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Added 18 July, 2023

IKEA retrains thousands of customer service reps as AI takes their jobs

IKEA is training call centre workers to become interior design advisers as the Swedish furniture giant aims to offer more home improvement services and hand run-of-the-mill customer queries to an artificial intelligence bot called Billie. In April, IKEA expanded its interior design services to the UK and United States, after previous launches in parts of Europe, Australia, the United Arab Emirates and elsewhere. In the UK, customers pay 25 pounds ($31.44) for a 45-60 minute interior design advice video call and suggested product list, and can pay 125 pounds for three workspace design consultations, a floorplan and 3D visuals. Ingka says it has trained 8,500 call centre workers as interior design advisers since 2021, while Billie - launched the same year with a name inspired by IKEA's Billy bookcase range - has handled 47% of customers' queries to call centres over the past two years.

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