CS/CX: Market overview
Alex Smirnov
AskGuru Co-Founder
In this blog post, we aim to dig deep into the AI features of some of the prominent players in the CS/CX software market - Intercom, Zendesk, Zoho, LiveChat, and Tawk. Our objective is to provide clear, concise, and actionable insights to understand the capabilities and limitations of these AI offerings and get a grip on what are the most trending features right now. Let's delve into the AI-powered toolkit these providers have to offer without further ado!
Businesses today are increasingly relying on customer service and customer experience (CS/CX) software providers to streamline their operations and deliver more personalized, timely, and efficient service to their customers. Innovative AI capabilities are altering customer interactions, automating repetitive tasks, and delivering real-time analytics. It's the dawn of AI integration in the realm of CS/CX - creating an ecosystem where intelligent systems, intricate algorithms, and human-like bots work hand in hand to revolutionize the customer service landscape.
Intercom’s Fin
Intercom, a prominent player in the field of customer support and experience, has introduced its conversational AI support solution — Fin. The following sections dissect the underlying value proposition, functionality, and behind-the-scenes work of this latest offering from Intercom.
Value Proposition: resolve 50% of queries automatically 
Intercom’s Fin promises to resolve 50% of a company's support queries instantaneously. The aim is to significantly reduce the load on human agents by taking care of repetitive or easily solvable queries, allowing agents to focus on more complex tasks. With this, the model also saves operational time, reduces costs, and potentially boosts customer satisfaction levels by offering instant solutions to queries.
So, basically, it is a smarter bot to which everyone is already used. This product design warrants a reevaluation, as our research indicates a preference among users for less frequent interactions with automated bots, regardless of their sophistication.
The Power-Packed Features
Intercom’s Fin boasts several features including:
Trustworthiness: Fin relies solely on a company's support content to provide answers. It ensures no misleading or off-topic answers are delivered to customers.
Transparency: All of Fin's interactions with customers can be monitored via the Fin Conversations feature, providing a high degree of transparency.
Customizable Answers: Fin allows the creation of custom responses for frequently asked or important questions. These answers are prioritized over AI-generated ones.
Human Intervention, where necessary: Fin identifies complex issues and, when required, redirects them to human support instead of trying to handle everything by itself.
Conceptually, these features can bring about an improved customer experience, creating a more seamless, fast, and credible customer support system.
Fin's Response System
Fin integrates with multiple data sources from Intercom articles to Zendesk Help Center or any public URL. With an update promising to incorporate data from other conversations into the response system, Fin aims to provide broader and richer support.
With a multilingual support system in the pipeline, Fin promises to auto-detect a customer’s language to serve in any of the 43 languages currently supported by Intercom. Also, Fin plans on an omnichannel approach to continue conversations across multiple platforms from Intercom Messenger to WhatsApp or SMS.
Crucially, Fin is positioned as an affordable option for businesses with its pricing set at 99¢ per resolved conversation. With this pay-per-resolution model, a company would only spend when it sees tangible results.
Intercom's Fin is an evolving platform that has the potential to significantly revolutionize customer services in the near future, though it's understandably in its early stages.
Diving into 
Zendesk AI
As a company, Zendesk has made significant strides in the domain of customer service and customer experience (CS/CX). They have leveraged Artificial Intelligence (AI) to facilitate intelligent responses to customer inquiries. Zendesk's proprietary algorithms, coupled with OpenAI LLMs, provide a comprehensive system to handle customer support tickets. Notably, these algorithms require no coding or in-depth model building, cutting down on setup time and effort.
The Big Announcement at Zendesk Relate 2023
In their 2023 global conference, 'Relate', Zendesk announced the introduction of Zendesk AI. This service integrates AI and data analytics to personalize customer interactions and make them more efficient. Having one of the largest CX-specific datasets, Zendesk AI's learning algorithms continuously evolve over time, extracting insights from customer interaction.
These newly announced capabilities include:
Advanced bots: Enhanced, pre-trained bots for messaging and email automatically solve issues and leverage the most extensive database of customer intents for more personalized, industry-specific, and accurate responses.
Agent assistance: AI-powered insights and suggestions improve agent productivity by allowing agents to quickly solve customer issues and use AI-generated content to respond faster, with proper context.
Intelligent triage: AI uses intent detection, language detection, and sentiment analysis to create powerful intelligent workflows that get smarter over time, classify incoming customer requests, and allow teams to power workflows based on these insights.
So the company is striving to develop solutions that cater to both the perspectives of the agent and the user simultaneously.
OpenAI integration
Zendesk’s partnership with OpenAI introduces the feature of content summarization, which allows shortening large information tickets to save agents time. There is also a knowledge base alongside with macros creation for instantly building missing articles and expanding agent replies for creating a ticket response with one click based on a few words.
Zoho's Zia
Zia is Zoho's answer to the call for AI in the business world. It is an AI-powered assistant that is designed to streamline work processes across the various departments of your company. From sales teams and business intelligence to customer experience and productivity, Zia offers tailored solutions to enhance efficiency and automate routine tasks.
Zia in Different Departments: A Closer Look
For sales teams, Zia can identify patterns in your organization's activity history and suggest workflows and macros for automation, reducing the manual work involved. For business intelligence, Zia offers advanced feature sets, including visualizing data in the form of charts or pivot tables, reducing the traditional complexities associated with analyzing spreadsheets.
On the customer experience front, Zia can be embedded on your website as a bot for answering common questions using information from your knowledge base. This substantially relieves the burden on your support agents while improving response time. Zia also offers productivity improvements, such as providing grammar suggestions and analyzing sentences to improve your communication.
Generative AI for Business Apps: Zoho's Take
Recognizing the transformative potential of AI, Zoho has integrated ChatGPT into Zia. By combining ChatGPT's capabilities with Zia's existing AI suite, Zoho is aiming to deliver enhanced business outcomes.
