Top deployment tips to run conversational automation projects for contact centers and customer support teams with AI chatbots
A Roadmap to Improved IT Helpdesk Experience via Conversational AI
The benefits of AI-driven IT support systems range from improving real-time support and boosting user experience to making budget spending more efficient.
Just as the world as whole shifts and changes over time, so too does the world of work. Undeniably, over the past three years, the amount of change that has affected the world of work has been profound.
Going forward, while no one can predict the future with absolute certainty, the experiments to which companies worldwide have been subjected have demonstrated that the future of work will rely heavily on flexibility and a hybrid, technology-driven work style. After all, this shift was already occurring before COVID-19 disrupted lives and economies - the pandemic only served to accelerate the trend of hybrid work.
According to McKinsey, combining on-site and remote work, as well as virtual meetings and digitally-enabled work processes, is likely to persist for the foreseeable future. As work becomes increasingly digital and mobile, teams will face challenges when collaborating across physical and virtual boundaries. Additionally, employees need access to company resources and knowledge bases regardless of location or workspace.
The Growing Role of IT Support
IT support then becomes absolutely essential for daily operations in this hybrid work environment, whether in the form of a help desk for frequent user issues or a service desk that can handle both simple and complex organizational requests. The "employee experience" encompasses all aspects of a person's time spent working for a company. The employees' physical, digital, and social environments can enhance or hinder their experience. This is especially significant as employee experience is becoming a deciding factor for attracting and retaining employees, and 69% of organizations report talent shortages and hiring challenges. According to Gartner, employee experience is also essential to achieving business objectives, and its importance to the success of a team or organization is growing. Fourfold more profit is generated by businesses that invest in their employees than by those that do not.
According to Forbes Insights, 89% of executives at high-performing companies see a strong correlation between exceptional employee experience (EX) and exceptional customer service. The IT aspect, which relates to the ease with which an employee can perform his job, is therefore essential to a positive employee experience. The prompt resolution of IT issues becomes a vital factor.
Due to its central role in facilitating daily activities, the IT service desk is crucial for keeping employees happy and under less pressure. Before the rise of remote work, if an employee encountered a problem with their equipment, they would have contacted a co-worker before contacting the IT support desk. Perhaps the person sitting next to them was once very tech-savvy or had encountered the same issue before and could provide immediate assistance, saving the employee from having to ask the IT team a question. Since most people now work remotely, this is no longer the case.
In the current era of digital pre-eminence, businesses are under constant pressure to accomplish more with fewer resources, ensuring increased productivity and ROI at minimal expense. Growing IT service desk teams to meet increased demand is a costly and challenging endeavour; already, back in 2019, personnel accounted for an average of 66% of IT service desk costs. In addition, it is currently impossible for a business to remain relevant and grow without embracing innovation. As a result, an increasing number of companies are adopting cutting-edge technologies such as conversational AI, NLP, and RPA in order to stay ahead of their competitors and provide an exceptional user experience for their employees and customers. AI-powered virtual assistants are a promising technology that has the potential to transform IT service management.
How Does Conversational AI Improve IT Service Desks?
IT service desks are generally burdened by repetitive tasks and a high volume of user requests. ITSM operations can be optimized, and employee self-service can be implemented by employing service desks powered by artificial intelligence and incorporating intelligent automation technologies. This strategy enables employees to receive accurate answers and resolutions in seconds without human intervention. Therefore, IT professionals can focus on more complex tasks, enhancing productivity. AI virtual assistants offer a range of support options:
Conversational AI assistants can quickly address the most frequent IT support questions, saving time for IT personnel and improving the customer experience. With back-end database integration, intelligent virtual assistants can access the required information and provide immediate responses, reducing costs and enhancing engagement. This can divert a substantial amount of traffic from human agents, saving them time and reducing associated costs. At the same time, you can provide experiences that excite the rest of your workforce and keep them engaged because you can quickly respond to their inquiries.
