Zendesk announced a host of new offerings that leverage AI and machine learning to boost customer engagement at its Relate conference. The first is Conversational Commerce, which allows brands to engage with customers during their online shopping experience, providing support, marketing, and sales all within a conversation. The second offering is Zendesk AI, an intelligence layer that combines the company's data and insights with AI technologies, including their own and large language models, to provide personalized and empathetic customer experiences to all companies.
“While we’ve seen huge shifts in the way people shop over the past few years, one thing has remained constant - people prefer to communicate via messaging. Now that digital is the new storefront, businesses will be able to use Conversational Commerce, built on our powerful messaging platform, to create a richer, more dynamic and interactive experience with their customers, which will ultimately lead to increased loyalty and revenue,” said Adrian McDermott, CTO, Zendesk.
The Conversational Commerce
The new Conversational Commerce features provide companies with several benefits, including personalized service that allows agents to assist with abandoned or active carts, inform customers about nearby product availability, and offer promotional deals.
It also helps in sales acceleration by utilizing shoppers' purchase history and preferences to provide relevant product recommendations that increase overall order value.
Additionally, businesses can leverage AI to automate conversions and recommendations while unifying data from various systems for a better customer view. This is supported by a wide range of apps and integrations for seamless product tracking.
During the event, Zendesk also announced the expansion of its collaborations with Meta's WhatsApp and Shopify to improve the customer experience (CX) for businesses. By partnering with Meta's WhatsApp, businesses can communicate with customers and provide a seamless buying experience without leaving the conversation. Additionally, with the integration of Zendesk's Conversational Commerce and Shopify's e-commerce platform, agents can include product catalogs, checkout processes, and promotions in their CX management strategies.
The necessity of seamless interactions
Customers now expect purchasing processes to be smooth and seamless, and businesses are training their support agents to handle revenue-generating tasks. According to the Zendesk 2023 CX Trends Report, 70% of customers anticipate conversational experiences when interacting with brands. Moreover, customers tend to purchase more from companies that provide hassle-free, conversational experiences - with 70% of them being more likely to do so.
The beta program for Zendesk Conversational Commerce is available now and is expected to be generally available in the upcoming months.
Zendesk AI is now available to companies, offering an immediate and efficient way to enhance customer service experiences, save time, gain insights into customer behavior, and create effortless interactions. This solution continuously learns and improves over time, with a quick and user-friendly deployment process that instantly adds value without requiring extensive development teams or lengthy implementation periods.
“More than 90% of our customers already use AI within Zendesk, and we are building on this great foundation with new solutions that any business can use immediately. AI has significant benefits for agents, admins and businesses that want to deliver the best customer experience, and Zendesk AI will help them instantly see tangible value in cost savings and thousands of hours a month in gained productivity,” said Tom Eggemeier, CEO, Zendesk.
The value of advanced AI
With Zendesk AI, companies can quickly incorporate intelligent features into every aspect of the service experience, resulting in efficient conversations that promptly address customer needs. By automating the process of assigning and routing inquiries, leaders can free up team capacity and reduce operating expenses.
As part of Zendesk AI, the company has introduced new features, such as advanced bots that can automatically resolve customer inquiries through messaging and email, using the largest customer intent database available for personalized, accurate responses.
Also, Zendesk has unveiled agent assistance that provides AI-powered insights and suggestions to enhance agent productivity, enabling them to address customer issues using AI-generated content and appropriate context quickly.
Finally, Intelligent triage is a feature that uses intent and language detection, as well as sentiment analysis, to create smart workflows that classify incoming customer requests, allowing teams to optimize workflows based on these insights and improve over time.
Zendesk has also partnered with OpenAI and introduced new features that utilize generative AI, such as response rephrasing and tone shift, to assist agents in crafting more articulate and empathetic responses to customers. These features save agents significant time and effort.
The company recognizes the importance of trust and security in developing responsible AI and protecting essential CX features. To address this, Zendesk is introducing Advanced Data Protection, which provides enhanced security features for companies with more advanced security needs, helping them comply with regulatory requirements.