Klarna’s AI Assistant Does the Job of 700 Customer Service Agents

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Martina Bretous
Martina Bretous



When you think of positive customer service experiences, AI definitely isn’t what comes to mind. But Klarna might be changing that.

klarna's AI assistant does work of 700 customer service agents

After announcing a partnership with OpenAI last year, the buy-now-pay-later company released impressive figures on the performance of its AI assistant.

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What Klarna’s AI Assistant Accomplished

After being live for a month, Klarna’s AI assistant handled a total of 2.3 million conversations via chat – doing the equivalent of 700 full-time agents.

klarna AI assistant

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It’s one thing to do the job, it’s another to do it well. According to their numbers, their assistant accomplished both.

Using the AI Assistant led to a 25% drop in repeat inquiries and 9-minute drop in resolution time. What’s most impressive is that customer satisfaction scores stayed the same.

The assistant is available via Klarna’s app to assist customers in over 35 languages and help them with everything from refund requests to financial advice.

“This launch marks a significant leap forward in Klarna's vision of a fully AI-powered financial assistant aimed at saving consumers time, worry and money, while making the global retail banking industry more efficient and consumer-focused,” Klarna wrote in a press release.

It’s important to note that Klarna is still making human agents available to consumers. AI is just serving as a self-service option to handle straightforward requests, allowing agents to focus on more complex customer interactions.

Business use cases like these open up a world of possibilities, as long as you have the cash for it.

One Twitter user asked Klarna’s co-founder and CEO Sebastian Siemiatkowski about the estimated cost of deploying their AI agents. He answered, “about $2 to $3 million dollars.”

Despite the high cost, it also comes with an expected $40 million boost in profit for the company.

What does this mean for Klarna’s human agents?

Soon after Klarna made its announcement on its AI assistant, many called out that about two years ago, Klarna laid off around 700 employees. The exact amount of people they say their AI assistant replaced.

Then in December 2023, they announced a hiring freeze and did cite artificial intelligence as part of their reasoning.

Now, while there’s no evidence that the layoff had anything to do with Klarna’s investment in AI – and Klarna has explicitly denied that implication – this statement sure doesn’t look good.

“Klarna’s customer service is supported by 4-5 large global partners who collectively have over 650,000 employees and work with thousands of different companies around the world,” said Klarna rep Filippa Bolz to Gizmodo. “When one of the companies, like Klarna, requires less support, these agents are assigned to new tasks at another company.”

Bolz added that sharing the 700 figure was meant to show the long term impact of AI technology. For many, it only reinforced a fear that AI will increase job displacement and unemployment.

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