions is neglecting the human touch,” Chapman noted. “AI should augment human service, not replace it. To avoid this, businesses should ensure there’s a seamless handoff between AI and human agents when needed.”

2. Take time for thorough training.

When training new employees, understand they’ll need time to feel comfortable in their new roles. From learning industry vocabulary to understanding the nuances of your customers’ needs, there’s much to teach them. Training your AI solution is equally important. If you want your AI solution to save you time in the long term, training your AI model can’t be rushed. 

3. Roll out your AI tool gradually and test your results.

One of the best ways to ensure you’re correctly training your AI model is to slowly introduce the tool to your customers. This allows you to see if there are any significant gaps to fill without upsetting most of your customers. Increditools editor-in-chief Kelly Indah learned firsthand that a hasty AI customer service rollout caused more challenges than it solved. 

“The best approach is to start slow, let the AI learn the business nuances and then progressively scale up,” Indah advised. “I gleaned this insight from a project where an early chatbot deployment resulted in numerous incorrect responses, triggering customer frustration.”

4. Prioritize customer feedback.

One of the benefits of a staggered implementation is that you can gradually get a sense of the customer experience and address problems accordingly. This way, you won’t have to manage a deluge of frustrated customers if your AI rollout doesn’t go according to plan. Instead, you can take time, with less pressure, to fix any issues that arise from a small group using the tool. From there, ensuring the next phase of your AI rollout meets all your customers’ needs is much easier. 

5. Communicate your plan.

Have an open dialogue with customers about your AI tool. Communicate your plans to implement an AI solution and request feedback upfront. If your customers know you care about their opinions, they’re more likely to provide constructive criticism. 

Transparency is also crucial for building customer loyalty and trust. As Shroyer noted, privacy and data security are significant concerns for customers interacting with AI. Customers in all industries ― especially finance and healthcare ― want to know you’re protecting their information. If you let customers know you prioritize cybersecurity with your new AI tool, they may be more willing to use it. 

6. Improvement is a continuous process.

There’s always room to make your AI customer service solution more efficient, so regularly monitor your AI system and evaluate where you need to improve. Customer feedback should remain integral to this process. If you lead with the mindset that your AI tool can improve continually ― for you and your customers ― you can develop a real winner. 


Customer surveys are among the easiest ways to get feedback on your AI chatbot implementation. Most survey platforms are highly user-friendly and low-cost ― or, in some cases, free.

A thoughtful approach can lead to AI customer service success

AI customer service solutions are rife with potential for business use. However, they take time and effort to implement. If your business handles many straightforward customer requests, AI chatbots could be well worth the long-term investment. With the right planning and research, AI customer service tools can benefit you, your team and your customer base enormously.

Natalie Hamingson
Natalie Hamingson
Contributing Writer at
Natalie Hamingson is a New York-based writer with extensive experience creating a range of content, including blogs, feature interviews, and more. She has covered subjects that include entertainment, lifestyle, technology, and business. In addition to her journalistic experience, she has also written a significant amount of marketing content for small businesses, including social media and email campaigns.
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