In the rapidly evolving digital landscape, enterprises are constantly facing challenges to balance the act of minimizing costs and driving efficiencies.
In the enterprise, IT helpdesk has become an indispensable part of business operations. It is playing a critical role in supporting business users with uninterrupted technology services.
Without IT helpdesk, employees would keep running into level 1 general issues that could affect their productivity.
However IT helpdesk efficiency is affected by a plethora of factors. These include:
- Having to attend to low-value tickets.
- Ongoing resolution of basic issues.
- Employees approaching IT support team for trivial issues such as password reset and subsequently having to wait long hours till the issue gets resolved.
Changing workplace dynamics are bringing in a growing range of variable affecting IT helpdesk support.
Basically, chatbots are simple AI programs that interact with users through the conversational interface. The main concepts that are driving the development of chatbots are artificial intelligence and machine learning.
Chatbots are revolutionizing the way B2E, B2B, B2C and C2C interactions work. They are designed in such a way that they get better and better by understanding the user based on the inputs the user provides, thereby saving a lot of money and time for organizations.
“By 2020, at least 80% of new enterprise application releases will make reasonably strong use of chatbots for conversational, AI-rich applications” – Gartner.
Chatbots also have the capability to extract data from user/FAQ guides which help employees resolve issues without having to refer to a guidebook. Employees can get answers to their questions using regular messaging channels like Skype, Skype for business etc.
Benefits of IT Helpdesk with chatbots
Using AI in IT helpdesk will enhance human support in real-time to meet the demands of employees and increase productivity. Here are a few ways that chatbots can increase your IT helpdesk’s efficiency:
According to Gartner, “By 2019, IT service desks utilizing machine learning enhanced technologies will free up to 30% of support capacity.”
IT helpdesk support team helps in providing information regarding products and services of the organization, troubleshooting, answering FAQs and IT policies, whenever employee raises a request. Addressing these regular and repeated activities could affect their productivity and in turn affect the cost to the company.
Introducing chatbots in IT helpdesk brings in a perfect value add of productivity and cost efficiency.
Using chatbots in IT helpdesk, helps organizations to address level 1 issues(regular and repeated) activities, manage tickets and provide self-service options. This helps in increasing the overall staff efficiency and ensures best support capabilities.
It addresses level 1 IT support issues by a quick chat using conversational UI. Chatbot provides options like quick troubleshooting, spread awareness about IT policies & initiatives, FAQ’s etc., using which employees can solve their general issues easily.
Extending support after office hours is always a challenge in the enterprise environment. When an issue arises after office hours or during downtime, solving it gets tough. So, these issues are added to queue till the support staff gets time to address them which leads to a slowdown in productivity.
Introducing chatbots in the IT helpdesk system helps in overcoming these problems and resolving issues effectively. They provide a unique range of options to solve the issues immediately. One doesn’t need to wait for the support staff for the resolution. Employees working late would always have a virtual support staff member addressing issues on time.
IT helpdesk chatbot also provides different troubleshooting scenarios which come handy even if the support staff isn’t available immediately.
24/7 availability of a virtual IT helpdesk support staff brings in a superior value-add to the existing IT helpdesk. Talk to us to know more.
Integrate with legacy IT systems (ITSM platforms):
According to HDI: “As a rule of thumb, if an end user spends more than 10 minutes in a self-service portal, they cost the organization more money than calling the service desk.
With AI technology such as smart machines making their way into enterprise world, AI is, like it or not, going to be a dominant solution in any ITSM system.
There simply aren’t enough resources for analysts to get personally involved with so many requests and tickets. For better or worse, human intervention for every request or one to one incident will not be sustainable. We will see numerous organizations use chatbots with AI abilities as a way to deal with.
Do employees need to call the IT helpdesk or fill the lengthy forms online to address their issues? Chatbots change these circumstances.
With the integration of chatbots, ITSM can be easier, faster, and convenient too.
An AI-powered chatbot is a key value for ITSM framework. It has the capability to integrate with many of the legacy ITSM tools like ServiceNow, Freshdesk or Jira. With these integrations, Chatbot will also have the capability to search in the respective ITSM tool knowledge bases to answer the end user questions.
Modernizing incident management:
Some of the IT helpdesk staff are often found working on categorizing/ routing incidents. Addressing these incidents manually is not only time-consuming but also error-prone. Indeed, even the most experienced IT support staff find it difficult to categorize a wide range of incidents raised at a given point of time. Due to this, most of the repeated issues stand in the queue and wait for its turn to get resolved.
Chatbot in IT helpdesk provide employees with quick links about troubleshooting technique using the conversation UI. If the issue raised is among the repetitive tasks a chatbot is trained to solve, employees will be provided with the resolving techniques. If not, chatbot pops up an option of registering the ticket in their legacy incident management system.
Chatbot helps the support staff in gathering the data from multiple systems to check the previous incident records of the employee for faster resolution and help an employee to keep track the status of the ticket.
