How to create an AI-powered customer service platform like Zendesk?

Sudeep Srivastava October 11, 2023
AI customer service platform like zendesk

Customer support is pivotal in distinguishing businesses from competitors in this highly competitive business environment. Through exceptional support experiences and efficient resolution of customer needs, businesses can elevate customer satisfaction rates, cultivate long-term loyalty and establish a stronger competitive advantage.

It is vital to understand that prioritizing robust customer support software demonstrates a commitment to deliver unparalleled value, ultimately contributing to the success and growth of the business.

According to McKinsey’s 2022 State of Customer Care Survey, customer care has become a strategic priority for companies. The analysts have indicated the major objectives for businesses to address in the upcoming years, including streamlining customer experience and expanding their digital care and advanced analytics ecosystems by leveraging the power of AI.

Fast forwarding to the world now ruled by generative AI development services, Zendesk, one of the most famous cloud-based customer support platforms, is now leveraging the power of AI to offer seamless customer support to its users.

Through a strategic collaboration with OpenAI, the customer service vendor has introduced cutting-edge smart CX tools to enhance customer interactions and offer more personalized responses.

Since the demand for AI-powered cloud-based customer support solutions is growing rapidly, Zendesk has positioned itself well to capitalize on this trend. The company’s emphasis on providing personalized customer support, automating tasks, and offering flexible pricing options has also contributed to its market value of $9.62 Billion as of May 2023.

By harnessing the industry-leading capabilities of the AI-led business suite like Zendesk, businesses across various industrial domains can also elevate their customer experience to new heights while optimizing time and cost.

This article will help you understand everything related to customer support platform development and the cost to build an AI customer service platform like Zendesk. In addition, we will look at several factors that impact your overall development budget and how a customer service platform like Zendesk makes money.

So, without further ado, let’s start by understanding the Zendesk customer support platform development cost.

Get exact cost to build an AI-powered customer service platform like Zendesk

Comprehending the cost to build an AI customer service platform like Zendesk

To give you a rough idea, the Zendesk customer support platform development cost varies between $50,000 to $350,000. Further factors impact the overall development cost, including the hourly rate of development, the app complexity, features, underlying platform, tech stack, etc.

It is vital to understand that a dedicated customer support platform development organization can help you with a clear cost to build an AI CRM platform like Zendesk, based on your custom business requirements. Let us move ahead and discuss the major factors that affect AI customer service platform development in detail.

Factors affecting the customer service platform software development

Understanding that the cost for AI customer support platform development is highly affected by the number of features integrated into the app and the technologies used to implement them is vital. A well-sought-after feature list based on a thorough audience analysis can increase your overall ROI and help your app in gaining traction in the market.

Factors affecting the cost to build an AI customer service platform like Zendesk

App Complexity

The complexity level of an AI-powered customer service platform like Zendesk is a crucial factor that determines the budget required for its development. For instance, customer support app development backed by a comprehensive feature list, AI-integration and high complexity usually incurs higher costs than a platform with a minimal feature set and regular functionalities.

Customer Support Platform TypeCustomer service platform development cost breakdownTime Frame
Simple$50,000 to $80,0003 to 6 months
Moderately Complex$90,000 to $175,0006 to 8 months
Highly Complex$200,000 to $350,0009+ months

UI/UX Design

The UI/UX design of the app is another factor that impacts the budget for Zendesk-like AI CRM software development. To create a customer service platform that can guarantee business success, executing a well-defined UI/UX strategy is essential. A design tailored to engage and retain users can position your mobile app at the forefront of technology, thus setting the stage for its success. This requires thorough quality assurance of the app wireframes against various techniques, which can directly impact the customer service platform development cost.

App Platform

The underlying app platform is a crucial factor affecting the overall cost of developing a customer support platform. The development requirements for iOS and Android apps differ and depend on several factors, including the time frame and testing. To optimize the app development budget, starting with a single platform is advisable. You can consider transitioning to a cross-platform app as the app gains popularity.

Team Size

The size of the app development team is another significant factor that affects the overall Zendesk customer support platform development cost. Although hiring freelancers may reduce the budget, it may compromise the app quality due to their limited expertise. On the other hand, outsourcing the project to a dedicated AI app development agency like Appinventiv can optimize costs while leveraging their years of experience.

Location of the App Development Agency

The location of the hired customer support app development company also affects the overall budget for customer service platform software development. It is vital to understand that the hourly rate of development in regions like Asia or Europe is comparatively less than in the UAE, UK, or the US. Here is the estimated development rate per hour across major regions:

RegionHourly Rate of Development
UAE$60-$65
US$95-$100
Western Europe$80-$90
Australia$70-$90
Eastern Europe$50-$55
Asia$25-$40

Maintenance

Ensuring the proper maintenance of mobile apps is critical to the overall success of building a customer service platform. It is crucial to take the necessary actions to ensure the seamless functioning of the app across all major platforms. This includes the charges required to maintain a bug-free app, provide app upgrades, and implement additional AI- capabilities in line with market requirements.

