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The basics: Artificial intelligence and customer experience

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Artificial intelligence and the customer experience have a unique relationship that’s constantly evolving. As businesses adapt to meet the ever-changing expectations of their customers, AI presents the perfect opportunity to provide more seamless, efficient, and personalized interactions across multiple channels.

In fact, a study conducted by eMarketer and Insider Intelligence in 2022 revealed that AI will play an increasingly important role in CX over the next five years. Companies striving to maintain a competitive edge will need to adopt AI tools to enhance their customers’ journey.

In this article, we’ll explore the various ways in which AI is transforming the customer experience and how businesses can leverage this technology to gain a competitive advantage.

Read on to find out:

  • What an AI-driven customer experience is.

  • How AI is reshaping the customer experience landscape.

  • Three ways AI improves the customer experience.

  • How  companies are successfully using AI to enhance their customer experience offering.

  • Which tools you need to create or improve an AI-powered customer experience.

What do we mean by customer experience?

Customer experience (CX) encompasses all of the interactions a customer has with your company, from the moment they first discover your brand right through using your products and services and seeking help from your support team.

What is an AI-driven customer experience?

An AI-driven customer experience uses technologies such as machine learning and natural language processing, combined with data analytics tools, to analyze large amounts of customer data, learn from past interactions, and make predictions about future behaviors.

Armed with these insights, businesses can create personalized experiences that cater to the specific needs and preferences of individual customers, at scale.

How is AI reshaping the customer experience landscape?

According to McKinsey, customers have become accustomed to – and even show a preference for – self-service digital channels as the “first point of contact” when seeking support. 

Their expectations of what a great self-serve experience looks like are also increasing, making it pivotal for businesses to understand how to design an AI-powered customer experience that helps them stand out from the crowd. 

To do this, many businesses are upping their investments in areas like conversational AI, proactive support, and predictive analytics to improve customer experience. According to Intercom's 2023 State of AI in Customer Service Report, 69% of support leaders plan to invest more in AI in the year ahead.

Why? Intercom’s data reveals that support leaders are excited about the possibilities AI presents in terms of empowering teams to work more quickly, cost-effectively, and resiliently – without sacrificing the quality of the customer experience.

What is the role of humans in an AI-driven customer experience?

When we talk about artificial intelligence and customer experience, it’s important to consider the role humans play in this dynamic relationship.

Research shows that just over half (53%) of support teams are worried about the potential negative impact of AI on the customer service industry. For example, a question that’s been top of mind for many support teams is whether AI-powered bots have the potential to take their jobs.

But there’s no need to panic. While it's true that the nature of humans' work will change, that doesn't mean they'll be replaced. In fact, AI is unlocking new opportunities for support reps to advance their careers by freeing up time that they can use to create impact in other areas, such as help center content creation and surfacing voice of the customer insights. It’s also creating new roles, like “conversation designer” and “chatbot analyst.”

Sam Miller, Customer Support Operations Manager at Dental Intelligence, believes that a successful support experience relies on the combination of automation and humans:

Artificial intelligence and customer experience - Quote

How can AI improve the customer experience?

24/7 omnichannel support

Overall, AI-powered chatbots are a valuable tool for companies looking to provide 24/7 omnichannel support and create great customer experiences along the way. This is because AI chatbots can:

  • Ensure that customers are always able to get the help they need, even outside of business hours.

  • Handle multiple customer interactions simultaneously.

  • Reduce wait times.

  • Delight customers with fast responses and resolutions.

Personalization at scale

Businesses have long understood that personalization is a key component of competitive advantage. What they might not know is that companies that provide personalized support are two times more likely to report increases in customer satisfaction and retention, according to Intercom’s 2023 Customer Service Trends Report. 

The good news is that artificial intelligence can help you personalize your customer support experiences at scale. This can include:

  • Data analytics that unravel customer behavior patterns and allow you to better understand your customers and how to support them.

  • Personalized flows based on customer behavior, which can include personalized messages triggered by events, such as making a purchase or resetting a password.

Improved decision-making processes

Thanks to AI's ability to identify patterns and trends in large amounts of data, companies can use it to improve their product decision-making processes, either by anticipating customer needs or by understanding where they can provide proactive support.

Additionally, by using AI, companies have the opportunity to set up custom flows that direct customers to the right place to get their issue resolved.

For example, if a business is seeing a recurring problem related to billing, they could set up a support flow to address that specific issue. This way, the company can provide a more personalized and efficient customer experience.

