Artificial Intelligence is one technology that has disrupted the life and living of people across the globe. From the ride-sharing apps that you use to the voice assistants that take your command, AI is all around you. What's fascinating is that the technology isn't limited to the services offered to the customers but extends to everyday business operations.
CIOs are actively investing in AI solutions to enhance and upgrade their infrastructure. Evidently, the technology finds its usage in a number of operations including workforce automation, task allocation, and interacting with customers. A few have this misconception that artificial intelligence would replace the manual workforce, leading to job cuts. However, that's not true. The only purpose behind integrating AI tools and processes in the workforce is to streamline tasks and shift focus from repetitive tasks to productive ones. That is, freeing employees so that they can work on other challenging tasks.
If we talk about numbers, the implementation of AI solutions has grown from 10% to 37% in a span of four years. Besides, the number has tripled in just one year. Such figures act as motivating factors, convincing leaders to strategize and integrate AI solutions within their line of business operations. And hence, the integration of AI Chatbots in human-centric IT Service Management solutions (ITSM).
While the sector is continuously thriving, it experiences certain limitations, leaving behind the scope of improvement. Acknowledging that artificial intelligence solutions process operations fast and effectively, the adoption of AI solutions in ITSM seems to be highly promising.
But what is ITSM and does your organization practice ITSM?
Don't worry, we will answer all of your doubts. Beginning with what ITSM is, we will sketch out a clear path indicating the role played by AI in ITSM.
A domain that aims at streamlining IT operations, prioritizing transparency, and implementing modern-day functions, ITSM focuses on improving the end-to-end customer experience. A survey conducted by 491 suggests that 90% of the organizations have ITSM implemented in one form or the other.
Probably because it gives them an edge, allowing them to standardize processes and manage their IT services wisely. But if that is the case, why do we need advanced solutions? Why do we need to augment AI tools and processes in IT Services Management?
Challenges of Traditional ITSM
Challenge One: Repetitive tasks
One of the biggest challenges faced by ITSM professionals is answering the same issue time and again. Fact that the majority of ITSM operations are repetitive by nature, the professionals work on the same tasks time and again. For example, password resets are one of the commonly raised tickets, accounting for 25 to 40 percent of IT calls. This limits their potential, restricting productivity and growth.
Challenge Two: Delayed Responses
The second challenge faced by the ITSM sector is delayed responses and greater wait times. Even though 70-80% of the service requests account for the top 20% of the common IT issues, the department fails to solve customer queries in a timely fashion (siloed infrastructure).
Challenge Three: Absence of a dedicated system
Longer wait times are often because of the endless calls that the IT executives need to answer. Without a proper process in place, they spend more time sifting through calls than addressing the problem and finding a solution. Besides, the entire infrastructure seems deranged, lacking a dedicated workflow.
Challenge four: Keeping track of user assets
Most of the time, problems are related to a product or equipment. IT executives need to gather information about the equipment and then guide users to fix the same. Inability to track these is a major drawback since the recurrence of a similar issue would mandate the executive to repeat the same process for troubleshooting. Had there been a way to track the process and analyze it to automatically guide customers, the response time could be reduced dramatically.
Challenge Five: Lengthy training periods for new employees
Where finding the best talent seems a daunting task, training them is another challenge faced by most organizations. For one, it is manual and secondly, it is repetitive. Managers spend a lot of time training candidates than addressing customer issues, and/or resolving them.
Why AI for ITSM?
With these challenges in mind, it's time that IT leaders reconfigured their service management strategies. Enterprise leaders need to build a road map that is based on best practices of ITSM and is also flexible to modify itself as per the changing industry trends/customer expectations. In other words, now is the time to create something like a self-healing ITSM framework.
Adobe, being one of the early creators, has integrated AI within their line of ITSM operations in an attempt to develop a "self-healing framework". The idea of the framework extends beyond the elimination of manual tasks. It addresses operational gaps / technical errors, working to resolve the same at the earliest. For instances where the framework fails to fix the error, an alert message is raised and the IT workers are notified, ensuring effective resolution of the issue.
It is evident that ITSM will only improve in the coming times with more and more automation introduced in the process. In a nutshell, employing artificial intelligence processes will streamline the entire IT service management sector.
Advantages of AI in ITSM
Reduce the number of ticket raises
With a dedicated AI solution, the majority of the issues would be resolved (troubleshooting/self-service portals) without the intervention of a customer representative. This reduces the number of customer-facing requests, thereby enhancing the productivity of the IT service desk.
Boost employee productivity
Considering that most of the mundane tasks are now automated, ITSM professionals now have the ease to focus on productive tasks. For instance, the adoption of AI automation tools in ITSM has the potential to shift the first-level ticket issues to self-help. That is to say, the lower level tickets are removed, allowing employees to focus on demanding issues or high-level customer concerns.
