The Ticket: Mapping out the first 90 days with AI-first Customer Service

It’s no secret that AI is creating an entirely new way of working for customer service teams. And while the benefits are obvious, embracing a completely new way of working can still feel pretty daunting. The good news is that it doesn’t have to.

While teams are becoming increasingly excited about AI’s potential – like its ability to automate away routine tasks and focus on more nuanced, challenging problems – there’s still some uncertainty around how to actually get up and running with the technology.

When it comes to AI adoption, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach, but there are some steps and core practices that teams can follow to help make the transition more manageable.
For one, you don’t have to go all-in all at once. You can start by rolling out your new system to a small segment of your customers to test how things are working. Once you’ve seen results from the first phase, you can open it up to bigger cohorts of customers and explore how to use the technology in more sophisticated ways. How you ramp up is entirely your call.

This week on The Ticket podcast, Intercom’s Senior Director of Human Support Bobby Stapleton and Director of Customer Support Operations Anthony Lopez break down how our own Customer Support team got started with AI. They discuss what the first three months looked like as the team made the switch to an AI-first approach, and offer some practical advice for how others can confidently embrace the new way.

Here are some key takeaways from their conversation:

  • Start with something familiar. Introducing an AI agent or chatbot is an easy way to start seeing the impact that AI can have in customer support. It’s a tool that almost everyone – customers included – is used to and almost expects to be present. All you need to get it going is a knowledge base to draw from.
  • Test with a small, trusted segment. Phasing in AI will change the customer experience and require an adjustment period. Testing your new system with a limited group of customers who are lower risk and bullish on AI can help things go more smoothly.
  • Invest in your content. AI’s performance is determined by the material it’s fed, so it’s important to invest time and resources into building and improving your knowledge base. As AI takes over more manual tasks, you’ll have significantly more time to commit to other areas of impact, like knowledge management.
  • Embrace evolving roles and responsibilities. Introducing AI will completely change the day-to-day work of your team. Their workload will shift towards focusing on more complex and nuanced issues, so you’ll need to prepare for what more specialized career paths look like.

If you enjoy our discussion, check out more episodes of our podcast. You can follow on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, YouTube, or grab the RSS feed in your player of choice.