3 ways AI and self-service improve the customer experience 

Artificial intelligence (AI) has many uses in customer service, from automating tasks to providing insightful analytics. How can companies utilize self-service content fueled by AI to improve the customer experience?

Published ·December 4, 2023

Reading time·5 min

Today’s customers want to feel empowered along their journey to purchase. For many customers, that means finding the answers they need when they need them. This is where self-service content comes in, as it provides a rich knowledge base on products or services that customers can access on the go. 

AI plays a crucial role in developing and improving self-service content. And self-service content plays another vital role along the customer’s journey. Together, AI and self-service content options aim to improve the customer experience (CX) by reducing friction, easily addressing common questions and empowering the customer in identifying solutions.  

Beyond the customer journey, though, self-service content also empowers agents to do their best work. It reduces the number of touchpoints needed in a customer service interaction. As customers grow to expect seamlessness across their preferred channels, customer service organizations that leverage insights and AI tools to make their jobs easier are on track for success.   

Here, we’ll explore three ways that AI and self-service content converge to help customers and agents in every stage of the buyer’s journey, and how self-service content creates a winning example of how humans and technology can work together.  

3 ways AI and self-service content help customers and empower agents 

In recent years, AI technologies have risen in popularity for customer service organizations. Perhaps the most notable addition is the customer service chatbot. This virtual assistant can engage with customers on a company’s website or through a messaging app and asks questions to uncover a customer’s problem and resolve it.  

In many cases, the chatbot can direct a customer to self-service content resources that will resolve their problem quickly and easily. According to Zendesk, 69% of customers try to resolve their customer service issues on their own before contacting a representative. Yet only a third of companies offer self-service options. This discrepancy identifies a valuable opportunity for customer service organizations to broaden their self-service capabilities — and that journey often begins with AI. 

There are many ways for AI and self-service content to work in harmony. We’ve identified the top three differentiators that make the adoption of self-service content worthwhile — for the organization, for the agent and, above all, the customer.  

When equipped with AI technologies, such as customer experience analytics, customer service organizations can readily identify who their customers are, the issues they are experiencing and how the company can reduce customer effort in the future. These analytics can include repeat contacts, customer satisfaction ratings and patterns across service interactions that hold opportunities for improvement.

1. Identifies common issues among customers 

Once common issues have been identified and logged by AI technologies, companies can then develop self-service content that addresses these issues. If, for example, the company has a high volume of questions about product setup, the company can create a how-to guide that new customers can access through the company’s website or knowledge base.  

Zendesk also notes that 67% of customers prefer using self-service portals over calling a representative. This indicates a need for quick resolution on demand. When Q&A guides, how-to videos and other self-service content resources are available from the outset, customers eliminate the need to wait on hold and gain back time in their busy schedules. This creates a more seamless CX, where customers’ time is valued, and multiple forms of support are available to them throughout the journey, depending on their preference. 

2. Provides agents with information to assist on customer service calls 

Sometimes a customer’s question is more complex and cannot be resolved with self-service content. In that case, agents can step in to assist — and the engagement data provided by self-service content is there to support their conversation. When a customer calls in, an agent can verify that they have already pursued self-service options. If they haven’t, then the agent can recommend the right resource to help.  

Chatbots and digital agents can also assist customers in navigating self-service portals. They can be implemented on a knowledge base or Q&A page. The chatbot can ask targeted questions to uncover what the customer is looking for and guide them to the most valuable resource for their specific issue. From there, the bot can ask follow-up questions to confirm if the customer’s query has been resolved and can connect the customer with an agent if necessary.

3. Pinpoints opportunities for training and improvement 

With a robust set of self-service content resources in place, customer service organizations have a valuable opportunity to monitor customer engagement with each piece of content. Analytics can provide insight into trends, including clicks, downloads, abandon rates and much more. This allows service organizations to pinpoint how to improve their content strategies. 

Between self-service content data and the analytics provided by tools like chatbots, companies can develop training and strategies to address common issues and pain points uncovered throughout the customer journey. If a certain issue has been recognized over time, companies can invest in additional self-service content to address it. Agents can then be trained to utilize the resource appropriately in their customer interactions.  

The future of AI and customer service  

Generative AI will greatly facilitate the creation of self-service content and help boost agent productivity.

In the era of multiexperience, having a defined omnichannel strategy is critical to customer satisfaction. The more options a brand has in place to create a more seamless experience, the better. AI technologies will continue to play an important role in creating the ideal CX and in aiding and empowering customer service agents to provide that experience through their interactions on a daily basis. 

With tools like self-service content at the ready, brands give customers the power to find solutions quickly and effectively. When equipped with self-service guides, videos and more, agents can automate certain tasks. This frees up valuable time to assist customers with more complex customer service issues. 

But of course, this is only the start. Generative AI is developing fast and will offer even more possibilities for efficient self-service. To help you successfully integrate it into your operations, we created the “Ultimate checklist: Boost CX efficiency with generative AI in the contact center.

Curious? Just fill out the form below and you’ll receive the checklist in your inbox!