Zendesk, Inc. (NYSE: ZEN) today announced the expansion of Answer Bot across all web and mobile channels, allowing companies to provide always-on support and faster responses for consumers with AI-powered self-service. Supporting the growing demand for customer-centric solutions, Zendesk also announced new capabilities for its Guide Enterprise knowledge management product that helps customer experience teams leverage automation and AI to develop, maintain and manage more complex knowledge needs across multiple brands, products and services.
With Answer Bot and Guide Enterprise, companies can use AI and automation to power experiences that put customers at the center of the business.
Powerful automation with Answer Bot
This extension of Zendesk’s popular Answer Bot product enables real-time support, helping customers quickly access answers to common questions regardless of the channel they are reaching out on. Businesses can implement Answer Bot via API, Web Widget and Mobile SDKs, as well as email and web forms. As a result, companies will be able to reduce the volume of repetitive tickets, freeing up agent time to focus on more complex customer requests.
“Customers today demand fast responses in a context that suits them, and AI can be used to help companies be more timely and accurate when engaging with customers,” said Adrian McDermott, president of products, Zendesk. “With Answer Bot, we’re putting an end to laborious processes to resolve simple questions. We’re not just delivering self-service everywhere – we’re delivering AI-powered self-service everywhere, which will continue to make for a better customer experience.”
Research from the Zendesk Benchmark report of 45,000 companies worldwide shows 85 percent of customers will shift to a different contact method if they don’t get a response from their initial request, with 44 percent waiting for less than an hour before doing so.
“Answer Bot in the Web Widget has allowed our customers to self-serve their easy, quick-answer questions, allowing our agents to have bandwidth to serve more complex issues,” said Aja Varney, Director, Global Customer Engagement at Spartan Race. “The time savings for our agents has allowed us to add an additional three hours of chat coverage per day.”
Answer Bot also improves internal team productivity by surfacing recommendations as they speak to customers, contributing to a more efficient and accurate experience. Answer Bot for Slack and Answer Bot for Agents uses machine learning to automate support for internal teams to find answers as quickly as possible on behalf of their customers.
New Guide Enterprise powers smarter self-service
Nearly four billion knowledge base articles were viewed on Zendesk in 2018—up 13 times from five years ago. According to the Harvard Business Review, 81 percent of customers prefer to find answers themselves, which means companies should provide access to self-service options and regularly update help resources.
Newly added Guide Enterprise tools address this demand by empowering teams to maintain and manage more complex knowledge needs. Additional features including content lifecycle automation and enterprise-level customer self-service enhancements are detailed below:
- Content Cues provide signals to content managers to maintain and improve their knowledge base. AI-powered cues help prioritize content based on support inquiry trends, allowing managers to optimize their knowledge base to better match customer questions. For example, they can be prompted to update the most viewed articles as a priority to make sure the most common queries are always addressed.
- Article Events help companies better manage content throughout its lifecycle. Content managers can now use Article Verification to set automatic intervals to verify the relevance and accuracy of their articles, while prompting agents to create content on an ongoing basis. Scheduled Publishing* makes it easier for content managers to create and automatically manage content that has a limited life span, such as a short-term sale or promotion article.
- Flexible Hierarchies, multiple theme templates and search enhancements, make it easy for companies to manage more complex knowledge needs internally, externally and across multiple brands or services. These new enhancements to the Guide Enterprise experience make it more user-friendly for advanced businesses to give customers the accurate self-service experiences they expect and are familiar with.
Zendesk unveiled these new solutions today at Showcase London, the company’s event that brings industry leaders together to have great conversations, the freshest Zendesk product updates, and stories from innovative brands who make the most of Zendesk.
Answer Bot for Web Widget and Answer Bot for Slack are now generally available for customers. Answer Bot API, scheduled publishing and Mobile SDKs are currently in early access and will be generally available soon. More details for Answer Bot are available here.
*Source: Zendesk Benchmark Report. Refers to customer results after one year with the service.