Home Artificial Intelligence Top AI Tools For Customer Support — How to Deliver Round-The-Clock Customer Support On A Budget
Noah Edis
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Before the advent of AI customer service tools, providing effective customer support was an uphill battle for most businesses. Cost constraints and the sheer volume of customer inquiries often impede efforts to maintain swift, individualized support services.

That was a time when the concept of AI tools for customer support was merely a futuristic fantasy, leaving businesses to grapple with the challenges of traditional customer service methods, like manually writing interaction notes and pulling them out of a cabinet when needed.

Now, imagine a landscape transformed by AI customer service tools, offering 24/7 assistance and actionable insights on customer satisfaction without breaking the bank. This article explores the nitty-gritty of these tools. It will reveal how they can revolutionize support, the pros and cons behind their use, and even how to conquer potential obstacles along the way.

In This Guide

Can You Use AI to Improve Customer Service?

You can. A recent study about customer experiences in the AI era confirmed as much, mentioning that the advancements in AI significantly bolster your company’s understanding of customer preferences and purchasing patterns, thereby refining the customer experience.

AI support technology is revolutionizing customer service through a myriad of applications, including the following:

  • Chatbots for automatic query handling
  • Predictive analytics
  • Voice-recognition call routing
  • Sentiment analysis
  • Email filtering
  • Self-service solutions

Real-world examples prove success in the use of AI, too. For instance, multinational bank ING uses Lionel, a customer service chatbot that relies on natural language processing – with ease of access for customers via Facebook Messenger.

Meanwhile, international KFC outlets are harnessing AI for customer service and engagement, yielding substantial results. KFC China, for instance, uses facial recognition to suggest items based on a patron’s estimated age and mood. Its Ecuador branch used AI analysis of SMS messaging engagement to drive revenue up by 15%.

Pros and Cons of Using AI for Customer Support

As we delve into the world of AI for customer service, it’s crucial to acknowledge that these tools carry both advantages and disadvantages. Don’t worry too much about the cons, however, as we’ll explore ways to navigate and mitigate potential challenges later on.

  • Customer queries are addressed 24/7, significantly cutting down waiting periods
  • Automation of repetitive tasks notably trims labor expenses, providing a cost-effective solution
  • Scale with ease, as AI effortlessly manages high volumes of queries
  • Improve your AI toolkit with big data helps AI improve, further reducing the need for human intervention


  • Complex customer requests with nuanced language or context can challenge AI
  • The reliance on AI can expose customer data, which attracts government attention due to potential security and privacy concerns

Will AI Customer Service Radically Transform Your Customer Service?

Businesses considering customer service AI software commonly inquire about its capacity for transformation. The answer is a resounding yes. These tools do catalyze transformative changes both for your teams and customers.

AI tools accomplish this feat by allowing you to automate repetitive tasks, and to manage high volumes of customer interactions. As a result, support teams can focus on more complex and critical customer service issues.

Simultaneously, your customers benefit from quicker, more accurate service and personalized experiences, creating an efficient, streamlined support system.

Take the instance of AI tools like chatbots and generative AI, which, as of February 2023, reached an astounding popularity score of 100 index points on Google searches.

Does AI Make Human Jobs Obsolete?

Despite AI’s versatility, it serves as a complement rather than a replacement for human interaction. Shoppers yearn for authenticity beyond the scripted responses of a chatbot or IVR system. This gives importance to making them feel engaged and cared for.

Knowing this, businesses must cleverly strike a balance between AI efficiency and human empathy to offer an unparalleled customer experience. Human intervention becomes vital in two key scenarios:

  • A human representative assumes the task after AI pre-assesses customer concerns
  • AI provides possible responses, which the representative can edit for enhanced accuracy and a personal touch

Top AI Tools for Customer Service Guaranteed to Improve Your Support

We’ve done the research for you, taking into account different features and their efficiency and verifying reviews from reputed platforms. The result is a collection of 7 tools primed to revolutionize your customer support.

1. Zendesk — Excellent Ticketing System

Zendesk can manage a staggering 175,000 tickets monthly, on average. It effortlessly secures its spot among our top AI tools for customer support – but it’s more than just basic ticket handling.