Conversational support solutions can relieve IT support human agents from excessive stress by managing multiple tickets simultaneously and offering prompt assistance to users. They can provide practical solutions and personalized communication, enhancing user satisfaction. Intelligent virtual assistants can handle some of the more basic inquiries, while complex issues will still be transferred to human agents to ensure the proper resolutions. This approach saves IT customer service teams time but also improves their ability to quickly find answers because they can learn about the issue before interacting with the user and utilize conversational AI assistants to search relevant databases.
Forgotten logins and passwords are among the most common IT service desk requests, accounting for up to 40% of requests. According to Forrester Research, large companies spent up to $1 million annually on personnel and technology to manage password resets in 2019. IT service desk assistants can handle these elementary requests, saving time and expenses. Such AI-powered assistants authenticate the user and generate/update login and password, conducting the entire operation without the need for human agent assistance.
Modern workers use various devices and tools to do their daily work, requiring that new employee orientations include equipment and software. An IT service desk AI companion can select permitted devices, saving time for technical support agents. The conversational AI assistant registers the request, assists the employee in choosing the appropriate device, and submits the request for approval and acquisition. The conversational solution can also respond to questions, tailor the catalogue to geo-specific policies, and provide delivery status updates to the employee.
Knowledge management is crucial for enhancing customer service from the customer's perspective. Typically, consumers do not have a significant technical understanding of the products and services they employ. A conversational bot used by the IT service desk may provide clients with relevant and timely information at each stage of the customer experience. These AI virtual assistants can analyze and study suitable material or articles available in the database or on the internet and deliver links to such reports to clients upon request or when they discover a knowledge gap based on the tickets submitted.
The most direct and authentic indicator of the performance of your service desk is user feedback. AI-powered assistants can request a rating of the procedure following the conclusion of a conversation to collect this type of data at scale. If the feedback is negative, the conversational AI assistant can inquire further about the user's dissatisfaction, request additional information, and then share the information with the appropriate stakeholder to improve future interactions. With this feedback, IT can continue to improve their service desk, and if they also receive positive feedback, it can help them stay motivated.
Benefits of Conversational AI-driven IT Support Systems
In its current, traditional form, IT help desks rarely meet the standards that would qualify them as offering an exceptional employee experience. Indeed, a PeopleReign survey found that 53% of employees intentionally avoid the help desk, with an additional 8.5% using it reluctantly –clear proof of the need for improvement in this area.
Additionally, using conversational AI to modernize and automate IT help desk facilities has several other benefits besides boosting employee experience that can make a difference for companies.
Continuous, Real-Time Support 24/7
AI virtual assistants offer continuous support to customers and employees, handling simple questions and directing more complex inquiries to the appropriate department. This availability can expedite the resolution of issues, increase employee and customer satisfaction, and free up service desk staff to focus on more complex situations.
Time and Cost Savings
AI virtual assistants automate many routine requests and tasks, allowing service managers to respond more quickly and reducing the need for expensive human resources to handle simple IT inquiries. As a result, processes are streamlined, and productivity increases as human agents can focus on more complex issues.
Improved User Experience
Conversational AI bots use Natural Language Processing to replicate human behaviour and personalize solutions, thereby creating a more natural and seamless interaction between users and the bot. This can improve customer self-sufficiency and end-user satisfaction, ultimately creating more positive experiences.
Increased Employee Productivity
AI-powered interactions can help IT professionals focus on high-value tasks. This allows such employees to focus on problems that require more human attention, thereby enhancing productivity and job satisfaction.
The Time Has Come for Conversational AI-Empowered IT Support
The shifts in the reality of work have highlighted the critical importance of IT support for remote workforces and digital workflows, making the IT help desk essential for enabling workers to perform effectively across multiple locations. As more businesses adopt hybrid work models, conversational AI in service desk solutions will likely become the norm. Conversational AI has already proven its ability to improve the employee experience by providing personalized and immediate assistance through conversational AI and voice assistants - and it is just the beginning. The market for conversational AI is expected to grow significantly in the coming years. Implementing the best AI-powered service desk solution is crucial to accelerating the digital transformation journey and delivering a seamless employee experience. The future is bright for AI in IT helpdesk support, and it is time for businesses to embrace this powerful tool.