What Is Your It Helpdesk Automation Strategy For 2023?
Those who work as a helpdesk agent or with the IT support department will probably agree with me when I say you guys have to deal with numerous inquiries, requests and time-consuming tasks that are often low-value ones. The fact that many of these inquiries are repeated makes this situation feel the most overwhelming. Undoubtedly, these routine tasks and processes will distract you from high-impact projects. Many IT managers report that their employees are already overworked, leaving little time for critical projects that will boost organizational productivity. And when it comes to the usual challenges the helpdesk team faces, this is merely the tip of the iceberg. In light of this, here comes the million-dollar question “what must be done to ensure employees receive excellent support and service to earn their trust and ease the service desk team's workload? Fortunately, IT helpdesk automation can address these issues and numerous others.
Even though the traditional helpdesk was designed to help agents and employees, it's unreliable. The pandemic has already taught us that an organization's ROI and productivity are no longer counted on employees' hours at the office. It depends upon the quality and performance of their work and the outcome they bring, irrespective of their location. With traditional helpdesks, employees and agents don't receive the right support, resulting in burnout and productivity loss. This ultimately reflects in your organization’s ROI.
If you want to satisfy your employees and customers, deliver the right employee support, and experience, gain their trust, and hold on to them for a long time, you must provide a robust IT helpdesk that helps employees meet their requirements without the need for any agent. Being an IT service desk manager who has been in the industry since 2015, consider my advice; invest in helpdesk automation !
With 2023 just two months away, now is the perfect time for you to switch to a modern IT helpdesk. But if you are new to the game, helpdesk automation can be a difficult nut to crack. Don’t be upset!
In this blog post, I will give you an overview of helpdesk automation, covering its benefits and some of the top helpdesk automation strategies that bring your employee support process to new heights.
Before we begin, let’s look at the drawbacks of the traditional helpdesk.
Why it's Time to Ditch Traditional IT Helpdesks?
- Lack of employee support
A traditional helpdesk cannot provide uniform service to all employees in an organization. Also, it takes a lot of time for the helpdesk agents to prioritize, look into employees’ issues and resolve them. When multiple employees file cases at once, the agents will concentrate on the one their code of conduct determines to be most critical.
The other employees will continue working without easy fixes for their issues. In this situation, employees look for solutions to their problems using a variety of methods, wasting their precious time at work. Thus, employees need a more organized support system to deal with employee problems.
- Poor level of support quality
The quality of service will inevitably drop if there are more requests for assistance than helpdesk agents available to handle them. When it comes to the case of traditional service desks, the agents frequently offered generic and subpar support to the employees rather than personalized support because of the pressure to handle the issues quickly and reach as many employees as possible.
Furthermore, organizations often hire agents who are not necessarily the best of the lot to cope with the overwhelming number of requests. Consequently, the quality of support provided to the staff further deteriorated.
- Poor knowledge management
There has been a failure to utilize the potential of enterprise knowledge bases by traditional IT helpdesks. Due to the lack of advanced technology, the helpdesks would respond to inquiries with a few basic text pages and manuals. An IT helpdesk has not achieved its goals if an employee has to scour these materials to find the specific solutions.
- Complicated ticketing system
Whenever an employee needs help from the helpdesk, a support ticket must be submitted. Employees who are familiar with the platforms often create and handle tickets efficiently. However, those who are not familiar with them frequently experience problems.
It was often difficult to use the ticketing system for less tech-savvy employees, so the system was limited to only a few of the company's employees. The system's complexity led employees to seek assistance from reputable sources by phone and email.
- Complicated information for even basic issues
Even if your organization has a traditional employee portal, it is evident that your employees frequently contact the portal with their HR-related queries such as "What is the dress code?," "Help me to find the updated work policy," or " What is the maximum compensation I can claim for medical expenses?"
When using the portal, employees are required to read, understand, and abide by the rules outlined on the employee portal, which is a complex and error-free process. To avoid such delay, employees prefer to contact the helpdesk agent by phone or email if they feel the gateway is taking too long.
