Discover how business leaders in 5 key sectors are investing in AI to improve their customer service to match customers' expectations.
Today’s customers need organisations to deliver a fast, seamless customer experience (CX) that’s both personalised and intuitive. But meeting these demands with live agents alone is neither cost-effective nor scalable, which is why Zendesk’s latest research finds that businesses across all sectors have been investing in artificial intelligence (AI) and chatbots over the last 12 months.
AI and chatbots are playing a key role in delivering the positive CX that users require, enabling organisations to navigate increased pressure from customer demands. And customers are noticing the difference, with 76 per cent saying they have seen improved CX in the last year. In this article, we look at how AI and chatbots can help organisations and reveal how five key sectors are using AI and chatbot technologies.
Chatbot usage and the power of AI in customer support
Customer attitudes are evolving as AI and chatbot usage increases. Zendesk’s CX Trends 2023 report* shows that 77 per cent of customers find chatbots helpful for simple issues, and 71 per cent of customers agree that AI and chatbots can help provide faster replies.
Across all sectors, companies are seeing the benefits of AI and chatbots. Our survey of business leaders showed that 59 per cent attest to measurable return on investment (ROI) as a result of investment in AI.
Recent developments in AI-led chatbot technology can help customer service agents to sort and prioritise enquiries based on what a customer wants and their current mood. Zendesk’s Intelligent Triage and Smart Assist technologies are good examples of this in action. The tools draw on trillions of customer data points and Zendesk’s industry expertise to create custom models that can identify the intent, language, and sentiment of each customer interaction. The technology ensures that customers can be assessed, prioritised, and directed to the best department to service their query.
How are businesses across five key sectors approaching AI and chatbots in 2023?
Zendesk research highlights how different sectors are using AI and chatbots to enhance CX. Here’s a quick overview of ROI and future plans across five major sectors.
Financial Services leaders are increasingly using chatbots and conversational AI to improve their customer service strategy. In fact, they are the most likely (86 per cent) to say they have seen positive ROI on their CX over the last 12 months, which is above the global average of 77 per cent. More than eight in ten (81 per cent) of financial services leaders say they will increase their AI and chatbot budget in the next 12 months, which is way above the global average of 67 per cent.
The technology sector is very supportive of AI and chatbot usage, with 84 per cent of leaders reporting a positive ROI on their CX investment over the past 12 months, which is above the global average (77 per cent). Across technology, 83 per cent of leaders also confirm that they expect to increase their CX budget over the next 12 months, compared to the global average of 80 per cent.
The manufacturing industry has seen considerable turbulence over the last few years with pandemic-related issues and supply chain disruption. However, manufacturers around the world are starting to invest in AI solutions, to help them become more sustainable and drive growth. In terms of CX investment, 74 per cent of leaders in this sector report a positive ROI on their CX over the past 12 months. This is slightly below the global average, which is unsurprising given the pressures in this sector. Investing in CX is a priority for manufacturing leaders, with more than three quarters (77 per cent) planning to increase their CX budget over the next 12 months.
Retail sector leaders are mindful that CX should take greater priority during uncertain economic times, especially when it comes to AI. In fact, retailers across Europe use AI to improve their customer journey, enhance demand prediction and deliver better customer service experiences. Nearly eight in ten (79 per cent) retail leaders agree that providing excellent customer service during an economic downturn becomes even more important. Across the retail sector, 72 per cent of leaders have seen a positive ROI on their CX over the past 12 months, and nearly three quarters (74 per cent) expect to increase their CX budget over the next 12 months. Both these figures are slightly behind the global average.
Healthcare leaders are invested in CX, with more than eight in ten (82 per cent) confirming that great CX is essential to their business goals. Almost three-quarters (73 per cent) of health sector leaders confirm they have seen a positive ROI on their CX over the past 12 months. Compared to other sectors, this is slightly below average. Just under seven in ten (69 per cent) expect to increase their CX budget over the next 12 months, which is 11 per cent below the global average.
Deploying AI and chatbots enhances the customer experience
As 2023 unfolds, adapting to customer expectations and the difficult economic landscape is front-of-mind for businesses across sectors. Leveraging AI and chatbots enables organisations to deliver the fast, personalised, and efficient service experiences that customers expect and love.
*Zendesk CX Trends 2023: The Rise of Immersive Experiences report. The data in the Zendesk CX Trends 2023 report comes from three sources. Those sources include: one global survey of nearly 3,700 consumers, another global survey of nearly 4,800 business respondents, and Zendesk Benchmark product usage data from more than 99,000 companies.