Human interactions have decreased as businesses become increasingly computerized. And, although automation increases IT service desk efficiencies and improves costs, the heavy focus on traditional automation methods has caused the experiences of end users to suffer. Business is inherently human and employees want their engagements with the service desk to be conversational.
This is a unique opportunity for virtual agents to bridge the gap between IT automation and end user interactions. Simply implementing a chatbot in the customer support portal is not the answer. It’s not about applying a tool; it is about how the solution is integrated to amplify the customer’s experience.
Thoughtful application of an intelligence-driven, empathetic, conversational interface to the customer service experience, in order to augment human analysts, benefits both the business and customer relationship. End users receive 24×7 support that is personalized to their needs with no wait time – this has a direct, positive impact on customer satisfaction and loyalty. Virtual agents can handle multiple customer requests at the same time, triage requests, and take on mundane, repetitive tasks, leaving the business to benefit from cost reductions and improved employee morale. Most importantly, the virtual agent must be smart enough to seamlessly involve a human agent when they’ve reached their capacity.
What to Look for in a Virtual Agent
The good news about the progression of automation technology is that IT leaders and staff no longer have to do everything themselves. Finding the right tools that will automate mundane, repeatable tasks is now a critical part of IT leader’s role. The initial steps are to identify the problems that occur most frequently, define the tasks to solve those problems and pinpoint where automation is possible. There are numerous tools available but finding the right solution for your organization requires some leg work. Gaining visibility into the purchase and implementation process is one of the first considerations. When evaluating automation tools, including virtual agent technology, think about the goals you hope to realize, such as immediate, tailored response and resolution.
The following features and functionality can help you achieve these goals:
- Integrates with existing ITSM software
- Communicates over popular messaging apps
- Aligns with ITIL methodology
- Creates actionable requests/tickets
- Utilizes and enhances knowledge base intelligence
- Recognizes and speaks multiple languages
- Demonstrates empathy
- Learns and refines.
Businesses have gone through an evolution in the way they engage with customers – telephone, email, self-service portals, online chat, and now AI-driven virtual assistants. The goal is to balance how humans and machines work together. In some cases, this may mean the elimination or reassignment of a career that is focused solely on repetitive tasks. But, humans still prefer to talk with another human when a problem or question goes beyond the simple “reset my password, please.” Fortunately, there are an endless number of these simple, repetitive tasks that can be automated using AI technology. This leaves IT service desks free to focus on more strategic, business-aligned objectives.
The transition to virtual agents is inevitable. Embrace the opportunity to provide improved customer service, meet user expectations, improve productivity, and heighten employee morale.