Efficient and appropriate online customer service is essential to large e-commerce businesses. Existing solution recommendation methods for online customer service are unable to determine the best solutions at runtime, leading to poor satisfaction of end customers. This paper proposes a novel intelligent framework, called ICS-Assist, to recommend suitable customer service solutions for service staff at runtime. Specifically, we develop a generalizable two-stage machine learning model to identify customer service scenarios and determine customer service solutions based on a scenario-solution mapping table. A novel knowledge distillation network called “Panel-Student” is proposed to derive a small yet efficient distilled learning model. We implement ICS-Assist and evaluate it using an over 6-month field study with Alibaba Group. In our experiment, over 12,000 customer service staff use ICS-Assist to serve for over 230,000 cases per day on average. The experimental results show that ICS-Assist significantly outperforms the traditional manual method, and improves the solution acceptance rate, the solution coverage rate, the average service time, the customer satisfaction rate, and the business domain catering rate by up to 16%, 25%, 6%, 14% and 17% respectively, compared to the state-of-the-art methods.