AI in Customer Service: Current State, Benefits, and Best Practices


The significance of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in customer service has reached unprecedented heights. With businesses and consumers alike adapting to this new reality, AI has emerged as a powerful tool addressing common issues in conventional customer support. Delays in responses, limited control over interactions, and unavailability of help after operational hours are challenges that AI can effortlessly overcome, revolutionizing the realm of customer service.

The Evolution of Customer Engagement with AI

With increasing customer expectations, businesses are embracing AI to provide personalized and proactive service. The substantial potential of AI-powered customer service lies in enhancing engagement, seizing cross-selling and upselling chances, and diminishing the cost of service. In sectors such as global banking, AI technologies with the capacity to generate an extra $1 trillion in value each year.

The Current State of AI in Customer Service

According to a recent survey, 54% of customers participate in daily interactions with businesses facilitated by AI, including chatbots, digital assistants, facial recognition, and biometric scanners. Surprisingly, 49% of these customers perceive AI interactions as reliable, underscoring the increasing acceptance and dependence on AI in customer service.

Customers value the efficiency that AI, particularly through chatbots, brings to interactions, even when they acknowledge that they are engaging with a machine. The main insight is that AI improves customer responsiveness, contributing to an overall more gratifying service experience.

Companies progressing in AI-driven customer service exhibit five levels of maturity. At the most advanced level (Level 5), more than 95% of service interactions are handled through AI and digital channels. The most mature companies operate in digital-native sectors, while traditional sectors are making strides toward higher maturity levels.

Contrary to common misconceptions, AI-powered service does not mean full automation. While chatbots reduce human-assisted volumes, a reimagined AI-supported model encompasses all digital and assisted touchpoints. AI assists employees in real time contributing to a holistic, high-quality customer experience.

To leverage customer service as a tool for engagement, financial institutions should focus on envisioning the future of service, rethinking every customer touchpoint, maximizing interactions, leveraging AI and technology, and adapting agile and collaborative approaches.

Benefits of AI-powered Customer Support

  1. Reduced Average Handling Time (AHT)

AI-powered customer support significantly reduces AHT, a crucial metric in customer service. Traditional methods often led to customer complaints about long wait times. AI-enabled chatbots can address basic concerns and queries in real-time, eliminating the need for customers to wait in lengthy queues.

  1. Managing Large Amounts of Data

As customer interactions generate vast amounts of data, AI plays a crucial role in processing and analyzing this data systematically. Businesses can derive powerful predictions and insights into customer behavior, enabling them to address complex concerns, formulate targeted marketing campaigns, and enhance overall customer satisfaction.

  1. Omnichannel Support

Multichannel customer support allows customers to interact with brands through their preferred touchpoints. AI can efficiently accumulate and centralize data from various channels, providing businesses with a comprehensive view of each customer’s interactions. This omnichannel approach enables businesses to offer superior customer experiences.

  1. 24×7 Customer Service

AI facilitates around-the-clock customer support, a necessity for global brands with customers in different time zones. AI-powered tools, such as self-directed knowledge bases and chatbots, enable businesses to stay online 24×7, addressing customer concerns promptly and efficiently.

Best Practices in AI-powered Customer Service

  • Smart Call Routing: Integrating AI for call routing streamlines the process, ensuring that customers are directed to the right support representative based on factors such as call complexity and customer concern. Skill-based call routing enhances efficiency by directing calls to teams specializing in specific products or services.
  • Smart Agent Profiling: AI helps businesses profile customer service agents based on their performance in various segments. By matching agents with customers based on their strengths and expertise, businesses can enhance customer satisfaction and increase sales.
  • AI Chatbots Infused with Human Sensibility: While AI chatbots, including those used in AI call centers, offer swift and customized assistance, it’s important to regard them as supplements to human engagement rather than substitutes. Achieving harmony between AI-powered self-service chatbots and human interaction leads to enhanced customer satisfaction.
  • Ultra-Personalization: Ultra-personalization, facilitated by AI and live data, guarantees that customer engagements are exceptionally pertinent and tailored to individual preferences. This eradicates the annoyance of customers having to reiterate the same issues, fostering a more favorable customer experience.
  • Integration of AI with CRM Systems: The incorporation of AI into Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools enables businesses to access up-to-the-minute customer data. This fusion allows for personalized service, enabling agents to leverage customer insights to provide relevant add-ons, promotions, and support.
  • Precise Customer Feedback: AI automates the analysis of customer feedback, providing businesses with accurate insights into positive and negative trends. This streamlined process allows for actionable improvements, contributing to a customer-centric approach.

Challenges and Opportunities

The challenges in adopting AI-driven customer service include the complexity of migration to self-service digital channels, rising customer expectations, and the need for skilled personnel. However, organizations that successfully navigate these challenges can unlock significant value, creating a cycle of better service, higher satisfaction, and increased customer engagement.

A Case Study AI Service Transformation in a Fast-Growing Bank

An Asian bank’s experience illustrates the success of an AI-enabled customer service transformation. Over 12 months, the bank revamped channels, incorporated AI-powered decision-making, enhanced measurement practices, and implemented an API-driven tech stack. The results included a significant increase in self-service channel use, a reduction in service interactions, and a substantial decrease in cost-to-serve.


The AI revolution in customer service is reshaping engagement, efficiency, and overall customer experience. Businesses adopting AI see proactive, personalized service, especially in sectors like global banking. Over half of consumers engage in daily AI interactions, finding them trustworthy.

AI-powered service integrates seamlessly with human interactions across touchpoints. Companies prioritize a holistic, high-quality customer experience, emphasizing reduced handling time, data management, omnichannel support, and 24×7 availability.

Challenges include transitioning to self-service channels and meeting escalating customer expectations. Successful navigation unlocks value, fostering better service and increased engagement.

A case study of an Asian bank’s AI-enabled service shows benefits like increased self-service usage and reduced costs. The AI revolution offers immense opportunities for those embracing innovation and prioritizing customer-centric approaches.

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