A view of the Zendesk interface
A view of Zendesk, the overall top AI software for ticketing

At its core, Zendesk provides a comprehensive ticketing system, which is the cornerstone of any remarkable customer experience. With a singular platform for all customer-related concerns, the software gives a holistic view of each customer, which enables tailored assistance.

Through Zendesk, aid can be offered on any platform imaginable: email, messaging, social channels, help centers, voice chats, AI bots, and community forums. Each inquiry generates a ticket that enters a queue.
Sample conversation on Zendesk
Choose to reply via chat, email, or SMS with Zendesk

Once tickets are created, customers receive a notification indicating receipt of their request, assuring them that help is on its way.

Another feature of Zendesk that merits discussion is Sunshine Conversations. This tool harmonizes all system data, connecting it to the top CRM tools in the market, order management databases, and inventories. It not only boosts agent productivity but also empowers customers to take action independently.

AI enhances the service provided by your agents allowing them to expand, summarize, and modulate their message’s tone quickly. This helps them address customers’ concerns consistently and promptly.

Further leveraging the capabilities of its API, Sunshine Conversations lets businesses create unique interactions from ground zero – such interactions are considered one of the things that give businesses a stronger online presence.


Zendesk’s pricing varies based on tiers. Each tier is on an agent-per-month basis, billed annually. With Suite Growth, you’ll get to access business hours settings and the self-service portal.

Zendesk’s priced plans
Suite Professional is the most popular Zendesk plan

Note that the Sunshine Conversation feature is exclusive to the Suite Professional and Enterprise tiers, which include integrated community forums and advanced AI add-ons.

2. Ada — Ease of Automation with Drag-and-drop Capabilities

Ada is a frontrunner in the AI customer service realm, and it changes the game with its unique, no-code automation. It is an innovative AI tool providing intuitive automation capabilities to non-technical customer service teams.

A view of the Ada interface
Ada’s chatbot software

The no-code chatbot builder gives your customer experience team the reins to not only create but also continuously improve and refine automated processes. It covers everything from handling frequently asked questions to managing more complex workflows and software integrations.

Ada goes a step further with its Content Assist feature. This tool leverages AI, enabling teams to automatically produce more pertinent and engaging content at the click of a button. The outcome is similar to Zendesk’s, where team members spend less time writing and more time resolving customer queries.

Integration is another area where Ada shines. By linking your technology stack with the software, you enhance every agent’s potential to develop more personalized and action-oriented automation experiences.
Integrations on Ada
Connect Shopify, Messenger, and more with Ada

Opt for the Scripted plan and reap the benefits of Ada’s own natural language understanding. In addition to the features we discussed, you’ll be able to track valuable customer actions, as well as conversions during and after conversations with Ada.

Meanwhile, the Generative plan can connect Ada to your existing knowledge base and use generative AI to answer questions rooted in your current content, all without requiring any training. Just note that it doesn’t offer the no-code building capability.


The platform’s official website displays no information on its priced plans. However, upon requesting a demo, a sample of Ada’s own chat system pops up, prompting you to provide information for you to receive info on the plans.

Ada’s native chatbot on its website
Know more about Ada’s pricing via its webchat feature

Upon giving your work email and other info, such as your job position, average monthly tickets in your company, and team members, you’ll then receive a custom quote via email.

3. Kustomer — Top Tool for Multiple Communication Channels

In the context of AI customer service tools, Kustomer stands out with its emphasis on multi-channel communication. Encouraging dialogues across a multitude of customer-preferred platforms, Kustomer injects simplicity into the customer support landscape via custom bots.

These bots are all across myriad domains like chat, social media, and messaging applications, where they handle repetitive service requests with finesse.

A view of views available on Kustomer
One platform to receive messages from different sources on Kustomer

What sets Kustomer’s omnichannel feature apart lies in its comprehensiveness: it reaches beyond standard communication platforms. A unified customer view is at your disposal, showing everything you connect to Kustomer, which ultimately bolsters your grasp over your customer interactions.