Enhance the response time
Shifting the ticket-resolution process one level up with AI chatbots addressing the basic issues, the overall response time and/or the ticket resolution time is dramatically improved. Besides, AI tools can track down past issues which contribute to quick identification of issues and quicker resolution of the same. All in all, the integration of AI tools allows ITSM professionals to handle/resolve tickets 24/7 and at a lightning speed.
Robust Analytics and Reporting
ITSM automation holds the potential to analyze service requests, generating reports that help improve the overall operational efficiency of the ITSM department. The feature isn’t limited to the service desk but extends to capturing historical data, and then storing it for pattern analysis, and issue detection.
Easy Deflection in case of complex queries
Similar to the solution adopted by Adobe Systems, AI tools are designed to render services, no matter what the problem is. Meaning that if the bot is incapable of fixing the customer issue, the complaint is forwarded to the appropriate agent. The automated bot makes sure that the details are gathered, segmented, and then routed to the right technician.
One of the most prominent use cases of AU Chatbots in ITSM is the efficient management of incidents. With time, the number of tickets is only increasing. With a fixed number of agents, handling requests becomes a daunting task. This is where AI Chatbots come to play.
As a knowledgeable automation engine, Chatbots can answer routine requests without human intervention. In other words, Chatbots act as virtual agents connecting and communicating with customers guiding them towards the solution. From suggesting self-help articles to assisting them through the troubleshooting process, AI Chatbots render personalized assistance to customers, enhancing engagement and experience.
Introducing Chatbots in ITSM
Having said the above, we narrow down our discussion to one of the most promising innovations, AI Chatbots. Inducing automation, AI Chatbots intend to replace the mundane and repetitive ITSM operations. These bots extend NLP in order to understand the common language and be able to interact with customers effectively.
Given the potential of the technology, it is expected that the integration of AI Chatbots in everyday ITSM operations will help cope with the issues, ensuring enhanced customer experience.
Reinforcing ITSM Operations with AI Chatbots
From interacting with customers in real-time to being active on the portal 24/7, Chatbots can do all. Experts are of the view that the integration of Chatbots in ITSM would create a cohesive experience benefiting both the company and the customers.
While this seems to be a broad notion, here are a few use cases that vouch for the efficacy of the solution.
Use Cases of Chatbots in ITSM
An important thing to note that is Chatbots do not entirely replace human services and are limited to helping Tier I queries. In situations when the bots are incapable of providing a solution, the same is forwarded to the agent.
Here again, Chatbots intends to streamline the process by categorizing the ticket and assigning it to the appropriate agent. The analysis and reporting capabilities of the Chatbots help segment the tickets. This in a way ensures that the ticket is assigned to the right agent, one who is capable of providing a solution.
ITSM systems backed with AI technology will have access to an extensive suite of knowledge that helps better the service management and customer experience. This feature is considered to offer tremendous benefits as it promotes self resolution of errors, expediting the entire process of resolving issues.
Chatbots failing to provide a solution right away suggest articles, to-dos, and a couple of online resources, assisting customers and helping them resolve the issue at the earliest.
A common ticket raised by the majority of the customers is resetting the password. Conventionally, service desk representatives spend a considerable amount of time, solving the password reset issue. With AI Chatbots in ITSM operations, the process can be automated.
Upon receiving a password reset request, the bot will send a temporary password to the customer, enabling him/her to log in to their account. The customers are expected to change the password, in a way resetting it. The entire process is automated, removing manual intervention, and facilitating the faster resolution of the query.
In addition to the above, Chatbots also help automate the workflow, eliminating human errors, improving performance, reducing time, and optimizing operational cost.
Haptik has built the Coronavirus Helpdesk, a WhatsApp chatbot to
raise awareness and answer queries about the coronavirus.
To Sum Up
Business Insider report suggests that 80% of the businesses readily adopted Chatbots for their business. Meaning that they are aware of the technology and are doing all to align their business operations with the same. As far as ITSM is concerned, leveraging AI helps organizations deliver exceptional customer service while prioritizing their employee's productivity.
For organizations that are yet to adopt the technology, it's high time you stopped planning and started acting. Competition is fierce and the longer you procrastinate, the quicker you will lose the game.
Haptik Conversion Studio
Process automation is a game-changer and Haptik Conversion Studio endorses it for all its clients. With the millennial crowd switching to automated solutions, we help business organizations attune their offerings and stand modernized. Deploy a self-service portal with us, and jump on the wheel of automation to improve customer experience. We have helped organizations reduce their IT cost, introducing virtual assistants.
Empower your organization with an automated self-help portal to smartly address issues and fix them at the earliest.