Tech Stack

A robust tech stack is imperative to create a robust customer service platform that caters to custom business requirements. The hired Zendesk app developers must use top-notch technologies to allow the app to gain instant traction in the market and guarantee the app’s long-term viability. Furthermore, it is vital to understand that the cost of Zendesk-like AI CRM software development can vary as per the tech stack implementation carried out by the hired development team.

Customer support app development tech stack

Features

The feature list is a critical factor in determining the Zendesk-like AI software development cost. An extensive feature list of a highly complex app can result in higher development costs. Though, it is vital to understand that a well-defined feature set that distinguishes the app from competitors is essential. The feature set should enhance the user experience and increase the app’s functionality to ensure its success.

Features to be integrated in an AI-powered customer service platforms like Zendesk

Building an AI-powered customer service platform like Zendesk requires multiple features to create a successful and efficient customer support experience. Here are some important Zendesk CRM features:

Zendesk customer support platform features

AI-Powered Chatbots:

AI-powered chatbots may carry out straightforward activities like scheduling appointments, responding to FAQs, and more while promptly responding to consumer inquiries. These chatbots can be set up to respond to user communications with tailored, contextually relevant information, relieving the workload of human customer service representatives.

Automated Ticket Routing:

Another vital Zendesk customer support platform features is automated ticket routing. The feature can route customer inquiries to the proper agent, increasing customer care team efficiency and decreasing client wait times. Thanks to automatic ticket routing, customers can easily find the correct person to help them with their problems.

Multiple Channel Integration:

Allowing customers to communicate through various channels such as email, social media, and phone is crucial. Integration with multiple communication channels allows customer service representatives to respond to inquiries from various channels in one place, reducing their workload.

Voice API:

The customers should be able to call the customer support executive with the help of a single call button or hyperlink.

HIPAA-Enabled Messaging:

The customer support platform used by healthcare organizations must adhere to HIPAA compliance while indulging in any conversation with the customers.

Agent Assistance:

With the help of AI-powered insights and suggestions, agents should be able to efficiently resolve customer issues and utilize AI-generated content to respond promptly and with appropriate context.

Content Summarization:

The platform should rapidly summarize lengthy tickets, reducing agents’ time-to-ticket resolution and improving overall efficiency.

Benefits of Enhancing Your Customer Support by Integrating AI Capabilities

Agents serve as the core of your customer service operation, driving its success and productivity. AI integration amplifies their capabilities, enabling your team to continuously improve with each customer interaction, resulting in enhanced customer satisfaction and more effective support delivery.

They Offer Agents the Appropriate Context

By leveraging the industry’s cutting-edge triage tools, the sorting and prioritization of messages and emails can be significantly reduced. Agents can gain valuable insights into customer needs and emotions before the conversation begins, providing personalized and proactive support.

Accelerates the Time to Solve Queries

With an AI-powered customer support platform, requests can be resolved faster as intelligence is embedded into your workspace. The integration of AI provides agents with valuable insights and offers suggestions to efficiently address customer issues, enhancing their productivity and enabling superior customer service.

Presents the Right Information

A powerful platform can provide agents personalized article recommendations to share with customers during each conversation, ensuring that relevant information is delivered at the right time.

Increased Focus on Impactful Work

The platform leverages bots to collect customer information such as name, email, and the nature of their issues. With the help of AI-powered customer support software, common requests are efficiently sorted and resolved, allowing agents to prioritize their efforts on more important tasks.

Understanding the customer service platform development process

To ensure that an app satisfies user goals and provides a reliable and consistent experience, a rigorous development process is required when creating apps like Zendesk. Some essential steps in developing a Zendesk-like app are the ones listed below:

How to build a Zendesk-like customer support platform

Specifying the function of the application:

It is vital to specify the purpose and requirements of the application before beginning the development process. Think about the app’s objectives, target audience, and feature needs. This process ensures the development team knows the program’s objectives and how it will benefit users.

Project planning and scoping:

After establishing the application’s goal, the following stage is to design and scope the project. This includes assessing the project’s scope, developing a timeframe for the development process, finalizing the customer service platform features and calculating the resources needed. The project plan must include a list of deliverables, milestones, and key performance indicators (KPIs) to track the project’s progress.

