How AI for Customer Support Agents Maximizes CX Efficiency

Gladly Team

Read Time

5 minute read

There’s one question popping up across the tech space, from boardrooms to water coolers, and everywhere in between — “How is AI going to change our daily work lives?”

The conversation around AI has moved from curiosity to its potential widespread impact — with bold predictions that the tech will increase global GDP by 7%. Brands want to utilize the technology for better business practices (and profits); employees want reassurance that companies will use AI to complement their abilities, not replace them. For call centers, we’re already seeing how AI for customer support agents can empower employees rather than shuffle them aside.

At Gladly Connect Live 2023, Bark CTO Nari Sitaraman shared a presentation on the rapid inclusion of AI in customer experience. Here’s a preview of how he used the technology to transform his own company, and the exciting new use cases ecommerce businesses have already applied.


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The Promise of AI in Ecommerce

The inclusion of AI in ecommerce will be necessary to keep up with the accelerating pace of business. Whereas companies in previous decades could stay competitive while processing and applying data manually, it’s now impossible to maintain relevance without some form of automation in your tool belt.

Customer expectations are rising rapidly — particularly with young, digitally native shoppers. Our Customer Expectations Report shows that 40% of Gen Z and 37% of millennial shoppers “fall in love” with brands that provide great service, proving the power of going above and beyond to meet their needs. To keep up, brands will need to infuse AI into their experiences to make customer expectations a reality.

“Before you define any strategy, you need to define what your customer segments are and how they want to interact with you.”

Nari Sitaraman


That’s where AI for customer support agents can make a fundamental difference. Already, we’ve seen examples of how this technology can process enormous amounts of data at once. Through AI, brands get real-time insights across channels, along with an environment where CX workers and leaders can apply those insights with ease. With a simple but comprehensive application of this technology, brands can quickly create impactful customer experiences that modern shoppers crave.

Learn more: How AI Innovations at Gladly Are Propelling Brands Forward

The Impact of AI for Customer Support Agents

AI can fundamentally transform a company’s approach to service — from the daily actions of customer service agents all the way to the high-level decisions made by CX leaders. Here are four immediate impacts AI can provide to agents, which only scratch the surface of the technology’s long-term potential applications.

1. Increase response speed and concurrency

AI can predict and even solve recurring issues using hyper-personalized customer data, leading to improved operational efficiencies that ensure a customer and an agent get to a solution faster than ever before.

Example: If a customer is recurring and has dealt with a similar issue repeatedly — for instance, difficulty completing a payment in certain channels — AI would suggest certain responses or solutions that point that shopper directly to a payment screen, thus cutting out excessive communication.

2. Proactively detect sentiment

The smarter AI gets, the more it can use natural language interpretation to identify if a customer is frustrated, delighted, or something else — even without them explicitly saying it.

Example: If an AI-powered self-service tool receives a first response from a customer that the tool identifies as more aggressive or hostile, the tech would recognize that the customer needs more specialized handling to ensure a positive experience. This would indicate to the AI to route that customer along to the most senior agent on that channel.

“What [AI] allows us to do is understand sentiment in real-time, and use AI to guide the connotation from an agent standpoint.”

Nari Sitaraman


3. Suggest action plans through natural language understanding

AI can pick up on patterns in the way customers — and even agents — communicate. This process identifies recurring habits that can be turned into courses of action that a support center can apply to fortify customer relationships.

Example: Say a support center is seeing a recurring issue where customers seem more frustrated when communicating over SMS. Natural language understanding would pick up on that trend using cues from customer language and proactively look for the roadblocks on those channels, delivering results to CX leaders to refresh those customer contact channels.

4. Forecast trends and yield real-time insights

AI has the ability to draw comprehensive conclusions quickly, using the entirety of your customer and support database. Leveraging that ocean of information, AI can indicate overarching trends within your customer base and help pinpoint ways to get ahead of potential fluctuations in business.

Example: Over time, AI could synthesize insights about the rises and falls in shopper behavior. Certain brands might have spikes in requests around certain seasons that aren’t typical (i.e. not just holidays), and AI could pick up on those periods and recommend when businesses need to temporarily staff up.

“When you think about the scale of data, AI helps you analyze much more cohesively and forecast in terms of trends and insights — it’ll help you form solutions much sooner.”

Nari Sitaraman


Preparing for the AI-Driven Future

AI is evolving, but even now, it plays a significant role in synthesizing massive amounts of data and turning it into real-time responses. Moreover, this technology promises a way for CX teams to target shoppers at the most hyper-personalized levels possible.

What’s most exciting is that, in many ways, we’re only at the beginning of this digitally driven journey. The promise of AI, balanced with the strength of human employees, opens ecommerce businesses up to a future of instantaneous, effective customer experiences.

To learn more, watch the entirety of Sitaraman’s presentation here and see how the ever-expanding possibilities of AI in CX and thoughtful implementation can give your ecommerce business a substantial edge.