- Poor employee training and development opportunities
Employee training and development is all about organization's ongoing attempts to boost its employees' performance and skills. Organizations use various training methods and initiatives to train and develop their workforce.
Indeed, employees in the modern workplace prefer to avoid participating in conventional instructor-led training. It is boring to the employees and annoying. They prefer focused training and career development opportunities.
What is Helpdesk Automation? Why is it Important?
As I mentioned, millennial employees require seamless assistance and personalized employee support for their problems at the right time to quickly and effectively perform their tasks and processes quickly and effectively. Since traditional helpdesks failed to provide employees with organized support or facilitate efficient work, they will prefer using something other than it.
Traditional employee helpdesks offered subpar generic support to employees through the amalgamation of many platforms. This frequently led to employees being uncertain about whom to ask for support and waiting for responses to even the most basic questions. These inadequacies of the traditional helpdesks ultimately forced employees to make calls and emails for assistance. All of these problems can be solved by implementing the cutting-edge, AI-powered helpdesk platform.
With the power of advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), these helpdesks can comprehend the context of questions posed and offer solutions specific to each employee. By offering personalized employee support at the right time, these helpdesks ensure that a company puts its employee experience first. Its effectiveness rises when a modern AI-based helpdesk system is connected to an online collaboration platform like Microsoft Teams or Slack.
Businesses can automate repetitive HR processes and IT-related tasks like password changing, software installations, or laptop configurations, eliminate errors, improve employee experience, and reduce the overall cost of a helpdesk by using helpdesk automation. I believe that helpdesk automation increases employee productivity, service quality, consumer satisfaction, and, most importantly, ROI.
What Are the Benefits of IT Helpdesk Automation?
I hope that now you have a better understanding of the concept of helpdesk automation; let's check out some of the benefits of the IT helpdesk automation process.
- Quick and easy access to information
The employee can usually expect to receive assistance during a designated period when contacting human support agents. It takes more time for an agent to reach a particular employee, comprehend the issue, and offer them a worthwhile solution.
An automated helpdesk offers an intelligent chatbot that allows users to gain the right support whenever needed. This conversational chatbot leverage the organization's knowledge base, find precise answers to the user's question and offers them the right help in a matter of seconds.
- Automate repetitive tasks and processes
An AI-powered helpdesk enables you to streamline various repetitive tasks such as gaining access to see files, changing or resetting passwords, identity verification, and many more. A modern helpdesk automates time-consuming tasks like employee hiring, onboarding, speeding up employee training, conducting an employee engagement survey etc.
Helpdesk automation saves your employees the time and effort required to carry out such repetitive procedures for different employees, compared to traditional IT helpdesks, where dedicated employees are responsible for carrying out such repetitive processes for different employees.
- Minimizing support cost
A conversational chatbot that works within an AI-powered helpdesk will guide your teammate in learning new processes and becoming trained without you having to pay any support fees.
AI-powered helpdesks allow your employees to learn new skills and resolve issues independently. As a result, they become motivated, essential to maximizing their productivity.
- Human-like learning and adaptation
Conversational AI-powered chatbots of modern helpdesk function similarly to a human helpdesk agent, assisting your staff anytime they require assistance. As you interact with this bot, it will allow employees to learn and adapt. This helpdesk will assess the user's preferences and areas where they may want assistance after repeated interactions with the chatbots. It never asks the same fundamental screening questions repeatedly to make the conversation appear natural and evolved.
- Quick resolution of cases
A conversational chatbot can resolve employee queries by reducing the need to go through numerous stages before receiving assistance. AI-powered helpdesks preserve a record of all previous employee interactions, queries answered, tickets created, and information delivered. This data allows the system to identify the best solution for your employee based on current company data.
- Omnichannel approach
Your employees can get in touch with your employee support desk either through a PC, a laptop, or a mobile phone, depending on the nature of their employment and position within the company. Regardless of the platform, this AI-powered chatbot can be used on any digital device with access to your service desk. This allows employees who do not necessarily have a desk job to access real-time assistance from the AI-driven employee helpdesk.