If you’re still unsure about how to apply AI in your business to enhance the customer experience in your business, check out this article: To AI or not to AI? The support leader’s dilemma.

Examples of companies using AI for customer experience

Forward-thinking companies are already starting to redesign their customer experiences to incorporate AI and ensure they’re engaging with customers in a contextual, efficient and personalized way all without sacrificing the human touch.


Hospitable is a leading provider of short-term rental management automation software. Based in San Francisco, the company has been using Intercom for over six years to provide support to its customers.

They understand that their customer base of hosts often need support outside of business hours, and this is why it has leveraged AI to offer around-the-clock assistance. Thanks to Intercom's new AI-powered chatbot, Fin, Hospitable can now offer 24/7 support, making it easier for the company to manage their short-term rentals.

With our advanced automation software and AI-powered chatbot, Hospitable has made it easier than ever for hosts to manage their properties and offer the best possible experience to their guests.

We chose Fin over other solutions because in testing, it consistently outperformed others on both speed and accuracy.
Pierre-Camille Hamana

CEO and Founder of Hospitable

Total Synergy

Total Synergy is a cloud software that has been designed to assist architecture, engineering, and construction design professionals (AEC) by solving their key challenges, such as project management, accounting, and collaboration.

The problem? They need to provide accurate and timely customer support at scale. To overcome this, they partnered up with Intercom, and leveraged the power of our AI chatbot, Fin.

Scott Donnelly, Head of Customer and Digital Operations, was a little skeptical about the possible outcomes, but the reality soon changed his mind: “Due to the complexity of our platform it takes us three months to train a new support team member, but Fin was able to start providing accurate answers right away! It definitely exceeded my expectations.”


Zapiet is a company that designs powerful and flexible tools for Shopify to help merchants across the globe provide flexibility and convenience to their customers.

After implementing Intercom’s AI-powered chatbot Fin, the Zapiet team was able to achieve incredible results across their support offering, including higher engagement and resolution rates.

Which tools do you need to create or improve an AI-powered customer experience?

Even though AI is often associated with chatbots, it can play a much broader role in the customer experience, providing support teams and customers with powerful tools that can help resolve issues more efficiently. Here are some essential AI tools that you can use to improve your company's customer experience:

1. AI-powered chatbots

According to a 2023 Accenture report on generative artificial intelligence, 40% of total working hours across all industries have the potential to be impacted by large language models (LLM) such as GPT-4.

This is due to the fact that tasks involving language make up 62% of employees' overall working time. And of that time, 65% can be converted into more productive activity through augmentation and automation. Put another way, AI can save your team a lot of time.

An AI-powered chatbot can act just like another member of your team. Companies can employ AI-powered chatbots to:

  • Leverage existing help content to provide fast, accurate answers to customer queries.

  • Quickly resolve queries to reduce customer service reps’ workloads.

  • Collect information up front so reps have all the context they need to resolve more complex queries.

  • Seamlessly pass conversations to support reps when additional help is needed or the bot doesn’t know the answer.

  • Take care of manual and repetitive tasks to free up support team time.

If you’re eager to discover how the introduction of AI is changing people’s perception towards chatbots, read our article: How do your customers feel about AI chatbots?

2. AI-powered help desks

A help desk is a tool designed to answer employee or customer questions, and help them to troubleshoot issues as they arise. It serves as a communication channel between the users and the support staff, and it typically involves a ticketing system that tracks and manages every request.

However, many solutions available on the market are outdated and unable to satisfy the demands of modern customers, especially when it comes to efficiency. 

AI can enhance the functionality of help desks in a variety of ways. For example, by:

  • Automatically summarizing conversations before reps hand them over to teammates.

  • Instantly rephrasing messages and adjusting their tone to personalize each conversation to meet the customer’s needs.

  • Expanding short notes or bullet points into a complete response with just a few clicks.

Meet Fin, the AI-powered chatbot designed by Intercom

The role of artificial intelligence in the customer experience is constantly evolving, and companies that want to stay ahead of the curve will need to ensure they’re adopting the right technology to help their team – and their customers – succeed.

Intercom’s AI-powered chatbot Fin is built on advanced AI language models and can understand complex queries, ask clarifying questions, and fully converse with your customers. It can also:

  • Dramatically reduce your support volume.

  • Provide trustworthy and transparent responses, based solely on your support content.

  • Route queries effortlessly to humans when needed.

Are you ready to meet Fin? Start your free trial now.