How Does An It Helpdesk Chatbot Increase It Support Efficiency?
Employee support has come a long way since it was first adopted by organizations to look after the specific needs of their employees. It all started with physical help desks with dedicated agents who helped employees in obtaining answers to their questions and getting their issues resolved.
Over time, these desks start getting more virtual as digitization started seeping into business processes. The traditional IT helpdesk was developed as a software platform where IT experts were employed to provide solutions to the issues faced by the employees working in an organization. However, it failed to provide seamless employee support and ended up being more focused on the agents than the employees.
In 2021, the modern IT helpdesk is developed using the technology of AI and machine learning. This helps an organization to overcome the issues shortcomings of the traditional help desks and provide quick, reliable, and personalized support to the employees.
Before getting to the modern IT helpdesks and how they are using AI chatbots for providing improved support, let us discuss the major issues caused by the traditional IT helpdesk.
Reasons Why Traditional IT Helpdesks Are No Longer Relevant
Lack Of Uniformity In Support
One of the biggest issues with a traditional IT helpdesk is the fact that it does not provide uniform support to the employees within an organization. This results in different employees resorting to different ways of obtaining solutions to their problems.
The traditional employee support system involved the HR employees approaching a separate HR desk, the IT employees approaching a dedicated IT service desk, and use of the intranet for collaborating within their teams. This often resulted in a chaotic support system and unorganized support to resolve employee issues.
Difficulty With The Ticketing System
The traditional IT helpdesk requires employees to raise a support ticket every time they need to obtain solutions to their issues from the support executives. While employees well-versed with these platforms were able to create and manage their tickets effectively, the ones with little technical knowledge often suffered.
The ticketing system often proved to be complicated for employees who were not too tech-savvy, making it a niche support platform limited to a bunch of employees. Frustrated by the complexities of the system, employees preferred making calls and sending emails seeking help from reliable sources.
Delay In Support
A traditional IT helpdesk employed support executives from the first level of support, resulting in a plethora of requests being handled by a single agent. Naturally, the number of employee issues easily outnumbered the number of support agents, resulting in a delay in support.
Inadequate Quality Of Support
When the number of support requests goes way above and beyond the number of agents handling them, the quality of support is bound to go down. Under the pressure of handling the issues on time and getting to as many employees as they can, the agents often ended up providing generic and sub-standard support instead of personalized assistance.
Moreover, organizations often resorted to hiring new agents who were not necessarily the best of the lot, just to handle the excessive requests pouring in. This further deteriorated the quality of support provided to the employees.
Insufficient Knowledge Management
The traditional IT helpdesks failed to utilize the potential of the enterprise knowledge base. Due to the lack of advanced technology, the service desks would provide a few generic text pages and manuals as answers to the questions asked. If an employee needs to search for the precise answers within these materials, a helpdesk has failed in fulfilling its purpose.
The Modern IT Helpdesk
In order to help organizations and their employees deal with the issues caused by the traditional IT helpdesks, their modern counterparts were developed to ensure faster and more efficient employee support. A modern IT help desk is designed keeping in mind the latest and the most relevant needs of the employees.
Here are some of the most critical employee needs that an IT helpdesk of 2021 helps dealing with:
Need For Personalized Support
Over time, the processes carried out by employees have become increasingly diversified and complicated. Today, an employee will never be satisfied with generic and subjective information provided by the helpdesk in the name of employee support.
Employees need a helpdesk that provides them with solutions that are tailored to suit their specific questions and problems faced while working.
Need For Working Remotely
Since 2020, professionals have resorted to working remotely. Gone are the days when the IT support executives needed to work out of a dedicated office and have fixed working hours for handling the issues faced by the employees.
Today, employees need wholesome and customized support wherever they are working from. This allows them to continue with their work in a hassle-free manner and adds to the flexibility and comfort that comes from working remotely.
Need For Being Understood
One of the biggest complaints employees had about traditional helpdesks was the fact that their issues were rarely understood by the helpdesk. This was essentially because of poor knowledge management.
Employees in 2021 need the questions they ask and issues they raise to be understood by the IT helpdesk by getting the context of the situation right.
The modern IT help desk caters to all these employee needs (and many more) through seamless process automation and the use of AI chatbots.
AI Chatbots – How They Work In An IT Helpdesk
The IT helpdesks of 2021 make use of conversational AI to guide their employees and provide them with integrated support. The technology blurs the line between human interactions and the efficiency of a machine. The modern IT service desks allow you to let your employees interact with the system and obtain answers to their questions.