This consolidation eliminates the time-consuming task of tab-switching and duplication of tickets. It contributes to an uptick in agent productivity.

Complementing this feature is Kustomer’s innovative Knowledge Deflection tool. This endowment deflects habitual queries by intuitively presenting pertinent content from the Knowledge Base whenever customers initiate a conversation. This clever strategy results in efficient service and satisfied customers, all without overwhelming your support team.

Insights via Kustomer
Receive insights for your next course of action with Kustomer

Adding up to everything is the power of self-learning AI models, which Kustomer uses to provide Agent Suggestions. These pragmatic recommendations provide agents with optimal responses based on previous conversation data.

Agent Suggestions streamline the customer support process and provides your staff with increased confidence and accuracy in their responses.

Kustomer is a CRM-focused technology. Through its sophisticated approach, it enables the automation of routine agent interactions which gives the tool total flexibility, one of the core customer service skills businesses need.

The platform merges real-time customer data into chatbot workflows, facilitating personalized problem resolutions on a comprehensive scale. This connection enhances your support team’s ability to deliver personalized experiences to your customers.


Kustomer’s Enterprise plan offers features such as multilingual support, satisfaction measurement and reporting, language detection, and sentiment analysis.

Kustomer’s two paid plans
Ultimate as the more suitable option for bigger teams

If you’re looking for extended API rate limits and real-time access to dashboards, users, and agents, then the Ultimate plan would be your ideal choice.

4. Freshchat — The Best Budget AI Customer Service Tool

Offering a suite of tools for customer service, sales, and marketing at only $19/month, Freshworks emphasized affordability and functionality with Freshchat. In fact, it boasts a free forever plan, making it a unique offering in the market.

Freshchat from Freshworks certainly created a buzz in the realm of budget-friendly AI tools.

A view of Freshchat’s Freddy interface
Ask Freshchat to create chatbot workflows

At the heart of Freshchat lies Freddy, the affable support bot builder. Just note that while you can build chatbot functions with Freshchat, you’ll have to buy chatbot sessions as add-ons. Each conversation with a customer within 24 hours is counted as one session.

Other offerings under the free plan include email, mobile, WordPress and Shopify integrations, along with a conversation switch for accessing chat history and contact enhancement for editing contact details via your inbox.

But one of the most notable free features is Threads, which aids in workspace decluttering. With Threads, conversations and operations become much easier to look at.

All these free functionalities can accommodate up to 10 agents, making Freshchat a perfect tool for small to medium businesses. It doesn’t entirely suit the needs of enterprise-level businesses, so if you have a large company you should take a closer look at your requirements and/or try it out before committing.

While Freshchat takes care of chatbot capabilities, Freshworks also provides Freshdesk — an entirely different platform for ticketing. Freshdesk plays a crucial role in rendering access to the knowledge base and offering a comprehensive ticket trend report, all aimed at enhancing customer service.

A view of the Freshdesk
Manage tickets for free with Freshdesk

The advantage of Freshdesk, similar to Freshchat, is the availability of a free plan. And switching between these useful features is easy due to both of them being placed in one app.


The verdict on pricing is noteworthy. Freshchat’s paid plans start you off with an allocation of 500 free sessions. Following this, companies are billed $0.1 per session, billed in 1,000-session add-ons.

Freshchat’s paid plans
A free forever plan is available on Freshchat

Higher-tier plans, such as Growth and Pro, offer more extensive customization and automation features, including in-depth AI help desk software reports and average handling time (AHT) views. The Enterprise plan offers unlimited product room and an expanded knowledge base, catering to substantial business needs.

5. Balto — In-call Guidance for Support Teams

Balto is very unique innovative AI tool that navigates a unique path as a real-time guidance provider for customer service agents engaged in phone calls. This means that it improves client experiences and boosts employee satisfaction at the same time.

Balto’s guided workflow
A view of Balto, which guides agents on live calls
Balto’s real-time assistance is brilliantly designed to aid agents during live calls rather than analyzing performance post-interaction. The AI listens to both parties, comprehends the conversation context, and prompts agents with the most appropriate response or direction.

It’s like a virtual guide offering on-the-spot solutions to overcome uncertain or challenging scenarios.

