Best Buy announces Google-powered AI for customer service

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Best Buy announced plans to use artificial intelligence (AI) in new ways to improve the customer service experience. The retailer is working with partners Google Cloud and Accenture to develop AI-powered virtual agents. It is also developing tools to help customers and employees.

A key part of the strategy is the launch later this year of an AI assistant that customers can interact with online or over the phone. The generative AI-powered virtual agent will be able to troubleshoot technical issues, handle shipping changes, and manage subscriptions. Best Buy says it aims to resolve queries quickly and efficiently by understanding customer needs.

Best Buy will use Google’s generative AI models, such as Gemini, to develop customer virtual agents. Using Google Cloud’s Vertex AI platform, Best Buy will train and deploy these conversational agents.

Best Buy partners with Google Cloud to advance AI-driven service operations

For customer service agents, Best Buy will provide real-time AI-generated recommendations to guide conversations. The technology also analyzes past interactions to improve future guidance. This allows agents to focus on addressing unique customer needs, while standard questions are answered automatically.

According to Thomas Kurian, CEO of Google Cloud, early results show a 5% reduction in interaction time with greater data consistency. “Our collaboration with Best Buy will help customers better interact with the Best Buy brand and services, and employees will have more sophisticated tools to help customers,” he said in a blog post.

Store employees will also benefit from a new AI assistant accessible via mobile. It provides on-demand access to company policies, product resources and installation guides. The goal is to empower employees to better serve customers on the sales floor or in their homes.

In addition, Best Buy’s AI optimizes delivery logistics by suggesting more effective scheduling of truck routes and technician visits. With automated planning, the company believes it can fulfill more orders per day at a lower cost.