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How AI for customer support helps your team and your customers

Customer support leaders know that handling high ticket volumes is one of the toughest challenges their teams face. That's why so many of them are looking forward to using AI for customer support as a way to relieve their reps' workload.

According to Intercom’s Customer Service Trends Report 2023, 75% of support leaders plan to increase their technology spending over the next 12 months in order to help them manage conversation volume.¹

However, the advantages of AI for customer support extend even further. For both internal teams and customers alike, AI can deliver enhanced support experiences at scale.

In this article, you’ll learn what AI for customer support is, examples of AI tools, as well as their major benefits. We’ll also show you some of the best practices to integrate AI with your teams, and what you should look for in an AI tool.

What is AI for customer support?

AI for customer support leverages advanced technologies such as machine learning (ML) and natural language processing (NLP) to enhance and streamline support operations. It involves the application of AI to automate certain aspects of customer interactions, improve teams’ workflows, and deliver more efficient service.

Examples of AI tools for customer support

AI chatbots

AI chatbots use ML, NLP, and generative AI to grasp language and handle a wide range of conversations. 

Generative AI is an advanced form of artificial intelligence that can create various types of content by analyzing large amounts of training data and generating new outputs that closely match the original input.

By being trained on conversational data, a customer support AI chatbot is able to analyze sentences, comprehend intent and context, and generate appropriate responses.

AI-enhanced help desk

A help desk serves as a central hub to promptly address queries and assist in resolving any problems customers may have. An AI help desk, meanwhile, uses AI technology to boost support team productivity and improve the overall experience of customers seeking assistance. 

By automating tasks within your team's inbox, including summarizing conversations and expanding short notes or bullet points to more elaborated messages for customers, an AI-enhanced help desk streamlines operations and saves valuable time.

How can AI automate customer support?

Now that you're familiar with a couple of examples of AI for customer support tools, let's explore how they can actually make a difference for your business. 

Deliver contextually relevant responses

AI chatbots provide timely and accurate responses to customer queries, ensuring a consistently satisfying and informative experience. With generative AI for customer support, these chatbots excel at creating natural and seamless interactions, effectively handling various inquiries and scenarios.

AI systems have the remarkable ability to continuously learn and enhance their performance over time. This means they can ask clarifying questions to deliver the most helpful answers and adapt conversations based on user information. 

Use existing help content to provide answers

To maximize the efficiency of a customer support AI chatbot, it's crucial to connect it with a robust help center or content source that can provide answers to your customers. 

The knowledge base acts as the chatbot's database, housing essential information about your company's products, services, and procedures. 

When a customer asks a question, the AI searches through its knowledge base to find the most relevant answers. It analyzes the customer's query, cross-references it with the available content, and constructs a response.

Learn more about how you train an AI chatbot with a custom knowledge base.

Gather information upfront for full context

AI proves to be invaluable when it comes to handling challenging troubleshooting problems, as it can provide step-by-step guides. And if a customer support AI chatbot encounters a complex issue that it can't resolve, it can seamlessly transfer the customer to a human support rep. 

But before doing so, the AI chatbot takes the initiative to ask relevant questions, thereby gathering essential details upfront. This guarantees that when the customer is handed over to a support representative, that representative has all the necessary context they need to efficiently address the query.

Enhance support representatives' replies 

AI for customer support is a valuable asset in boosting the efficiency of your team's answers. By crafting short notes or bullet points, your staff can provide quick replies to customers while AI swiftly expands them into more detailed and comprehensive responses. 

Additionally, support representatives can leverage AI to personalize their replies. They have the flexibility to adapt their language to match the specific circumstances at hand, whether it calls for a formal, serious tone or a lighter, friendlier touch.

Create new articles for the help center

Providing great support means constantly evolving the help center with timely, relevant content. If your team identifies new, emerging topics they find themselves addressing more and more frequently, they can utilize AI to help them produce related articles. 

An AI content generator allows teams to quickly expand article coverage. Simply outline a new topic summary, and the tool handles the rest. It's as easy as copying in a bullet point overview.

Your team also retains the ability to review the generated article and make any needed edits to ensure it comprehensively addresses your customers' evolving  needs.

AI for customer support benefits

24/7 self-service support

As AI adoption grows in the customer support field, so too do the advantages of self-service experiences. The combination of your knowledge base with the capabilities of an AI chatbot makes self-service support convenient and appealing for your customers. An AI chatbot can recommend relevant articles 24/7 in real-time, based on a user’s question. 

Automatically resolve queries 

By utilizing an effective AI customer support tool, you can significantly minimize the amount of time your representatives spend on handling queries. Our AI chatbot, Fin, is a prime example of this efficiency, as it can instantly resolve up to 50% of your support questions.

Fewer manual tasks

AI-enhanced help desks offer time-saving features like conversation summarization. This functionality proves incredibly useful when a support representative needs to escalate a ticket or pass a conversation to a teammate by making sure no important details are lost in the process. 

A 2023 Accenture report found that AI large language models could significantly impact the workplace. A full 62% of employees' time involves communication tasks, and AI has the potential to automate much of that work.²

With just a simple click of a button, the support rep can effortlessly generate a comprehensive summary of their entire customer conversation.

Better customer experiences

Our 2023 report, State of AI in Customer Service, found that 29% of support leaders are currently leveraging AI and automation to enhance experiences.³

By implementing AI-powered customer support solutions, companies reduce users' effort and time investment. Ultimately, this can result in higher satisfaction levels and a greater overall experience.

Multilingual support

Providing multilingual support is one of the major advantages of AI. Generative AI for customer support allows chatbots to understand questions in different languages and respond accordingly.

