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Zoho’s new customer service tool combines bots, human intervention


SaaS provider Zoho has launched several new tools for Zoho Desk, the principal application in the company’s customer service platform, including so-called blended conversation—a combined human-driven and bot-powered conversational service—as well as several refinements to its user interface to better support customers with accessibility needs.

Over the last few year in the customer service industry, there’s been a drastic shift toward making self-service the baseline, said Prashanth Krishnaswami, head of market strategy at Zoho, adding that although the industry expected to see some changes, the pace at which they took place caught some off guard.

“A lot of the aspects of a customer being able to manage their relationship with a brand has been made available on self-service in the last two or three years, way more than was there before the pandemic,” he said.

As a result, Zoho has made self-service a priority, and in order to help organizations better serve up the customer service experience consumers want, Zoho has added a number of new capabilities to its Zoho Desk offering.

The first new tool is blended conversations, which combines Zoho’s Instant Messaging (IM) Framework and its guided conversations tool to balance human intervention with bot-powered automation to help customer service agents deliver the best experience for consumers.

The guided conversations feature was launched by Zoho in 2021 and functions as a low code, self-service platform that allows organizations to create virtual agents to guide customers through the initial stages of inquiries.

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