Zendesk Relate 2024 | Insights from Aakrit Prasad. CEO, AptEdge.

Last week, over 1,000 CX practitioners, Customer Support leaders, IT managers, and Admins convened in Las Vegas to attend an outstanding annual customer support conference—ZenDesk Relate. The conference was laser-focused on investigating the latest developments in the customer support space, specifically the crucial role of AI in shaping its future.

AI for CX

The conference covered various topics, from AI-powered CX, consistency across the customer journey, and the intimacy of AI and agents in customer support to defining workflows, managing escalations efficiently, and setting up your help desk.

Advantages for Customer Support

Among the attendees, it was the Customer Support leaders who voiced their genuine concerns. They were grappling with the question, 'How can AI become a strategic component of our business?' The growing trend of AI adoption was met with a mix of excitement and apprehension. The buzz around AI was tempered with concerns about the associated costs, considerations regarding short-term business value, and nervousness about the best way to implement and encourage AI adoption.

The feedback from the conference attendees echoed a common theme. There is a pressing need for AI solutions that not only prioritize humans but also take into account the unique nature of customer support as a business function. Customers are eager to understand how AI can enhance their current support processes and its impact on people, departments, and communities. They also seek guidance on how to transform customer support into a strategic and revenue growth engine.

For example, in 1:1 fireside chat between CS experts Charles Coaxum, former Head of Customer Success Security at Cisco, and Gerald Hastie, a Customer Support executive who has run the operations organizations for Roblox and Pinterest, the two emphasized the pressure to implement an AI solution that would be effective, “We're running operations. We've got to get stuff done. We ha[ve] ticket volumes coming in, so how can we be more effective and efficient?” said Coaxum. With the expanding role of AI in customer support, businesses must consider the specific challenges and requirements before evaluating and selecting an appropriate AI solution.

As highlighted in the conference, implementing an AI solution that respects the human element of customer interactions while enhancing efficiency and effectiveness is crucial. Looking forward, it's clear that AI will continue to be a pivotal tool in crafting the future of customer support. While the adoption of AI is on the rise, businesses must consider their specific challenges and requirements before evaluating and selecting an appropriate AI solution.

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