With a rise in IT infrastructure and a dispersed workforce, the workload of the IT service desk has increased immensely. Managing employees and IT service requests with legacy systems leaves administrators held up with repetitive tasks and manual processes, making it challenging for IT teams to ensure faster issue resolution times and operational efficiency. Chatbots are revolutionizing the communication and service delivery processes of the IT service desk to be more efficient and serve employees effectively.
How IT Service Desk Chatbots Improve Service Desk Efficiency
Salesforce's State of Service research report reveals, "77% of agents say automating routine tasks allows them to focus on more complex work. This resulted in 67% increased adoption of a chatbot solution by decision-makers in 2020 compared to 2018." Out of which, chatbot adoption is very high in IT departments.
Figure: Adoption of chatbots in various business functions according to spiceworks.
1. Uninterrupted Service Delivery 24/7
Digital workplace leaders will proactively implement AI-based technologies such as virtual assistants or other NLP-based conversational agents and robots to support and augment employee tasks and productivity.”
With employees working in different time zones, it's impossible for the IT service desk to address employee issues 24/7, either through emails or phone calls. Having staff to handle numerous requests 24/7 is not a cost-effective strategy. Delays in issue resolution can affect employee satisfaction and productivity.
Chatbots help the IT service desk automate the most repetitive tasks like ticket creation, onboarding tasks, troubleshooting operations, and so on, and offer 24/7 help to employees located in any location. A single chatbot can handle any number of employee requests and provide appropriate action. By responding instantly, chatbots improve employee engagement and satisfaction.
2. Reduce Resolution Time with Smart Self-Service
With roughly 30-50% of Level 1 Help Desk support cases being repetitive, you can leverage the power of NLU and cognitive automation in the form of AI bots."
The issue resolution process involves the identification of the issue and finding a solution. In this process, the IT team requires access to data to detect the issue and offer a resolution. Moreover, most of these requests are repetitive and engaging IT teams in this laborious task takes time away from high-value tasks. To offer a faster resolution, the IT chatbot identifies the issue and offers a knowledge article for self-service.
Integrating the IT service desk chatbot with knowledge base systems, with the power of Natural Language Understanding (NLU) and Natural Language Processing (NLP), the chatbot can identify the type of issue and locate appropriate knowledge base articles or compile solutions by interacting with various information systems. This way, chatbots offer an intuitive self-service solution without having to interact with the IT team. This results in faster issue resolution time and improved IT service management efficiency.
3. Automated Ticketing Management System
The ticketing management process has three steps: reporting, managing, and resolving the ticket. In reporting, the user can either email or call the IT service desk or raise the request in the internal portal. In managing, the type of category is assessed, prioritized, and assigned to the appropriate authority. In resolving, the respective authority either fixes the issue or escalates the issue depending on complexity. The entire process is laborious. Either to report issues or track status, the user needs to be trained on the portal, and the user must go through portal options. It would be irritating for a user to login every time to check the status, which demands time.
Instead, an IT service desk chatbot can handle the entire ticketing process. All the user needs to do is message the chatbot and report an issue. The chatbot identifies the issue, picks the category, assigns it to the relevant authority, and if there is a status change in the issue, the chatbot updates the user through push notifications. ServiceNow is one of the most popular ticketing tools used by businesses.
4. Manage Assets Efficiently and Effortlessly
Employees frequently raise requests for assets such as laptops and mobile devices. Devices can be exchanged frequently and this process needs to be tracked with precision. For example, if the device is damaged and IT teams don't know who had the device last, the issue will become complex. It is a critical yet tedious job for the IT service desk to keep track of IT assets. Standalone tools aren’t sufficient enough to track with accuracy. However, an IT service desk chatbot can accept, modify, resolve, and cancel requests for assets. The chatbot integrated with the asset inventory data can monitor and approve asset requests, notify the IT team for delivery, and update the asset management database. As chatbot interactions are recorded, it's less likely the information will go missing, improving the overall IT asset management process.
5. Proactive Risk Management
IT help desk is repeatedly flooded with inquiries about service outages and other related concerns. IT teams are constantly disrupted, which impacts their overall productivity. Chatbots can access tools and security monitoring systems to track an issue, consolidate data, generate reports, and notify affected employees through push notifications. Powered with AI capabilities, chatbots use predictive intelligence to run vulnerability reports, detect security trends and be proactive in issue resolution.
6. Improved Employee Experience
IT service desk chatbots respond immediately to users and on behalf of IT teams to update employees on issue requests, policy updates, security practices, patch updates, maintenance, and so on. This ensures better employee engagement. Chatbots study employee interactions to offer personalized experiences, saving IT service desk agents time and effort, allowing them to focus on high-priority tasks.