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Customer experience automation (CXA): Definition + examples

Customer experience automation increases customer satisfaction, boosts agent efficiency, and reduces costs.

Von Hannah Wren, Staff Writer

Zuletzt aktualisiert: June 5, 2024

What is customer experience automation?

Customer experience automation (CXA) uses artificial intelligence (AI) and automation to provide fast, personalized, and seamless customer experiences that ultimately feel more authentically human. CXA typically optimizes workflows, automates interactions with AI agents, and provides AI-powered assistance to your human agents.

“When done right, AI can help you create connections that feel more personal, more authentically human with your customers,” says Zendesk CEO Tom Eggemeier.

AI has revolutionized customer service, allowing businesses to enhance service efficiency without sacrificing quality. The Zendesk Customer Experience Trends Report 2024 indicates that 69 percent of organizations believe generative AI can help humanize digital interactions, with 67 percent of CX leaders reporting that AI agents can build a stronger emotional connection with customers.

As intelligent customer experiences (ICX) become increasingly prevalent, businesses slow to adopt AI risk falling behind. This guide covers CXA in detail—including its key components, benefits, and examples—to help you develop an effective CXA strategy.

More in this guide:

How customer experience automation works

Customer experience automation integrates AI across all customer touchpoints, enabling businesses to deliver faster and more effective service throughout the customer journey.

Every exchange between a customer and a business has the power to build or damage the relationship. Organizations can use CXA to streamline these interactions and offer round-the-clock support and hyper-personalized experiences.

Customer experience automation has several key components:

  • AI agents: AI-powered chatbots and other conversational AI can simulate human-like conversations to automate customer interactions in an engaging way.
  • Agent assistance: Tools like the Zendesk agent copilot provide AI-guided support to agents during customer interactions, such as suggesting automated replies or changing the agent’s tone.
  • Workflow optimization: Workflow automations like intelligent call routing, skills-based routing, and macro suggestions streamline manual tasks.

It’s worth noting, however, that embracing automation just to say you offer CXA is a losing battle—you need to ensure your CXA strategy is helpful to the consumer. While many organizations believe the customer is always right, all businesses should realize the customer is always human. As such, businesses can’t be blinded by technological progress and forget to deliver the service that resonates with their customers.

That’s why it’s so important to choose CXA software designed for the customer experience. For instance, Zendesk AI is pre-trained on billions of real customer interactions, so it deeply understands customer thoughts and feelings. This insight enables it to handle even the most complex customer requests.

Customer experience automation benefits

A quote shows that 70 percent of CX leaders believe generative AI is making digital customer interactions more efficient.

CX automation can enhance an organization or contact center in several ways. Here are some ways to leverage customer experience automation to benefit your entire business.

Improve customer satisfaction and loyalty

When businesses provide better experiences, customers are more likely to stick around. CXA can help improve the customer experience and boost customer loyalty and satisfaction by delivering quicker, smoother resolutions to customers.

For instance, intelligent routing guides customers directly to the most appropriate agent, eliminating the frustration of being transferred across multiple departments. Meanwhile, AI agents can provide support around the clock and even offer proactive updates to get ahead of issues.

Drive personalization

AI and automation can act as dedicated concierges, using personalization in every customer interaction. AI agents pre-trained on real customer interactions can leverage those insights to automatically understand what a customer is thinking and feeling and provide tailored recommendations. For instance, an e-commerce AI agent can track orders and share personalized status updates, recommend items based on purchase history, and personalize the shopping experience.

When human agents must intervene, AI can pass along the full context of the customer’s history and recommend the best way to move forward based on each customer’s unique needs.

Increase efficiency and reduce costs

CXA can automate routine tasks and be the first line of communication for customer requests, freeing up support agents to focus on more important tasks. For example, AI can automatically route support tickets to the proper agent if customer issues need to be escalated, eliminating the need for manual ticket routing.

CXA also offers tools that streamline operational management for admins and supervisors. You can use CXA to create team schedules based on forecasted demand, optimizing your labor costs and eliminating the need for manual scheduling. By automating routine tasks, CX automation minimizes the need for manual intervention. This speeds up processes and reduces labor hours, directly cutting operational costs.

