Blog 5 minutes

AI customer support: Innovative or lazy shortcut?

Davide Giordano
August 9, 2023
Man types on laptop while working on AI project

As discussions surrounding AI continue to evolve, B2B organizations looking to incorporate it into their workflow might consider adding AI customer support to their web stores. As businesses begin to integrate with AI-driven chatbots, automated response systems, and virtual assistants, this blog will cover the use case for AI in the context of a B2B web store, along with striking the balance between automation and authenticity in customer support.

How can B2B e-commerce use AI to enhance customer support?

Incorporating AI into your web store can enhance the customer experience for your B2B buyers. One example includes implementing an AI chatbot enabling real-time interactions for customers.

Another example is leveraging AI to write product descriptions. This ensures consistent, accurate, and engaging content, enhancing product understanding and increasing conversions. For example, Sana Commerce Cloud’s OpenAI product description add-on generates product descriptions.

AI can also be used to generate online help resources and offer prompt and comprehensive support. This empowers customers with readily available solutions.

Learn how AI can transform your e-commerce game

Plus, some things to watch out for when using AI with e-commerce.

What are the advantages of using AI in e-commerce customer service?

1. Faster responses to customer queries

Using AI, such as chatbots and language models, to generate online help resources and responses to customer queries is advantageous to B2B businesses. The speed and efficiency of AI systems in creating content surpasses the speed at which customer service employees can perform tasks. This allows companies to address customer needs and support inquiries faster, reducing waiting times.

2. More extensive support for customers

Since there are various ways to integrate AI into your content creation and support processes, businesses can now diversify how they offer support. This is due to the capabilities of AI that optimize processes and allow a more effective distribution of resources. Instead of only offering a customer support chat, AI can be prompted to regenerate or repurpose content for different target audiences. This diversifies resources and creates a better customer experience.

3. Frees up time for other more intricate tasks

By automating these processes, businesses can solve simple tickets, enabling them to prioritize more complicated cases. AI-generated content can also ensure consistency and accuracy. Therefore, minimizing the risk of human errors. As a result, businesses can enhance customer satisfaction by delivering comprehensive and readily available help resources, ultimately improving their overall brand image and competitiveness in the market.

Learn more about how automation helps B2B companies on our podcast B2B E-Commerce Integated! 

How do B2B customers view AI vs. B2C customers?

Since B2B customers are typically more traditional than B2C customers, they tend to be more technology averse. B2B customers are also more accustomed to doing business with a personal account manager and placing orders manually. People have criticized AI for various reasons, causing some people to perceive AI as a lazy shortcut in customer support.

Why do B2B customers see AI as a lazy shortcut in e-commerce?

“AI lacks context and fails to deliver a personalized experience because it is generated so quickly.”

One common concern raised by customers is that AI lacks context and fails to deliver a personalized experience, providing mechanical and generic answers. However, people in favor of AI may argue that technology can understand contextual data when fed with the necessary information and prompts. By utilizing context, AI can tailor responses to specific regions or industries, making the interactions more relevant to individual customers.

“AI can’t answer complex questions”

Another complaint from customers is that AI may struggle to answer complex questions. However, this argument is countered with examples of AI’s capability to handle intricate tasks, such as writing theses and processing multiple inputs simultaneously, often faster than the human brain. The only limitation lies in the extent of AI’s knowledge, which can be continuously updated and expanded.

“AI will replace the need for humans and act as a shortcut”

The fear that AI could replace the labor force raises concerns about job displacement. The counter argument is that AI can act as a powerful tool. It can help customer support agents focus on more complex and critical issues that come up with customers.

By automating routine tasks, AI empowers human agents to provide a higher level of service, pushing the boundaries of what was previously achievable.

Training and setting up AI-powered chatbots require significant resources, including time and skilled personnel, to ensure they are capable of delivering high-quality customer interactions.

“Using AI means cutting out manual training and decreasing effort”

Transitioning from traditional customer support to AI-driven solutions demands extensive training for the AI systems themselves. It involves providing the chatbot with access to comprehensive and accurate data, training it to understand context, and fine-tuning its responses to meet customer expectations. This training process can be time-consuming and costly, and it may require ongoing adjustments to optimize the AI’s performance.

To make this work, you should define new roles and responsibilities to effectively manage and maintain the chatbot.

“AI can provide inaccurate information”

Finally, one perceived risk of relying on AI in customer support is the potential for inaccurate data or “AI hallucinations.” However, businesses can conduct their own risk assessments and fine-tune AI to ensure factual and reliable responses. By providing clear guidelines and parameters, organizations can avoid the risk of AI-generated misinformation.

Despite the challenges mentioned, the benefits of AI implementation in customer support can be substantial in the long term. When AI chatbots are fully ready and improved, they can handle many customer questions without getting tired, anytime. This leads to improved response times and enhanced customer satisfaction.

The chatbots can handle routine and repetitive tasks, freeing up human agents to focus on more complex and emotionally sensitive interactions, thereby elevating the overall quality of customer support.

AI is constantly changing and is a trend B2B organizations should keep an eye on. For more trends, discover top 12 B2B e‑commerce trends in 2023 and beyond.

What to consider when implementing AI in customer service:

1. Will AI in customer support need big process changes, and if yes, how will they be managed?

Integrating AI into customer support might act as a catalyst for process modifications. To manage this transition effectively, companies should conduct a thorough analysis of their current workflows and identify areas where AI can best complement human efforts.

Clear communication and training sessions for customer support agents will be necessary to ensure a smooth adoption of AI technology. Collaborative efforts between the AI system and human agents can maximize efficiency and improve customer experiences during this transformation.

2. Has the organization conducted a thorough cost-benefit analysis to ensure that AI implementation is a strategic and innovative choice?

Before implementing AI in customer service, conducting a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis is crucial. It is essential to evaluate the initial investment in AI technology, training, and integration against the anticipated benefits, such as improved response times, increased customer satisfaction, and valuable insights gained from data analysis.

3. Which metrics will measure the success and effectiveness of AI-driven customer support?

Evaluating the success and effectiveness of AI-driven customer support requires a comprehensive set of metrics. Customer satisfaction, measured through Likert scales and other customer feedback mechanisms, is a key indicator of AI’s performance. Another essential metric is the reduction in basic questions or escalations.

Additionally, assessing the effectiveness of the FAQ page, which often complements AI-driven support. Which helps gauge the relevance and accuracy of information provided to customers.

By combining these metrics, organizations can gain insights into the overall performance of their AI-driven customer support. AI integration improves customer satisfaction and reduces queries, optimizing support processes and enhancing the overall customer experience for companies.


In summary, some customers see AI as a lazy shortcut because they worry about context, complexity, and job loss. AI enthusiasts will highlight its ability to personalize and solve problems to enhance customer experience. With faster response times and more free time for support agents, a business could save time and resources.

Properly utilized and managed, AI can be an asset in customer support, enhancing efficiency, and allowing agents to tackle more challenging tasks while delivering an improved overall experience to customers.

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