What sets Balto apart is its dynamic listening feature. Unlike traditional speech analytics that only listens passively, Balto actively engages in calls, attentively processing every spoken word to gauge customer sentiment and conversation dynamics.

The AI not only deciphers customer needs and behavior but also assists agents in improving call control, engagement, compliance, and negotiation tactics. This enriches the customer experience by delivering tailored, in-time assistance, and it promotes agent empowerment and learning.

With Balto, agents are guided toward a better understanding of customer dynamics and equipped with the necessary skills to navigate future conversations with increased confidence and efficiency.

Such a proactive learning approach fosters higher employee satisfaction and overall performance in your customer support team.

Real-time coaching with Balto
Managers have access to real-time coaching with Balto

Furthermore, Balto introduces an invaluable facet of real-time coaching shown in chats. This feature permits instant managerial intervention in situations where calls are spiraling negatively. Rapid response during a critical conversation can change the tide, rectify misunderstandings, and prevent customer dissatisfaction.


There’s no pricing information available on the website. However, we’ve found this answer in Balto’s FAQ page:

No info available on Balto’s cost
Balto’s cost depends on the number of seats

Bear in mind that the AI tools for customer support coaching, guidance, and QA are separate products, each billed separately.

6. Intercom — A Chatbot Powered by GPT-4

Intercom’s AI solutions took a significant leap forward with the inception of their new chatbot service, Fin. With the advent of OpenAI’s ChatGPT, an opportunity presented itself, and Intercom quickly capitalized on it. This led to exciting transformations in customer service.

Sample inbox view on Intercom
Access GPT-4 with Intercom’s Fin
Fin is a direct descendant of GPT-4, one of the most powerful language models at present. The bedrock of this chatbot’s design is built on delivering high-quality, quick, and human-like interactions.

Intercom’s platform does more than just help you answer queries. It helps comprehend customer context, gauges sentiment, and responds in a conversationally consistent tone.

Similar to the GPT-4, one standout feature of Fin is its ability to self-improve. By leveraging the power of machine learning, Fin consistently refines its understanding of linguistic nuances, dialog progression, and context interpretation.

These meaningful interactions can readily be compared to human conversations with GPT-4’s technology.

What sets Fin apart is its customization feature. Fin can be tailored to embody your business’s unique voice and tone. It fuels bots with a blend of efficiency and personality, creating interactions that resonate and connect with customers.

Best of all? Deploying Fin is a breeze. One can activate it in minutes; simply point it to your content and turn it on. The ease of use continues with no mandated training, configuration, or new bot paths required.

Triage bot for automation of workflows
Get rid of repetitive workflows with Intercom’s triage bot

Like Ada, Intercom’s Fin also allows the automation of repetitive workflows at scale. It’s armed with a visual automation builder providing no-code building blocks like bots, triggers, conditions, rules, and more, allowing for the construction of powerful automation actions for both customers and teammates.


Intercom’s Starter plan gets you all the fundamental tools, including Fin AI, shared inbox, help centers, basic chatbots, and reporting. To access an unbranded Messenger and the Multilingual Help Center feature, however, you’ll need the Pro plan.

Paid plans for Intercom
Pro as the most recommended Intercom plan

Meanwhile, service level agreements (SLA) privileges are available with Premium, which includes workload management based on incoming conversation volume – this is one of the ways to reduce the burden of too many tasks.

7. Jasper Business — Best for Brand Voice

While Jasper.ai is known as a copywriting tool, its capabilities extend to providing robust AI-driven customer service. It shines with its one-of-a-kind feature: memory that’s capable of learning about your products, services, and audiences, thereby ensuring factual responses rooted in your brand material.

Manage brand voices with Jasper
Jasper business lets you access unlimited brand voices
You can teach Jasper your style guide, product catalogs, company facts, and brand identity swiftly. It can even scan your website to directly understand your brand, stay on its tone, and adapt to the varying styles within it.

What’s remarkable about Jasper is that it successfully incorporates your brand voice into all forms of customer interaction. Whether it’s answering recurring questions or providing personalized product recommendations, Jasper adapts identity seamlessly.