Create conversational commerce experiences

AI agents and customer service chatbots can create conversational commerce experiences by automating upselling and cross-selling. For instance, you can connect your AI agents to your business systems, such as your e-commerce software or CRM. The AI agent can then use real-time data from those tools to recommend new products or upgrades based on customer behavior, history, and more.

Manage increasing support volumes at scale

Growing businesses often experience a surge in support tickets. CXA can help your support team meet this increased demand.

Take Taskrabbit as an example. When it expanded into more countries, the global service network experienced a 60 percent surge in customer service volume, reaching 158,000 tickets per month.

The support team effectively managed this increased demand while maintaining high customer satisfaction by launching an AI agent. As seen with Taskrabbit, CXA offers the scalability necessary to meet evolving customer needs while maintaining service excellence.

Explore how Zendesk AI can revolutionize your customer support

Zendesk AI is built on billions of real customer service interactions—learn how our capabilities can enhance your CX today.

Examples of CX automation

CX automation has a wide range of capabilities that can help agents working on tickets as well as admins and managers running operations. Here are a few examples of the technology.

AI agents and chatbots

AI agents are the next generation of automated customer service representatives. An evolution of a basic chatbot, they can work with customers to solve issues from password resets to technical problems. And when they can’t resolve the situation, they can pass the customer off to a human agent with the full context of the situation.

Zendesk AI agents, for example, have the intelligence to navigate even the most complex tickets. They can issue refunds, cancel orders, process product returns, and everything in between. Not to mention, we built our AI on billions of customer interactions, so it always knows the best way to serve your customers.

A quote shows that 70 percent of CX leaders believe bots are becoming instrumental in highly personalized customer journeys.

AI-powered quality assurance

Customer service quality assurance (QA) is the process of evaluating customer interactions, identifying areas for improvement, and coaching agents to enhance the customer experience. Adding artificial intelligence to customer service QA brings more efficiency to your quality assurance process.

For example, Zendesk QA helps organizations review 100 percent of customer conversations across email, chat, social media, AI agents, and more to deliver valuable insight into agent performance.

Rather than manually sifting through conversations, managers can set pre-defined criteria (like tone and solution quality) and receive automatic notifications when conversations don’t meet those standards. This gives unparalleled access to training opportunities and process improvements that can boost the overall customer experience.

AI-powered workforce management

Workforce management (WFM) is a process CX supervisors can use to manage employees and resources, optimize productivity, and ensure the organization complies with labor laws and regulations. An AI-powered WFM solution can take the guesswork out of resourcing and provide powerful assistance to CX managers.

AI-powered tools like Zendesk WFM can provide staffing forecasts by analyzing peak support times, historical data, and estimated customer demand. This can ensure businesses have enough agents on staff to maintain fast resolution times while optimizing labor budgets. Additionally, managers can use AI-driven WFM to track agent performance in real time to gain better insight into performance and utilization rate.

AI-powered knowledge bases

Knowledge bases are a compilation or digital library of information that helps customers solve issues independently. They can include help articles, community forums, self-service resources, and more. These resources can speed up resolution times, and AI can further assist that process.

Adding AI to knowledge bases helps businesses expand their knowledge articles and identify gaps in content. For example, say your agents are fielding many questions about the same subject. If there isn’t a help center article, AI can recommend that you create content around that new, popular customer query.

Not only that, but these tools can use generative AI to help you turn a few bullet points into a complete article, allowing you to expand your resources with ease.

Frequently asked questions

Automate your customer experience with Zendesk AI

Customer experience automation helps businesses improve customer satisfaction, drive personalization, increase efficiency, and more. That said, not every CXA software is created equal because not all AI is created equal.

Only AI trained on billions of customer interactions can best serve your customers, and you can find that with Zendesk. At Zendesk, we offer the complete CX solution for the AI era, including AI agents, workflow automation, an agent copilot, and more, that can help you provide excellent customer service at scale. Our AI is ready to go on day one—no coding or lengthy setup process is required. And, of course, it’s trusted and secure.

Start a free trial of Zendesk today to revolutionize your customer experience.

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