Using chatbots for helpdesk and IT support

In the last few years, companies have started to outsource helpdesk operations to increase cost efficiency. But the impact of outsourcing is much broader than its financial aspect. There are some legitimate drawbacks of this, the primary being loss of control over the assets and training. Disruptions in AI have now paved a way to bypass some of the necessities to outsource helpdesk.

Chatbots are changing how we see and do business. Chatbots are redefining sales, support and marketing verticals, and internal tech support is set to follow this trend.

What is helpdesk?

A help desk is a team or department inside an organization that is responsible for answering the questions of its users. The questions and their answers are usually transferred using email, telephone, website, or online chat.

Difference between helpdesk and customer support:

Helpdesk seems like a straight forward term but it is one of the more confusing terms in customer-focused industries. It is often associated and mixed with terms like IT response, computer support, information center, IT solutions center, customer support, technical support, resource center, etc.

Helpdesks tend to lean towards technical support than the generic customer support. Helpdesks focus on resolving issues while customer support also helps in resolving problems, its purpose is to aid sales and build relations with the users.

One major difference between helpdesk and customer support is that helpdesks can be internal or external to the organization. That is, it can be employee facing or client/consumer facing. The nuances of the term matter because while customer satisfaction is automatically prioritized, internal productivity and enterprise efficiency can be overlooked. But that can affect a company’s delivery and quality of service.

Do helpdesk bots work?

In order to continue driving efficiency across the enterprise, internal workforce productivity must also rise. This is where chatbots step in. With recent advancements in computing, natural language understanding and deep learning, acquiring and utilizing AI solutions is easier than ever. Businesses can now leverage the power of NLU and cognitive automation in the form of AI bots.

Businesses that are open to support or sales bots can also be slightly skeptic to integrate a helpdesk chatbot into their workflow. Most people think that chatbots are useful in handling low-level repetitive tasks. While that is true, the capabilities of a bot do not end there. Chatbots can carry out tasks that require specific and in-depth knowledge just as well.

That is a common misconception because most of the bots that we come across as generalist bots. There is another type of chatbot termed specialist bot that steps in. A specialist bot is designed to carry out specific but narrow range of functions by giving it relevant domain knowledge.

What does a helpdesk bot offer?

Chatbots offer several benefits for your business in general, as they offset the load on humans and compliment their efforts leading to efficient resource management. Helpdesk bots, in particular, have the following advantages:

24×7 availability

While all chatbots are made available 24×7, this is a noteworthy benefit in case of helpdesk. While you may get away without offering live support for your buyers, the same cannot be said for a helpdesk. Devices and machines can crash any time of the day and staffing a helpdesk 24×7 is neither feasible or cost effective. A helpdesk bot on the other hand can take this responsiblity.

Resource efficiency:

A helpdesk bot can conveniently manage basic day-to-day support tasks. According to research by Gartner, 20% to 50% of a helpdesk’s call volume is for password reset. Tasks such as password reset, account creation, basic troubleshooting and FAQs can be easily managed by a chatbot clearing the staff to focus on more complex issues. The helpdesk staff can tend to high priority tickets and resolve them faster, use their expertise and add personalization where it matters.

Knowledge management:

You can have a team of experts leading your helpdesk department, but they cannot address all the problems all the time, nor can they effectively leverage their expertise to help the users. Most of such knowledge can be structured and made available to the users which speeds up the resolution time and at the same time, increases the understanding of the user.

Proactive resolution:

One of the challenges faced by the helpdesk team is to differentiate occurrances from bugs when faced with a cluster of similar problems. AI can identify patterns that humans cannot process fast enough which can enable the helpdesk to resolve problems proactively. The bot can also monitor the devices, track outages, send out reports or alerts automatically to the affected parties.

Asset management:

Asset management is a tedious part of any helpdesk team. It requires maintaining records, updating softwares, running security checks and test the device condition and functioning. The employees often modify or cancel the scheduled processes as it interferes with their daily tasks and deadlines. With a chatbot involved in asset management, most of the tasks such as testing and tracking can be automated and the processes can run in the background unless human intervention is necessary.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *