The Pandemic has Driven the Need for Enhanced IT Help Desk Performance and Efficiency
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many companies to rapidly undergo digital transformation. The sudden shift to remote work necessitated the adoption of new technologies, resulting in employees who were undertrained and physically isolated seeking support from IT help desks to ensure connectivity and productivity.
As a consequence, the volume of help desk tickets surged by 35%, leading to ticket backlogs, longer resolution times, and increased support costs. Unfortunately, this surge in demand coincided with a decline in employee satisfaction with help desk support during the pandemic, dropping from 83.3% to 74.7%.
However, the importance of IT help desks cannot be overstated, as they played a critical role in enabling companies and their employees to swiftly transition to remote work and maintain business continuity. Even now, with the adoption of hybrid work models becoming more prevalent, employees returning to the workplace on a part-time basis require assistance in navigating technology seamlessly between the office and home to effectively perform their tasks regardless of their location.
Given the growing reliance on technology to drive workforce productivity, companies need highly efficient help desks to promptly address any technology-related issues employees may encounter. Long wait times for assistance, unresolved issues, or repeated calls for the same problem are simply not acceptable.
To optimize the employee experience and expedite issue resolution for enhanced productivity and satisfaction, IT help desks should turn to conversational artificial intelligence (AI) solutions.
Gaining Insight and Enhancing IT Help Desk Conversations
Conversational AI encompasses a range of advanced AI technologies that have the ability to comprehend and interpret human language. By leveraging this understanding, conversational AI optimizes and analyzes conversations across various channels. These technologies enable machines to comprehend ongoing human conversations in real-time or analyze recorded conversations afterwards.
By harnessing the power of conversational AI capabilities, IT help desks can automate and optimize the entire support experience, covering self-service options, staff-assisted service, and post-interaction analytics. Together, conversational AI and automation capabilities work hand in hand to foster a positive and productive IT help desk experience for both employees and the IT help desk staff. The benefits include:
Streamline common and repetitive inquiries by implementing personalized self-service options through an Intelligent Virtual Assistant (IVA). This IVA, powered by conversational AI, handles interactions across voice and web channels, relieving the workload on the IT help desk while expediting issue resolution. For employees seeking further assistance, the IVA seamlessly transfers the context to the IT help desk, ensuring a smooth and frictionless interaction. Additionally, you can automate the handling of IT service tickets, including tasks like password resets and unlocking requests.
Conversational AI comprehends the true intentions of employees, enabling the IT help desk to resolve issues more efficiently. By understanding and analyzing the context and intent of the employee, conversational AI provides real-time assistance and guidance to the IT help desk staff during calls, leading to improved outcomes and empowering staff to handle a broader range of requests.
Automated Service Tickets
Leveraging a conversational AI platform that listens and transcribes conversations in real time, service tickets can be automatically created, updated, and completed. This automation not only saves time for the IT help desk staff but also enhances accuracy. Regardless of the communication channel used (email, chat, or phone), the AI platform captures information and updates a centralized service ticket.
Optimize post-interaction processes and reduce manual tasks for IT help desk staff by automating the after-call workflow. A conversational AI platform with automated commitment and follow-up management identifies and performs tasks related to service ticket completion and other requirements. This streamlines follow-through, enabling the IT help desk staff to focus on critical tasks.
Insights from Post-Interaction Analytics
Automate post-call analytics for all IT help desk interactions to gain deep insights into performance, effectiveness, key drivers and trends, outliers, employee sentiment, and areas of friction in the employee experience. Conversational AI and interaction analytics can be utilized to monitor and evaluate quality, providing feedback to staff and supervisors to drive performance improvements. This comprehensive analysis enables help desks to make data-driven decisions and continuously enhance their service delivery.
Enhancing Cost Efficiency and Performance Visibility
To demonstrate the benefits of implementing AI-powered interaction analytics, let’s consider a prominent BPO company offering IT help desk services to 42 clients, employing over 2,000 staff members, and handling a substantial volume of 57,000 calls daily. Initially, the company faced challenges in monitoring and analyzing the quality of their calls, with less than 1% of calls being assessed. This limitation resulted in high costs for manual quality auditing, as each audit required different criteria for various clients.
Furthermore, the BPO lacked comprehensive insights into performance, hindering their ability to provide effective coaching, feedback, and training. The absence of actionable information on call drivers, types of problems, staff expertise, user impact, and other critical aspects of help desk interactions made it exceedingly challenging to improve key metrics like first-call resolution and employee satisfaction.
However, by leveraging AI-powered interaction analytics, the BPO successfully automated call monitoring, quality auditing, case categorization, and management, as well as performance evaluation. The introduction of automation significantly reduced the effort and costs associated with quality assurance, while simultaneously delivering enhanced visibility into performance.
This newfound visibility enabled the implementation of centralized and standardized performance scoring, facilitating more accurate assessments. Additionally, the BPO gained valuable insights that drove effective coaching, feedback, and training initiatives aimed at improving help desk metrics and meeting service level agreements (SLAs).
In the current landscape of remote and hybrid work models, the importance of enhancing IT help desk performance and transforming the overall experience for employees and IT help desk staff cannot be overstated.
By leveraging conversational AI, companies can establish a solid foundation for optimizing every conversation that takes place within the IT help desk. This optimization leads to accelerated issue resolution, improved effectiveness, increased job satisfaction for both employees and IT help desk staff, enhanced performance, and sustained business productivity even during transitions in the business model.
In summary, embracing conversational AI empowers organizations to adapt and thrive in the face of evolving work dynamics, ultimately creating a more efficient and satisfying IT help desk environment for all stakeholders involved.