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The role of AI in self-service and knowledge management

How will generative AI transform self-service and knowledge management, and how will it empower human agents? In this insightful discussion, Kajabi’s Jared Loman, Zendesk’s Maddie Hoffman, and host Nicole Saunders explore how AI stands to upend everything—including customer expectations.

By Mark Smith, Staff Writer

Last updated June 2, 2023

In Conversation with Zendesk’s debut episode, host Nicole Saunders spoke with Jared Loman, vice president of customer experience at Kajabi, and Zendesk’s Caitlin Keohane, senior vice president, global customer advocacy, about how AI will help businesses control costs in an era of tightening budgets. In this second part of the discussion, Zendesk’s Maddie Hoffman—director of self-service and automation at Zendesk—joins Loman and Saunders in an in-depth conversation about how generative AI will have sweeping effects on self-service, knowledge management, and what customers will come to expect from the companies they patronize.

As Loman sees it, generative AI will be a powerful tool that could “power up” agents by offering suggested actions while also employing robust customer sentiment analysis. That will create richer, more satisfying customer experiences in which issues are resolved proactively. “The holy grail for customer support is solving problems before they actually become problems,” Loman said.

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Better customer experiences means improved customer retention, and businesses that want to remain competitive—and rein in costs—would be wise to focus on keeping the customers they already have. If used wisely, generative AI could drastically improve chatbots and the customer experience overall, but as Hoffman points out, customers still want a human ready to step in. And that means human oversight and a deep understanding of the style of communication favored by customers.

“If you want to guarantee the quality of your interactions, you resource it, you assign someone to review the outputs, understand what conversations look like, and understand what customers need in the various phases of their relationship with you,” Hoffman said. “And then it’s validating that it’s working and that they’re not getting stuck in some of those more historically frustrating, chatbot conversations that so many of us are accustomed to.”

Be sure to tune into the next episode of Conversations with Zendesk on June 14, when Saunders chats with leaders from Honeywell International, Medline Industries, Dandelion Payments, and Zendesk about why companies must adopt a mindset of customer obsession.

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