When today’s employees encounter technology problems or have questions about work processes, they expect instant help. Not just fast — instantly. No matter how complex their issues may be, people expect them to be resolved quickly, with little or no effort on their part.

These expectations are driven by the explosion of always-on cloud-based applications, which employees have used for years in their personal lives and are now using for work. But making apps available 24/7 doesn’t guarantee that they’ll function glitch-free or work in a way that all users understand.

Explaining technology and fixing problems is traditionally the responsibility of the IT service desk, but technicians are struggling to keep up with unprecedented demand. The new hybrid work model means workers across time zones will continue to need help with home-based technology and business processes. Therefore, people must be able to communicate with service staff, and the service staff needs to quickly categorize requests by their severity or urgency.

Using AI to stay ahead of service requests

But service teams are only human. Though they do their best to react quickly, it’s often impossible for them to process and resolve requests as fast as employees expect them to.

When a problem occurs, service staff may get dozens of emails at a time, and each one is logged as a separate ticket. Team members may not be aware that others are working on the same issue, resulting in wasted time and duplicated efforts.

Using AI changes the picture dramatically. Algorithms can analyze incoming requests in a flash, and like staff in a hospital emergency room, “triage” them according to urgency and type, immediately routing them to the right specialist.

If similar requests arrive around the same time, an automated solution can group them together into a single ticket, avoiding duplication and saving agents from having to coordinate their efforts. Anyone working on an issue sees the full chain of actions taken.

Chatbots save time

In addition to solving employees’ technology problems faster, AI can guide them through specific departmental workflow processes. Instead of wading through multiple databases to search for the information they need or waiting for a manager to respond, workers can simply query an AI chatbot or virtual agent. These tools use natural language processing to understand questions presented in everyday speech, instantly directing workers to company knowledge base articles that provide answers and examples of what to do. Intelligent chatbots can also answer questions about company policies, even those involving complex matters such as healthcare or retirement benefits.

Informed chatbots save both employees and manager’s time

According to the Freshservice IT Service Management Benchmark Report 2023, organizations using AI-powered virtual agent(s) experienced a ticket deflection of up to ~46%, bringing down the volume of commonly recurring issues and allowing agents to focus on critical business operations.

However, chatbots can’t do everything—at least, not yet. You can automate or deflect common requests, but sometimes AI is going to hit a wall. In those cases, it will quickly and seamlessly hand off questions to a human. Over time, as they gain more knowledge from helping workers, chatbots’ capabilities are likely to expand.

Employees can be overwhelmed with the learning curve they face. Evolving concepts like AI and workflow automation save time and help them do their jobs better.

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