“The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a 35% increase in IT support ticket volumes. This has logically resulted in an increase of resolution times, and first contact and first-level resolution decrease from 78.2% before the pandemic to 71.5% now.”
– MetricNet-DeepCoding study
The global pandemic has upended various business processes and has established hybrid working as the new world order. With maximum employees working from home, the volumes of IT helpdesk support queries are soaring putting support agents across both the public and private sector under enormous strain. Even with a highly committed service desk team, most organizations are struggling to meet users’ expectations for speedy resolutions and more interactive engagements.
As the pressure to scale up the support process and deliver prompt issue resolutions mounts, many IT support departments are witnessing high attrition and agent turnover rates. Hence, to be truly successful in providing exceptional IT support, an organization needs to embrace new technologies that empower an agent to stay efficient and highly productive, and enables better IT support.
How AI-powered Chatbots can be the Gamechangers?
“26% of organizations have listed AI as the number one change they would like to make in IT helpdesk process.”
-MetricNet- DeepCoding study
Today, AI-driven technologies are helping organizations not only sustain but thrive in a fast-changing world. It is enabling organizations to automate processes, catalyze productivity, improve efficiency and augment human capabilities. In an IT helpdesk scenario, an AI-powered Chatbot is protecting service desk teams from facing burnout and enabling organizations to deliver better agent satisfaction. Additionally, chatbots are helping organizations to establish an automated process for prompt support and maximize the adoption of new technologies. It is liberating the service desk team from tackling the basic and mundane queries, and focus on other high-value interactions.
But the benefits of AI-powered Chatbots for IT helpdesk do not stop at automating incident resolution and offering self-service to users. It provides the IT teams with insights to detect patterns and determine the root cause of an issue, to address it sooner and prevent it from affecting more users. It enables the IT helpdesk to stay proactive and ensure business continuity.
How AI-powered Chatbots can Improve Support Agent Productivity & Efficiency
1: Simplifies Information Scouting
A major portion of an IT helpdesk agent’s workday is spent searching through heaps of FAQs, documents, spreadsheets, blogs, and other sources of information in search of the right answers to resolve an issue. Moreover, traditional keyword-based searches mostly lack context and often generate results that might not be in sync with the resolution sought. This leads to a longer average handle time (AHT), a key performance metric for any support agent.
An AI-powered Chatbot can understand the context and deliver very meaningful search results rapidly. The chatbot searches through tons of structured and unstructured data and delivers the most relevant content to the agents. With an AI-powered Chatbot, human agents can significantly reduce the time spent in locating the relevant information and thereby deliver faster resolutions, improving their AHT.
2: Delivers Contextual Data
In a digital-first world, every user demands instant resolutions and expects first contact resolutions. However, on encountering a new support query, agents need time to review the user’s account and evaluate potential solutions. AI-powered Chatbots can look into a user’s profile, details, history, usage, preferences, and other information, and quickly provide a list of customized resolutions to assist the agents. Armed with contextual information and the right recommendations, IT support agents can deliver better and quicker resolutions.
3: Detects User Intent
A vital metric involved in evaluating any support agent’s performance is the number of tickets closed. As an enterprise policy (and in most instances), a support ticket gets reopened even when the user mails to thank the agent. Consequently, the support agent has to manually update and close all such tickets, often leading to duplication of efforts and an adverse effect on the agent’s productivity. An AI-powered Chatbot can detect the intent behind a user’s response before deciding whether or not to reopen a support ticket.
4: Identifies User Sentiments
Modern chatbots, with the help of ML and NLP, can calculate the magnitude of the user’s emotions and provide a numerical score to the core emotions. Chatbots can identify the type of sentiment and gauge the emotion behind it to see if the mood of the dialogue is positive, negative, neutral, or objective. It detects emotions like frustration, anger, sadness, positivity, happiness, and other emotions. This extra layer of information enables the human agents to adapt to the users’ mood and respond accurately, effectively and in the right way.
5: Assists Agents with Various Tasks
Traditionally, chatbots or virtual agents were used to deliver simple FAQs. However, AI-powered chatbots have redefined the boundaries of virtual agents. Today’s sophisticated chatbots can handle complex work, decide where to look for the right information, recommend solutions to human agents based on the user’s profile, and automate routine queries to free up the agent for more cognitive tasks. It can assist the agent in delivering superior support services by:
- Providing needed information and contextual suggestions to agents during a live conversation.
- Connecting the agent to backend knowledge bases and CRM systems and extracting relevant articles and documents, for better and quicker user issue resolution.
- Tackling the basic queries and escalating the complex requests that need human intelligence.
- Automating time-consuming and tedious daily tasks for agents, such as recording user information, post-interaction form filling, surveys, etc.
- Delivering the entire chat history, including sentiment analysis scores and other contextual information, to the agent.
- Mining audio calls and textual conversations to capture significant details and insights about users and technical issues.
6: Ensures Continuous Training
Service desk agents need constant training to keep them updated with ever-evolving products and processes. Additionally, every new hire in the team also needs to be thoroughly trained. But the cost of training these resources can quickly add up and get out of hand. AI-powered chatbots are capable of taking over the training duties and delivering constant learning. Chatbots can pick up on user behavior patterns to deduce what the best response to specific questions might be.
Adopt a Human+Chatbot Support Model
“20-25% of the workforces in advanced economies could work from home between three and five days a week, post COVID-19.”
With remote work and virtual meetings likely to continue, albeit less intensely than at the pandemic’s peak, organizations must strengthen their IT helpdesk support. Towards this end, organizations must look at fostering a coexistence model with chatbots working in line with human agents and augmenting productivity and efficiency. Chatbots can be used as the first line of support for users and fulfill basic, preliminary tasks such as password resets, access provisioning, etc. In case of an escalation or upon a user’s request, the chatbot can also hand over the conversation to a live agent.
Deliver Self-Service Helpdesk and Maximize Digital Adoption at Workplace
AgreeYa’s AI-powered Chatbot, built on Azure AI, delivers an intelligent self-service helpdesk for any time (24×7), anywhere (web/desktop/mobile), and instant support. It unburdens the IT service agents from repetitive tasks and empowers them with the right information for better support. With AgreeYa Chatbot, organizations can alleviate the IT helpdesk agent satisfaction and keep users happy with instant support. If you’d like additional information about this topic, please feel free to get in touch with one of our experts for a personalized consultation.