February 15, 2020 - 762 views|
By applying chatbots to the IT service desk, businesses can learn how to overcome the challenges and reap the advantages of this AI-driven technology.
In the coming year, millennials and the Gen Z generation will account for almost 60% of the global workforce. And if there’s one thing we know about this cohort, it’s that they like to communicate via technology, whether through text, collaboration portals, videoconferencing or some other digital channel. So why are we seeing so few chatbots being used on the IT service desk? While it’s true there are challenges to overcome, the ultimate benefits outweigh the effort involved. In a recent study, users reported an overall positive experience with using a chatbot, especially when it meant avoiding queuing up for human help.
Some answers emerged in our recent work with an energy and utility company that sought to improve the end-user experience and agent productivity by empowering teams with AI and automation tools. The company wanted to implement an AI chatbot solution for Level 0/Level 1 IT support to address service requests, FAQs and status checks on trouble tickets.
A chatbot-first approach to IT service
We worked with the utility to implement a chatbot solution using our WorkNEXT platform. The chatbot serves as the first point of contact for users. Trained to understand language specific to the enterprise and armed with an existing knowledge base, the bot helps tackle frequently asked questions. Once it was integrated with the enterprise IT service management (ITSM) tool and a robotic process automation (RPA) system, the bot was able to address user queries on service requests, ticket creation, ticket update and ticket closure. When the bot can’t fully remedy the issue, it transfers the call to a human agent.
Over time, the bot has helped the business accelerate problem resolution time and meet its key performance indicators, including an average speed to answer of less than 10 seconds, a 60% increase in end-user satisfaction, a 36% deflection of emails to the chatbot in the first 60 days, and a 40% chatbot resolution rate. By making the AI chatbot the first point of contact for users, we ultimately expect it to scale up from handling 10% of the utility’s ticket volume to 70%, thereby improving the operational efficiency of the enterprise.
To enable these benefits, the business needed to overcome some key challenges that are common to any company seeking a service desk chatbot deployment. These included:
The mainstreaming of chatbots
In the consumer world, the use of chatbots for service interactions is growing every day. As these encounters continue, chatbots will also find their way into the workplace. According to Gartner, by 2022, 70% of white-collar workers will interact with a conversational platform on a daily basis.
By overlaying the IT service desk with chatbot capabilities, businesses can reap the advantages of efficiency and a modernized experience while gaining experience with this advanced technology.
Siddarth Oruganti and Vijayta Dhingra from the AI-powered Service Desk practice in Cognizant's Digital Workplace Services contributed to this blog.
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