Creating a design concept:

The next step is to create a concept for an application design. The design concept should be in accordance with the goals of the application and the needs of the intended audience. The program’s user interface and user experience may be visualized using wireframes, mockups, and prototypes. After the design concept has been decided upon, the development team may start working on the program.

Building the application:

The development process involves several stages: front-end development, back-end development and testing. Front-end development includes designing the user interface and implementing the design concept. Back-end development includes creating the server-side components of the program, such as the database and APIs. Testing is a crucial step in the entire development process since it ensures that the application works correctly and meets the needs of the user.

Launching and deploying the application:

Once the program’s design and testing are done, the next step that follows is to launch and deploy it. This includes deploying the program to the production environment, configuring it, and confirming that it functions properly. A strategy for continuing maintenance and support should be included in the launch and deployment phase to resolve any difficulties that may occur.

User adoption and feedback:

The last phase is to verify user acceptance and collect feedback in order to enhance the application. This includes marketing the app to the intended market, gathering user feedback, and analyzing user data. User input is critical for refining the program and ensuring that it satisfies the users’ demands. The user data and feedback is a piece of vital information and can be used to create new features, correct errors, and improve the user experience.

How can you earn money from an app like Zendesk?

There are several ways that help to generate income from an app like Zendesk. Here are some of the most common methods:

Monetization strategies that can be implemented for an app like Zendesk

Subscription-Based Model:

For SaaS companies like Zendesk, the common revenue model is a subscription-based one.

Customers pay a regular subscription to use the app’s services and features under this model. Depending on the app’s pricing approach, the membership price might be collected monthly or annually. This approach provides a consistent and predictable revenue stream, allowing businesses to better plan their operations while giving users continued access to the app’s products.

[Also Read: A Comprehensive Guide on Getting Your SaaS Business on Mobile App]

Tiered Pricing Model:

The app uses a tiered pricing structure and offers a number of price tiers with different levels of features and services. Customers can choose the tier according to their needs and budget. Upselling to higher price points, this tactic can help you draw in a wider range of customers and boost revenue.

Per-User Pricing Model:

Each individual user who uses an app’s services and features is charged a price under the per-user pricing model. This pricing method is especially beneficial for enterprises with a big user base since it guarantees a fair and scalable payment structure that corresponds to real consumption.

Customization and Integration Services:

Zendesk, for example, may provide clients searching for a bespoke solution for their business needs with customization and integration services. Modifying the app’s features or connecting it with other software programs are two examples. These services might be sold for a fee, providing a second source of revenue.

Advertising and Affiliate Programs:

For instance, Zendesk can make money through affiliate marketing and advertising. In this case, the app may contain sponsored content or affiliate links to related companies or services. This approach works for apps with a sizable user base and a significant online presence.

Leverage the AI-based customer support platform market

Leverage Our Immense Expertise in developing AI-Powered Customer Support Platform

In the current cutthroat business environment, the satisfaction and retention of customers are pivotal for business success. To achieve this, businesses must prioritize customer support, and this is where a sturdy AI-powered customer support platform like Zendesk proves its worth.

These platforms facilitate the effective handling of customer inquiries, complaints, and feedback, thereby enhancing response times and augmenting customer satisfaction and loyalty. By implementing a Zendesk-like app, businesses can streamline their customer support operations and ensure that their customers receive prompt and satisfactory resolutions to their queries.

Appiventiv’s AI development services can help you create a robust customer service platform like Zendesk that can help your business identify areas for improvement in your products or services, leading to better financial decisions and increased revenue.

Our team of experienced developers who specialize in building AI-powered customer service platforms leverages the latest technologies and tools to build a product that is scalable, secure, and customizable.

Get in touch with our team to get your business a competitive edge and improve your customer satisfaction and retention rates.

FAQs

Q. What are the benefits of creating a customer service platform like Zendesk?

A. Various customer service platform benefits for businesses include:

  • Improved customer satisfaction
  • Enhanced customer engagement
  • Increased efficiency
  • Better data analysis
  • Cost savings

Q. How much does it cost to build a Zendesk-like customer service platform?

A. The cost to build an AI customer service platform like Zendesk can range from approximately $30,000 to $200,000, depending on various factors. These factors include the location of the app development team, the app’s UI/UX design, its features, the chosen tech stack, the app platform, etc.

Q. How long does it take to build a Zendesk-like customer service platform?

A. The development timeline of a Zendesk-like app depends on the app’s complexity. Typically, a customer service software platform with extensive features can take up to 10 to 12 months to develop, while a Zendesk-like app with minimal features can take around 3 to 6 months. It is advisable to consult with experienced customer service app developers to obtain precise cost and time estimates.

THE AUTHOR
Sudeep Srivastava
Co-Founder and Director
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