While AI technology offers personalized responses based on customers’ interaction history and purchase records, Jasper also extends its utility beyond customer service to domains such as marketing and SEO.

It can easily turn a content brief into diverse marketing assets – technically a whole campaign – to optimize your content for SEO potential, making it one of the top tools for writing better copy.

The cherry on the cake is Jasper’s AI engine; it integrates readily with APIs and ensures the resilient functioning of the platform. Note, however, that you might need a bit of technical knowledge to set up these integrations.


On the bright side, Jasper offers a free trial to test drive its features. For unlimited access to all features, including the API, the Business plan is ideal.

Jasper’s paid plans
Access Jasper’s API with Jasper Business

And while API integration might seem daunting initially, the Business plan provides team onboarding and continuous tech support to smooth out the process.

Comparison of the Best AI Tools for Customer Support

Don’t fret over lengthy reviews. We’ve assembled a handy list for a swift comparison of the top AI customer service tools, outlining their pricing and ideal operations for your convenience:

AI Tools for Customer Support Best For Free Version Details Starting Price
1. Zendesk Businesses that handle huge amounts of tickets Demo; 14-day free trial $55/month
2. Ada No-code chatbot building Demo Contact provider for a quote
3. Kustomer Multi-channel views Demo $89/month
4. Freshchat Budget-conscious teams Free version available; 14-day free trial of the Pro plan $19/month
5. Balto.ai In-call guidance Demo Contact provider for a quote
6. Intercom Teams seeking for GPT-4 14-day free trial of the Standard plan $74/month
7. Jasper Business Brand voice Demo Contact provider for a quote

Challenges of Using Customer Service AI (And What You Can Do to Overcome Them)

As promised, let’s delve into some potential challenges you may encounter while deploying AI tools for customer support and discuss practical solutions to overcome them.

Complex Customer Requests

Such requests may require a nuanced understanding of language or context, which AI chatbots may struggle with. For instance, a customer may have a multi-tiered problem or an irregular issue that isn’t in the bot’s coding.


A practical solution is investing in AI tools that have learning capabilities and can self-improve over time. Continual refinement of their knowledge database can lead to them handling complex and varied customer requests more effectively.

Additionally, ensuring the presence of a robust escalation process where complex requests are quickly transferred to human agents can mitigate this challenge.

Security and Privacy Concerns

Worrying about data privacy and security makes sense considering the extensive amount of data that AI processes. These concerns stem from the apprehension that consumer data might be exposed to potential misuse.


Each tool we’ve reviewed complies with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) standards and adheres to the California Consumer Protection Act. These regulations ensure the protection of users’ private information and safeguard against any unauthorized data access or misuse.

In other words, while these AI tools enhance your customer service, they never compromise on data safety.

API Implementation Challenges

Teams might find the process of API implementation somewhat daunting, as it often involves steep learning curves and intricate technical knowledge even for in-house developer teams.


Consider selecting products that provide remarkable tech support to guide you through this challenge. Alternatively, you can opt for tools that feature no-code options for developing customer support chatbots, immensely simplifying the process while reducing the demand for technical expertise.

Our Other Artificial Intelligence Guides

Aside from reviewing AI customer service tools, we’ve compiled this series of AI guides that could prove immensely useful in making informed decisions about your prospective tool subscriptions:

Should You Be Using AI Tools for Customer Support?

You already know it: AI aids in customer service in more ways than one. From chatbots handling repetitive queries to predictive analytics personalizing customer experiences, AI in customer support has become a game-changer.

AI tools can increase the efficiency, cost-effectiveness, accuracy, and scalability of your customer service operations.

Keep in mind that, although AI might lack the human touch in interactions and can stumble over complex requests, it doesn’t outweigh the myriad of benefits you get from using it, which customer service teams will surely love.


How can AI be used for customer support?

How to use AI for customer experience?

What tools are used for customer support?

Can AI replace customer support?


Noah Edis

Noah Edis

Noah Edis is a technical content specialist and systems engineer with a wealth of experience in modern software. When he's not working, you can find him playing competitive dodgeball or programming.

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