The Invisible Ticketing System
The importance of a well-functioning and smooth service desk has been highlighted by the current pandemic. The big transition to remote working stretched the capacities of many Service Desk and made us look for quicker/smarter solutions in this space.
One of the issues surrounding the Service desk is the channel that people use to reach it. Although, enterprises recommend to their users that they use the ticketing systems approximately 20% of the employees use a ticketing system to report an issue. Around 80% or more use emails or phone calls to report an issue and engage with the Service desk for subsequent back and forth. This is highly inefficient and causes additional pressure on the service desk.
Before looking at the evolving solution in this space it might be worthwhile to take a small detour into the history of current ticketing systems.
It all started with excels or something equivalent
Let us get into a bit of history. Imagine a Help desk in the 1990’s someone started using excel to track the issues and that solution would have worked for a while. It still works for some smaller help desks! Of course, it is not the best solution and therefore ticketing systems have emerged.
Now, you can track a case from opening to closure, assign it to different agents, make comments, etc. It also allowed you to evolve with Service management, change management, etc. The point to note is that this evolution from excels to ticketing systems happened to help the Help Desk agents.
The new systems were created to help agents and help desk track the issues. No surprise, these new systems were used by agents and not by employees. An employee found these cumbersome and intimidating. They also found this a waste of time. Why not just write an email? Why not just call for a quick service? The agents had to fill in all the details for the employees and then input all the subsequent updates to the closure of tickets.
More work for agents! Additionally, if such systems have Knowledge Management (KM a key to self-service) oftentimes such a KM was targeted at and used by agents. The employees used this knowledge management system even less than they used the ticketing system.
The ticketing/help desk industry knew the truth. That is why most of these systems charge enterprises by the agent! They do not bill you with the employees.
Next stage of evolution
The truth is that employees do not need to know what a ticketing system is. They have resisted working with a ticketing system long enough for us to recognize this fact. The employees should be provided with a service quickly without jumping through the hoops. This experience should be as frictionless as possible and ideally, help should be provided within seconds. And now it is possible.
While the functionality of a “ticketing” or “case management” is not going away it will not be visible to an employee. Using an AI-powered service desk and a channel like MS Teams, employees are now able to just discuss their issue with a conversational AI and in turn, AI does the following
- It provides them with the right information if the issue can be solved by providing information (Knowledge automation)
- It executes a task for them if that is what it takes to resolve the issue (task automation)
- It initiates a process if that is what is needed (process automation)
- It tries to triage the issue by following certain issue resolution logic
- It creates a ticket on the employee’s behalf (smart ticket creation)
- And it brings the right expert to the employee (either live chat or offline)
- In this simple process, the employee does not have to worry about creating a ticket. The employee has a question about when his/her issue will be resolved. Just ask the conversational AI. It will have the latest information. For example, employees can ask - “I want to add some new information about the issue,” and the AI replies “No problem, it is easy to do”. Employees have to tell the system what to do on the MS Teams window.
As this evolution takes place, we predict that apart from the ticketing system, a lot of other system complexities will be removed from the employees. Solutions will be offered by conversational AI. For example, if you do not know all the steps about hiring an employee – no problem, your AI system knows the process and can take it forward for you. Need access to a marketing database? Your AI system will know who needs to give approval for the task and get your access! This concept is known as A.I.E.S.M. and if you can read more about it here.
The ticketing system, along with some other back-end systems, will become invisible to the employees so that they can focus on their day job for an efficient enterprise of the 21st century.