This integration has a wide range of applications in Zoho's business software suite. These include:
The ability to create content based on provided keywords
Summarise long-form content
Identify content tones
Rephrase content with grammatical improvements
Generate relevant replies to text inputs
An interesting thing about this integration is that they require users to enter their OpenAI API key to use ChatGPT-powered features instead of coming up with their own pricing model.
Capturing the Essence of 
LiveChat's AI
LiveChat, a well-known provider in the customer service platform landscape, has also invested heavily in integrating AI features to strengthen and enhance its product offering while optimizing customer experiences. In this chapter, we'll delve deep into LiveChat's powerful AI features and analyze how they contribute to the improvement of customer service outcomes and agent productivity.
The AI Assist: An Introduction
At the heart of LiveChat's AI arsenal is an intelligent feature named AI Assist, specifically designed to streamline customer-agent interactions. It essentially functions as an AI-powered writing assistant, capable of refining and augmenting agent responses in real time. Whether it's expanding short statements, rephrasing for clarity, or summarizing elaborate inputs, AI Assist ensures the agent's responses are not just immediate but also comprehensive and courteous, enhancing the overall quality of customer chats.
Upcoming Features: A Sneak Peek
Besides AI Assist, LiveChat has several features in its development pipeline aiming to provide more automation and support to agents. Here is a brief look at what's on their horizon:
Canned Response Suggestions: This feature will propose predefined responses agents can utilize, thereby improving their efficiency and the speed of their replies.
Tag suggestion: This tool will automatically suggest suitable chat tags, thereby helping track and categorize chats more effectively. This implies a better organization of chat data and a more streamlined support team workflow.
Chat Summary: Aimed at providing a concise rundown of ongoing or previous conversations, this feature will enable agents to quickly understand case histories and make decisions, saving valuable time.
Agent Response Suggestions: Yet another inventive feature, it will provide response suggestions based on available chat data and the company's knowledge base. This promises to enhance response quality while maintaining the brand’s unique voice.
Several of these features are yet to be released. However, the roadmap suggests an aggressive push towards catering to evolving customer expectations and the potential to metamorphose customer service experiences drastically.
These AI capabilities and insights from LiveChat underscore the company's commitment to improving customer service by leveraging the advantages of AI. They are focusing on a future where AI and human agents work hand in hand to deliver an unmatched customer experience, providing timely, accurate, and contextually relevant communication.
Tawk’s Apollo AI Bot
Tawk is a provider of customer service and customer experience solutions that have incorporated AI assistance into its platform. Popular for its live chat software, Tawk has expanded its services and introduced an innovative AI Bot named Apollo into its system. In this chapter, we delve into the distinguishing elements of Tawk's Apollo AI bot and other AI features that the platform offers.
The Introduction to Apollo AI Bot
Tawk’s Apollo AI Bot is designed to function without any need for extensive setup or data training. Once activated, it readily starts addressing customer questions based on the existing database of the company. The bot is not just programmed to answer questions but allows scope for dynamic conversations. It operates on context-driven algorithms that allow it to understand the nuances of customer queries, thereby presenting much more specific and detailed answers.
The built-in control mechanism permits manual intervention at any given time, allowing human agents to interject and carry forward the conversation if required. This characteristic ensures that the company maintains a human touch in its customer interactions.
Smart Reply and AI Commands: Innovations at Tawk
Tawk introduces another feature named "Smart Reply" designed to make communication prompt and efficient. The feature suggests instant replies based on the current conversation, thereby speeding up the communication process.
Tawk's Apollo AI bot also brings in a range of AI commands that can be actively employed by agents to manage customer interactions. Whether it is 'brainstorming' ideas for responses, tweaking the 'tone' of messages to meet a customer’s style, 'simplifying' complex phrases, and other actions are feasible through AI commands.
The bot also acts as Grammarly, suggesting edits in real-time, thereby ensuring that the content shared with the customer is grammatically correct, contextually appropriate, and free from errors.
In sum, Tawk, through its Apollo AI Bot, offers an innovative approach to customer interactions. By blending AI technology with traditional customer service, it provides a solution that balances efficiency with a personal touch, allowing businesses to manage their customer relations more effectively and effortlessly.
Conclusion: The Future of 
Artificial intelligence is revolutionizing the customer service and customer experience landscapes. As we have seen, companies like Intercom, Zendesk, Zoho, LiveChat, and Tawk are at the forefront of this change.
Each company offers unique AI capabilities and integrates them with their existing tools to drive efficiency, productivity, and customer satisfaction. From Intercom's Fin which quickly resolves repetitive queries and Zoho's Zia which enhances productivity, to Zendesk AI delivering personalized customer interactions, and LiveChat's AI Assist and Tawk's Apollo AI Bot providing intelligent and rapid response systems, these players have adopted a proactive strategy to redefine CS/CX.
While these companies provide an extensive range of AI capabilities, the realm of AI integration in CS/CX is still evolving. With advancements in technology, more innovative features are likely to emerge, taking CS/CX to unprecedented levels.
To keep up with the drastic shift towards AI in CS/CX, businesses must understand the capabilities of these offerings and how they can be leveraged for their unique requirements. This approach will not only equip businesses with a competitive edge but also enable them to deliver superior experiences to their customers.
As AI continues to play an increasingly integral role in the future of customer service and experience, the key to success lies in balancing automation with a personal touch, never forgetting the humans at the heart of human-centered design. Only by striking this balance can businesses truly maximize the potential of AI and create experiences that delight the customers of today and anticipate the needs of the customers of tomorrow.
30 June 2023
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5432 Geary Boulevard,
San Francisco,  CA 94121 US
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