The Ticket: Unpacking the impact of AI on CX with PartnerHero’s Mercer Smith

In the customer service and customer experience spaces, there’s a lot of discussion happening about what the future of the human-AI partnership will look like – and more specifically, what role will humans play in this new dynamic.

The answer? A big one. At Intercom, we truly believe that the future of customer service will require a strong alliance between humans and AI.

AI excels at managing all of the manual work that previously took up far too much of customer-facing teams’ time. It enhances efficiency and frees up time for humans to focus on complex and value-adding activities. But AI is reliant on human input. In this new world of AI-first customer service, human knowledge and expertise will be the power source from which AI draws.

It’s natural that a technological shift of this magnitude would bring with it a certain sense of anxiety. Understandably, for customer service and customer experience teams, there was an initial “what does this mean for my job?” moment. With that in mind, PartnerHero’s VP of Managed Operations Mercer Smith advocates for being radically honest with your team. Mercer is the author of CXOXO: Building a Support Team Your Customers Will Love, and is a champion of forward-thinking customer experience. She argues that radical honesty not only helps alleviate concerns, it also brings each and every team member along on the AI journey with you.

This week on The Ticket podcast, Intercom’s Senior Director of Human Support Bobby Stapleton speaks with Mercer about just how significantly AI is changing the CX space, and why transparency and trust are crucial ingredients in the recipe for AI success.

Here are some key takeaways from their conversation:

  • AI is a catalyst for career development: By taking care of routine tasks and basic questions, AI frees up human agents to tackle more complex issues and other areas of impact that can help them grow their careers. This technological shift not only boosts efficiency but also creates huge opportunities for enhanced job satisfaction and professional development for CS and CX teams.
  • Humans will remain pivotal in an AI-first experience: In this new world of AI-first customer experiences, humans will play key roles in training AI systems, creating content, and ensuring that customers are still receiving the best possible experience. The human-AI partnership will be crucial when it comes to maintaining the quality and integrity of customer experiences.
  • Transparency and trust will be key to success: Being open and honest about how you’re using AI isn’t only important for your team, but also for your customers. By being forthcoming about where and how you’re using AI in the customer experience, you’ll be able to build increased trust with your customers – and avoid frustrating them.
  • Not all AI is equal: When implementing AI, it’s important to think about the ethical considerations. AI has the potential to be biased, so it’s essential to do due diligence on the content you feed it, and ensure the tool you’re using has sufficient safeguards in place to give you peace of mind that your customers won’t have a poor experience.

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. 

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