Additionally, chatbot also helps the support team by generating a brief report on the number of tickets raised on a particular day. It gives detailed insights about tickets which are opened/ in the queue/ assigned. It also provides an option to search all open/high priority tickets for specific support agent and set up an alert for the support team.
For most of the issues, time is the main issue, even if it is a simple task like password reset. Employees tend to raise a complaint in IT helpdesk and wait for their turn to get access to their logins.
If the support staff is busy in fixing an issue, they may not be able to manage any incoming requests, even if it is a high priority. Due to this, employee work time gets underutilized, in turn affecting their productivity.
These issues can be better addressed by integrating chatbots into IT helpdesk applications. Chatbots create a self-service interface where an employee can instantly get access to the credentials within no time. During this process, employee validates their identity using Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) and get the issue resolved without any helpdesk support staff interference. Thereby, the employee can work uninterruptedly by resolving his issues without any dependency on IT team and make room for support staff to work efficiently on other high priority issues.
Low MTTR (Mean Time To Resolution):
Mean Time to resolution depicts the health of the IT helpdesk support in an organization.
Mean Time to Resolution (MTTR) is the time between an incident being submitted and the time taken to resolve it. Tickets will be raised continuously and support staff may or maynot be available to address them in the expected time.
Service degradations and service interruptions can fundamentally affect both IT and business activities. IT support team should precisely measure incident response time to control service quality, outages and the cost to the company.
By integrating AI-powered chatbots in IT helpdesk, most of the repetitive tasks or issues will be addressed by the chatbot using self-service options/ troubleshooting techniques. This reduces the number of tickets waiting in the queue influencing the overall MTTR. Lower MTTR is the key factor in showcasing the efficiency of the IT helpdesk service.
The more the tickets received and the lesser the time it takes to resolve, there is an upsurge in the business productivity and eventually its bottom-line.
Reduced cost per ticket:
For every organization, cost, or precisely unit cost, is basically important. Cost per ticket is a measure of how effectively an IT helpdesk service conducts work and leads its business.
“A recent HDI study found that the average cost per service desk ticket, in North America (NA) is $15.56. Cost per ticket increases significantly each time the incident is escalated.”
Moreover, there are likewise indirect expenses for IT support directors/chiefs, equipment, facilities and training etc., that must be figured into the cost per ticket metric.
If chatbots are introduced in IT helpdesk, general issues get resolved and reduce the number of tickets which in turn lower the MTTR. The faster the MTTR, the lower its cost per ticket.
Minor/general issues will be resolved by chatbots using troubleshooting techniques and self-service options which help support personals not to keep running into general issues. They get engaged in resolving major issues which help them increase their productivity and cut the cost per ticket by working only on issues which are not addressed by chatbots.
Ticket activity Performance reports:
IT helpdesk receive issues from different departments of the organization. If an employee raises an issue in the IT help desk application, the support staff or personnel will address the issue and continue to resolve other issues which are in the queue.
IT helpdesk cannot make a concise view where a similar kind of issues are occurring repeatedly. Resolving these frequent issues daily decrease the efficiency of the support staff.
Introducing chatbots in IT helpdesk helps in generating performance reports on the number of tickets raised, the number of tickets resolved, generate time-sheet and provide a report on frequent occurring issues.
By this report, the IT helpdesk personnel or organization can invest in the resource to reduce frequently occurring issues and helps in increasing work efficiency of the staff and increase productivity to the company.
Monitor your agent’s performance:
Monitoring IT infrastructures often involves tedious tasks multiple interactions and gathering reports from different legacy systems. This allows managers to identify problems, maintain quality standards and improve the overall experience.
Introducing chatbot in such a scenario paves a way to get the reports by simply having a quick chat with the chatbot. Chatbot can be integrated with AD/user profile servers/performance review system to track the overall progress of the employees and scale the productivity.
It can generate reports of the individual performance on daily/weekly/monthly basis and keep updating the status to the management team.
An AI-powered chatbot operates turn-by-turn discussion with the employee. Chatbots recognize keywords provided by an employee in the chat conversation and respond by matching queries with pre-set messages in its knowledge base and assist employees quickly.
Chatbots, unlike humans, don’t always guess correctly, and invalid responses will frustrate the user. So, to avoid all these users are provided with clear and smooth transition to human agents.
If the chatbot is not trained to answer a specific question, user will have an option to interact with human agents and address their issue.
Indeed, even after an operator is locked in, the bot remains as a background facilitator of the discussion.
Chatbots have started to emerge into business consciousness and indeed acting as a major business productivity tool.
Gartner predicts that by 2019, 40% of enterprises will be actively using chatbots to facilitate business processes using natural-language interactions.
AI-powered chatbots can unplug IT bottlenecks and resolve the most repetitive questions effortlessly. Support staff can stay focused on the high priority tasks than time-consuming and mundane tasks.