My team at ServiceNext was deploying an E-commerce bot for one of our customers. And after the successful deployment, I initiated a call with CMO David, to see if the bot that we had designed matched his expectations.
After receiving accolades, David asked me if I could help his enterprise; in automating the Service Desk Operations. And since my team had the extensive domain experience, I took up the request and started understanding about what the key challenges were, which included:
1.Enormous number of requests that inbound the Service Desk.
2.Huge investments in technology and personnel; for better adherence of SLAs.
3.High AHT for tier – 1 & 2 requests.
4.A low first call resolution rate of 50%.
I took cognizance of these metrics and analysed that the enterprise’s Service Desk needed a massive restructuring or rather a Conversational AI solution to induce efficiency into their system.
The Solution articulated – SnX IT Service Desk Smartbot
So, here’s what the Conversational AI solution entailed.
1.Creation of a Service Desk chat bot (and this included the workflow, conversational design, AI algorithm design, NLP engine etc.,)
2.Integration of the designed bot with the ITSM & ticket tracking tools, which in this case was ServiceNow and JIRA.
3.Design of a custom dashboard that showed metrics of bot training, agent deflection, MTTR etc.
And after the team designed and pushed the bot solution into production in 6 weeks the enterprise realized the following benefits.
- A spot-on 60% reduction of costs, which included handling costs, personnel costs etc.,
- 50% reduction in ticket backlog, leading to a better adherence of SLAs
- 30% increase in efficiency of the Service Desk
Now, I had to explain this rhetoric to actually shed some light on the challenges that a helpdesk faces and how Service Desk bots can reduce them.
Challenges that abound IT Helpdesk and how bots can address them!
At a detailed level, an IT helpdesk faces the following main challenges.
1.Massive amount of tickets that inbound the service desk
2.Adhering to the acceptable levels of service
3.24/7 Service availability
Here’s how Chat bots can address these challenges.
#1. Massive amount of tickets that inbound the service desk
For a service desk it is always understood that it always has a huge number of requests inbound. And more often than not, there is always a ticket back log. Now with a bot deployed in the ecosystem, agent deflection becomes the most important benefit that creeps. This deflection significantly lowers the ticket count that inbound the Service Desk. If you are wondering how, then here’s why.
A bulk of requests, ideally 30-40% that inbound are mostly for level-1 requests, such as password resets, mailbox accesses, asset requests, provisioning & deprovisioning etc. Here in this situation, the bot can step in and provide several self-service options to the user. Thereby enabling him/her to raise requests and get them addressed without having to rely on the agents of the service desk.
Ticket Categorization & Assignment is another feature that the bot is empowered with. To the uninitiated – bots can handle L2 and L3 requests to an extent, and assign them to the respective agents; which is a part of the escalation or intervention cycle of the Service Desk. This feature also induces streamlining since, the bot handles a bulk of L1 requests allowing agents to focus on handling business critical requests.
#2. Adhering to the acceptable levels of service
Now, it is always understood that the Service Desk of an enterprise, be it outsourced or not, is always tangled in a massive number of requests. Addressing them sometimes takes up a lot of time, thereby creating a back log of requests.
Considering industry standards, a ticket backlog is always undesirable since it adds up to the costs associated with an SLA breach. Again, to prevent this breach, a bot can be handy – by addressing requests within the stipulated SLA, thereby avoiding breaches and inducing acceptable levels of service for the Service Desk.
L2 or L3 requests which require human intervention will also be addressed within the stipulated SLAs since agents are no longer focussing on addressing L1 requests.
AHT or Average Handle Time, another important metric is also reduced since the bot handles a bulk of the requests that come into the Service Desk.
First call resolution also increases; allowing service desk to boost their resolution rate beyond the industry standard of 74% `
#3. 24/7*365 Service Availability
Another challenge is the universal 24/7 availability, which is not humanly possible primarily because
- The massive spends in running a 24/7 service desk
- The consistencies in agent absenteeism
- Challenges in running a service desk 365 days a year
And this is where a bot can be really handy.
I mean, let’s do the math – i.e. to run a 40-member 24/7 service desk support it usually costs about $120k a month. For a year, it will cost the business about $1.4M (and this is an idealistic situation, where I have not taken into account the holidays, employee gratuities etc.) which is a massive spend.
Bots here can reduce this cost drastically by 40% at the minimum the instant it is deployed. Also considering ServiceNext’s unique pricing model, the enterprise will only have to spend about $200K/year to handle all their service desk requests.
And since bots do not take a leave or go on vacations, they will be available 365 days to handle queries
The Future of IT Support – What’s Next?
Chatbots are definitely the evolution of Service Desk Operations in all aspects, and also, they are a mere application of a larger concept at hand - Artificial Intelligence
The future of IT support in near times, is and will be AIOps where AI will detect anomalies in networks, applications and more; and proactively alert the necessary teams to run remediation steps that abate downtimes.
This will massively reduce downtimes, costs and keep the mission critical systems in optimal health.
ServiceNext too has built Service Desk Smart bots and AIOps solutions for enterprises and has successfully ensured that service desks & enterprises will no longer have to worry about process efficiencies, enormous costs and application/network anomalies.
To know more about our AI solutions – write to us at email@example.com or you can simply fill out the form and we will get in touch with you shortly.