Top Helpdesk Automation Strategy to look out for in 2023
Now that we've discussed the benefits of helpdesk automation, you might be wondering where to begin. Here, I have compiled a list of the top helpdesk automation strategies to explore in 2023 and beyond. Let’s check out them one by one.
- Implement AI-powered smart chatbot for L1 support
An automated helpdesk uses AI chatbots to communicate with your employees and provide them with the first level of support. When traditional helpdesks assigned support agents to provide L1 service, they were frequently burdened with cases, slowing down the support delivered.
Helpdesk automation allows users to connect with AI chatbots that work within MS Teams or Slack to fix basic concerns. These virtual assistants accompany your staff into the helpdesk and remain with them until their concerns are fixed. The chatbots search the company's knowledge base whenever a question is given and provide a personalized reply in seconds.
- Seamless support right within the collaborative tool
It is true that employees will have to transfer between platforms if you use a different platform to support them so that they can keep track of their support cases. This would result in your employees losing time and energy reconciling the two platforms.
When you integrate your helpdesk with collaborative tools like MS Teams or Slack, you can let your employees handle issues on the same platform where they work. All they have to do is go to the helpdesk and enter the appropriate commands to address their questions in a matter of seconds.
- Robust knowledge management system
When you link a helpdesk system with collaborative tools, you may leverage the enterprise knowledge base within your system. The enterprise knowledge base is a vast and helpful source of information for solving any problem your employees may encounter.
An automated helpdesk enables your employees to search your robust knowledge base for articles, policies, or relevant information from their Teams or Slack channels. This would allow the AI chatbot to use the knowledge base and return resources matching the search item.
- Make the ticketing system invisible
A modern helpdesk system allows you to automate the entire ticketing system, making it invisible to your staff. Employees who are dissatisfied with the AI chatbot's first-level support can request assistance from support agents for the second level of support. This AI-powered chatbot would then transfer their case to a dedicated agent to investigate the issue and deliver a satisfying resolution.
Throughout the process, the system would invisibly create the support ticket, track it, and close it when the support agent provided the resolution. All these things will occur within the collaborative channels, where your helpdesk is integrated. This allows employees with little to no technical skills to receive continuous support and have their concerns resolved by the agents.
- Automate repetitive tasks and workflow approvals
Every organization has to deal with routine tasks and workflows and if you use manual processes, your staff will be required to spend a substantial amount of time and effort on tasks and processes that can be automated.
A modern employee helpdesk will assist employees by automating time-consuming and laborious routine chores and processes such as recruiting, onboarding, leave application, and so on. Helpdesk automation also allows you to automate various complex and multi-step workflow processes, such as getting document access and verifying identities.
- Enable live interaction with the helpdesk agents
Although the automated and invisible approach to ticketing systems and employee support is highly effective, your team may experience challenges requiring live agent support. For example, if your employees are not happy with the support offered by the virtual assistant, they would ask for second-level support (L2) from a dedicated helpdesk agent.
Helpdesk automation makes this easy for you. A live chat with dedicated agents will help your employees resolve the issue more streamlined and personally.
- Employee training via microlearning
An AI-powered helpdesk platform provides more than just solutions to your employees' problems. Your employees may require specific skills to do their tasks or simply to broaden their skill set. Helpdesk automation allows your employees to access a plethora of training resources.
You just have to provide the system with appropriate sources to enable certain employees to access appropriate sources. This will assist them in receiving training without the assistance of others. When your teammates are self-sufficient, their productivity rises, and they are naturally more inclined to work.
Conclusion: Invest in IT Helpdesk Automation!
Even now, if you are not convinced about helpdesk automation, I have only one question: what is your justification for not automating employee support and service in a society that relies heavily on personalization? Helpdesk automation enables organizations to offload the burden of routine tasks and processes from the shoulders of their staff. Instead, employees can devote their work hours to high-priority creative initiatives that boost employee experience, client happiness and, ultimately elevate your business ROI.