Although some businesses blend desktop support and help desk functions together, in many companies there is no overlap between them. This can lead to chronic problems. Intelligent chatbots, also called virtual agents, address these issues by bridging the gap between the two teams.
A key role of a help desk is to triage tickets and assign them to either a desktop support technician for onsite assistance or to a help desk agent for remote assistance. It’s important, that the information needed to make a ticket actionable is captured. In many instances, key information is missing from ticket—employees at a company range from highly technical to completely non-technical—requiring someone on the help desk to call or email the end user for the relevant detail.
A virtual agent, however, collects all the information needed to ensure a ticket is “fully formed” and routes it to the appropriate person—if the virtual agent, following pre-determined decision criteria, determines that an issue can be resolved remotely, it will assign the ticket to the help desk. (An ability to correctly assigning a ticket to a help desk, instead of incorrectly assigning it to desktop support, is especially important since the loaded labor rate of desktop support technicians is about five times higher than that of help desk agents.)
Alternatively, if the virtual agent assigns the ticket to desktop support, the fact that the ticket is full formed will increase the probability of the technician having all the equipment needed to complete the task when she/he arrives onsite.
A virtual agent can also deflect tickets altogether by providing an end user with information, such as a knowledge article, that addresses their issue. Virtual agents have been shown to increase adoption of self-service approaches by 50-60% typically, and up to 85% in some scenarios.
An important role of a help desk is to track tickets until they are resolved and closed satisfactorily. This can be challenging when, for example, an employee, seeing a desktop technician onsite, asks for assistance without submitting a ticket.
A virtual agent, with its intuitive, conversational interface, mitigates this concern by enabling an end user to open, complete and submit a ticket quickly. A virtual agent also makes it easy for a user to check on the status of a ticket.
A virtual agent can relieve agents from the burden of following up with end users for approval to close tickets. One of our customers, which required its support team to try up to nine times to obtain approvals, saw a 30% reduction in cost after deploying a virtual agent and assigning it to do the requisite follow ups automatically.
A virtual agent can provide better support experiences in other ways too.
An employee may need to wait for a couple of hours for desktop support technician to arrive at their location, even at the best of times. Even a help desk may be slow to respond, if there are insufficient agents on the clock.
A virtual agent, however, responds differently and more quickly. This is important. According to a recent survey, more than 37% of respondents said they would prefer to get immediate assistance from a chatbot over waiting just three minutes for a human. A powerful statement.
There has never been a better time to explore the way that a virtual agent can bridge the gaps in your IT organization. Increased efficiency and end user satisfaction are real. Thanks for reading. Let me know what you think by leaving a comment below.