Skip to main content
A magazine by Pega

We'd prefer it if you saw us at our best. is not optimized for Internet Explorer. For the optimal experience, please use:

Close Deprecation Notice
Howard Rabinowitz
Howard Rabinowitz
3 min read

The road to autonomous service

What is it and how does it work?
Share this page Share via x Share via LinkedIn Copying...

We all know that AI is propelling a sea change in how we move people and goods. This spring, Alphabet’s Waymo will send driverless cars onto the streets of San Francisco – the first time autonomous vehicles will navigate a major city. Amazon has been actively testing an AI-directed drone delivery service. But these AI technologies are already re-shaping a world that consumers and workers interact with every day: the world of customer service.

Dubbed “autonomous service,” these new approaches employ AI, workflow automation, and event/pattern detection (where analytics captures real-time events) to augment and automate customer service journeys from end to end. Individually, and collectively, these technologies have the power to make our interactions with them feel more natural. 

Centered around the customer journey – rather than focused on a specific channel or system – autonomous service makes every interaction feel empathetic, more personal, and simpler. Customers today can now get the same support using self-service (through web portals, apps, chatbots, and intelligent virtual assistants) as they would from a human agent. 

Just as with self-driving cars, these technologies are closing in on the “last mile” of customer service – preemptive prevention of issues before they impact a customer.

What problems does autonomous service solve?

Self-service that falls short

Almost 50% of consumers believe self-service is more convenient and 82% say they are willing to use it, yet 46% don’t expect good results, according to a 2021 Pega survey.

Inconsistent quality of service

Most businesses offer customer service over multiple channels (phone, web, mobile app).

But 80% of the businesses Pega surveyed admit the quality of service they provide is not consistent across channels. 67% of customers say businesses need to improve quality of service.

Autonomous service empowers organizations to deliver on their brand promise by providing new levels of autonomy to customers and employees, freeing up the latter to pursue more meaningful work.

Customer service agents have the autonomy to truly understand customer context using real-time intelligence and provide help without passing off to someone else. Customers have the autonomy to help themselves and get real-time answers on any digital touch point.

The results: a faster time to resolution, a simpler service experience, and higher containment rates.

5 levels of service autonomy

Similar to the five levels of vehicle autonomy, where progressive levels of AI and automation are applied, autonomous service follows a similar pattern:

Autonomous service

Level 0: No AI and automation

Level 1: Desktop unification & digital channels

Level 2: Occasional AI assistance

Level 3: AI as agent co-pilot (i.e. continuous/contextual guidance) with hands-free driving for agents

Level 4: Fully autonomous inbound automation

Level 5: Fully autonomous outbound automation including proactive/preemptive

Autonomous vehicles

Level 0: No AI and automation

Level 1: Driver assistance

Level 2: Occasional self-driving

Level 3: Limited self-driving (vehicle sometimes in control)

Level 4: Full self-driving under certain conditions

Level 5: Full self-driving under all conditions

Want to learn more? Visit

Share this page Share via x Share via LinkedIn Copying...