These interactions are carried out with the help of automated AI chatbots. These virtual assistants accompany your employees since they log into the service desk, listen to their commands, and provide them with all possible support until they are satisfied with the same.
Here are the key stages involved in getting an issue resolved via AI chatbots:
1. Being greeted by the AI chatbot
When a distressed employee logs into the IT helpdesk, they are immediately greeted by an AI chatbot that would help them get their issues resolved. It provides the employees with a number of options to choose from – from getting questions answers to automating repetitive processes.
2. Obtaining the first level of support (L1)
Your employee would now ask the question they have or raise a specific issue to obtain the L1 support. Unlike the traditional helpdesk, the AI chatbot handles all L1 support requests themselves, without getting the support agent involved.
This is a common ground for employees working in all departments within an organization. When a question is asked, the chatbot will scan the knowledge database, look into the profile of the concerned employee and provide them with an answer that is tailored specifically for them.
3. Getting the case routed to a support agent
However, if your employee is not content with the L1 support provided by the virtual assistant, they can get their case routed to a suitable support agent. The chatbot will automatically route the case to an agent, provide them with the context of the situation, and let them look into the matter themselves.
4. Communicating the solution to the employee
The AI chatbot acts as a connecting link between your employee and the concerned support agent to ensure seamless communication and streamline the support system. When the agent is ready with a personalized solution, they will communicate the same to your employee through the virtual assistant. Also, the system would keep notifying the employee about the real-time status of their case.
5. Live agent interaction
In most cases, an issue is resolved during the step discussed above. Once the case is closed, your employee can get back to work and the interaction is recorded in the system, for future references. However, if the employee is still not satisfied with the solution, they can opt for live agent interaction.
The modern IT helpdesks are equipped with this feature to allow your employee to interact with the dedicated support agents in real-time via call or online chat to explain the case better and get a better understanding of the solution.
This way, AI chatbots manage the entire process of seamless employee support to make sure that your employees get holistic assistance until they are fully satisfied with the results.
How Does A Chatbot Increase IT Support Efficiency?
Making The Ticketing System Invisible
As mentioned earlier, creating and managing support tickets was not the forte of every employee when it came to using the traditional IT helpdesk. To get rid of this issue, the modern service desks let chatbots handle the entire ticketing system, making it invisible for the employees.
When an employee needs to get their case passed on to a support agent, the virtual assistant will automatically create a support ticket and add the same to the database. Until the issue is resolved and the ticket is closed, it is fully managed by the chatbots, relieving your employees from having to make any effort.
Automating The Onboarding Process
The first few months within an organization are always the defining ones for an employee. These months determine the sustainability and engagement of an employee in your company. Especially if the employee is required to work remotely, the organization needs to make sure that they are onboarded and guided in the best way possible.
The AI chatbots in a modern IT helpdesk allow you to automate the onboarding process for an employee. By setting specific triggers within the system and feeding your knowledge base with the right resources, you can make sure that your employees get their orientation emails, invitations to introductory workshops, a digital toolkit (if needed), their usernames and passwords, the company policies, and all relevant information a new employee should obtain on joining your team.
Also, new employees are more likely to have questions that can be answered by the AI chatbots within a few seconds. These measures will ensure that your new employees make themselves comfortable within the organization and get a hang of their job effectively.
Helping Your Employees Get Trained
An IT helpdesk is not limited to answering the questions asked by your employees. It can also be used for providing them with extensive training and helping them learn specific micro-skills that add to their productivity.
By feeding your knowledge base with relevant training resources (videos, manuals, eBooks, texts, blogs, websites, etc), you can allow your chatbots to help your employee train themselves at their own convenience. This helps your employees to spend their free time learning new skills and improving the ones they already possess.
Making your employees independent would always work in your company’s favor. Self-reliance always tends to boost an employee’s motivation, making them work harder and keeping them engaged with the work they do.
Automating Repetitive Processes
Gone are the days when an organization would employ dedicated staff members to carry out mundane and repetitive processes like setting new passwords, granting access, upgrading the system, etc for their employees. With the advent of AI chatbots, you can automate such repetitive processes through your IT helpdesk.
Whenever an employee needs to perform any of the above-mentioned processes, they can simply log in to their helpdesk, give the required command, and the system will automatically sync their data with the back-end, helping them perform the concerned activity with ease. This way, your employees can get their passwords changed, have a look at their attendance, obtain access to specific tools, and perform an array of other tasks without any human interference.
The Final Word
The use of AI chatbots in an IT helpdesk is the need of the hour. It is always advisable for organizations to make the switch as soon as possible to become future-proof and avoid being missed out in the race to be tech-savvy!