For instance, if a Spanish-speaking user asks a question, the customer support AI chatbot will reply back in Spanish. This kind of linguistic intelligence allows global customers to interact with your brand seamlessly and in their native tongue. 

Support at scale

With an AI platform capable of saving time and increasing efficiency, even small support teams can expand their capacities. Chatbots help support departments gain the power to better serve growing customer bases – without needing to grow their own headcount in kind.

Best practices to integrate AI into customer support teams

Reassure your support team

As AI becomes more integrated into your customer support department, you may want to consider discussing these changes with your team. Major shifts in the workplace can be unsettling, and keeping communications open can help alleviate some of that anxiety. Explain that AI won't replace them but rather enhance what they do best – helping people.

Acknowledge your team members’ concerns about workflow change, and make it clear that AI’s primary purpose is to reduce repetitive tasks so they can focus more time on work requiring emotional intelligence and out-of-the-box problem-solving. Their roles may evolve, but their expertise remains core to the support mission.

Prepare your team for AI

The role of customer support is changing fast – 78% of support leaders say they expect AI to transform customer support careers over the next five years.

To succeed in this new environment, you'll need teams with three essential qualities: troubleshooting skills, subject matter expertise, and a curious mindset.

Troubleshooting will be key because AI will handle most problems, leaving complex issues for your support reps. They'll need to keep sharpening those troubleshooting skills to solve whatever comes their way.

Developing subject matter expertise will also be important. Reps preparing for the future should be focusing on gaining deep knowledge of specific features of your products or services.

Finally, foster curiosity throughout your team. Encourage support reps to ask why customers needed to reach out to them, exactly what the problem was, and how the entire team can perform even better the next time. This feedback is essential for continuously improving AI for customer support.

Transform how support is delivered

AI for customer support benefits your team by absorbing all those basic, repetitive questions that eat up so much time and can prove exhausting over a full workday (to say nothing of a workweek). 

That frees up your team to tackle the more complex, consequential problems your customers need help with, and it allows staff to actually give carefully considered advice and meaningful guidance.

This is when your support representatives can get proactive. With the support of AI, they'll have the bandwidth to really understand customers and learn more about how they can enhance value for them. 

Listen to your team’s feedback about AI

When reviewing your AI customer support efforts, don't just look at metrics – be sure to talk to your team, too. Solicit and carefully consider their thoughts on how things could be even better. 

Open up conversations with them about any new ideas they may have. After all, they're on the front lines, observing firsthand where processes, help articles, or your chatbots could be strengthened. Why not ask them directly what repetitive tasks could be automated to give them more time to focus on higher-level challenges?

What to look for in an AI tool for customer support

Automation features

While AI technologies are capable of a lot of things on their own, combining them with process automation takes these platforms to the next level.

For example, think of an AI tool that also enables effortless, code-free workflow automations for your team. A chatbot can automatically route queries to human support reps and capture essential information upfront to help them handle complex cases.


When selecting a customer support AI, analytical capabilities are key. Strong reporting functions will help you measure the impact of your efforts and ensure continuous improvement.

Rather than guessing at effectiveness, comprehensive analytics paint a clear picture. With robust tracking and analysis tools, you'll have the data-driven understanding needed to enhance the customer experience over time. 

An AI platform that prioritizes reporting keeps you informed on progress and empowered to optimize service as your needs evolve.

🤖 How to choose the right AI chatbot for your support needs? Download AI Chatbot Buyer’s Checklist!


When choosing your AI customer support tool, look for a solution designed to work harmoniously with your existing stack.

Seamless connections between your AI, marketing platforms, analytics, and other systems allow for coordinated customer experiences. This comprehensive orchestration helps create more meaningful engagements across all touchpoints.


As your company grows, so do your customer support needs. It's important to choose an AI solution that can scale alongside your expanding consumer base while still delivering the fast, consistent service your customers expect.

A top-rated platform will seamlessly support customers throughout their entire journey, meeting them wherever they are – whether that's Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, or another platform. Look for a tool that makes engaging across channels effortless with a proper omnichannel experience.

Data privacy and security

Lastly, it's important to remember that data privacy and security should be the priorities in your business. Customers rightfully expect their information, questions, and conversations to be handled discreetly and carefully. They should always feel confident discussing personal matters, safe in the knowledge that their information is protected by the highest industry standards.

At Intercom, we recognized the importance of protecting customer data from the start as we developed our AI solutions. We designed our systems from the ground up with security and transparency in mind. 

Read more about how we deal with security and privacy on: How AI chatbots are handling your deepest data concerns.

Get started with AI for customer support

AI has the potential to rapidly elevate customer support through technologies like chatbots and help desks. In fact, Intercom’s State of AI in Customer Service shows that 66% of leaders are excited about AI’s ability to increase team efficiency in the year ahead.

To fully harvest the benefits of AI for customer support, leaders need to embrace change and seize new opportunities. Doing so positions them to push their business forward.

Intercom provides a comprehensive solution to help you maximize AI's impact. Our chatbot, Fin, handles the most frequent queries so your team can focus on more complex issues. Meanwhile, an AI-enhanced help desk is ready to empower your reps to get more done, faster. 

Take the next step towards AI start your free trial today.

Learn more about AI for customer support:


1. Intercom, Customer Service Trends Report 2023. We commissioned an independent market research firm to survey a random sample of 1,775 global customer service leaders and decision-makers. The study’s margin of error is +/- 2.3% at the 95% level of significance.

2. Accenture, A new era of generative AI for everyone.

3. Intercom, The State of AI in Customer Service 2023. We commissioned an independent market research firm to survey a random sample of 1,013 global support leaders and practitioners. The margin of error for this study is +/- 3.7% at the 95% confidence level.