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ITSM Processes

AI: your trusty service desk sidekick

By Arvind Ganga on October, 3 2019

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Arvind Ganga

AI lead

What do Chewbacca, Luigi and Dr. Watson each have in common? They’re all trusty sidekicks who ensure that Han Solo, Mario and Sherlock, respectively, excel in their work. AI does exactly the same for service desk employees. Discover 3 ways in which AI can make your service desk employees more effective.

Do your service desk employees strive to do their utmost, but occasionally things don’t work out as expected? Such as an incorrect incident registration or prioritization? Artificial Intelligence (AI) is there to help. With AI as their sidekick, your employees will make fewer mistakes and have more time for customers.

1. Reduce incident and service request registration with AI

Incident and service request registration is all in a day’s work for the service desk. Service desk employees don’t only register the incident or request; they also capture lots of other data including the category and priority. Correctly assessing this information can prove difficult, error-prone and time-consuming. Your service desk employees would certainly thank you if you could relieve them of this administrative burden. Still, consistent registration and categorization are an essential part of your services:

  • Correctly registered incidents are easier to assign to colleagues with the right skill set.
  • Registering the right information means you can determine the right priorities.
  • Service desk managers can run reports on service status.

So, how can AI make life easier for your service desk employees? AI simplifies the registration process. It can harness Machine Learning (ML) to identify the properties of incidents and service requests within a specific category for example. AI provides service desk employees with a category suggestion for each new incident and service request. It makes these suggestions based on information contained in the knowledge base. AI similarly provides service desk employees with suggestions for other fields in the incident and service request forms, making them easier to complete.

What’s the benefit of AI assistance? Service desk employees make fewer mistakes and have more time to focus on their customers. And, as new employees need no longer commit incident and service request categories to memory, they can get up to speed far more quickly.

➝ Curious about the future of ITSM? Read about the trends for 2020 here.

Is incident and service request registration set to become a thing of the past?

AI makes incident and service request registration much easier for service desk employees. The question is whether registration remains necessary at all. If you regard registration as a means of routing for example, then you can achieve the same results using AI, without the intermediate step of registration. Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Machine Learning (ML) enable AI to recognize which incidents and service requests are similar, and which service desk colleagues can resolve them based on information available in the knowledge base. Time will tell whether this development will ultimately make registration completely redundant.

AI service desk sidekick

2. Improve prioritization with AI

How does your service desk prioritize incidents and requests? There’s a good chance it’s based on categories, a predefined priority matrix and SLAs. While these are currently the most useful tools for serving customers effectively, the practice is much more nuanced. And AI will actively assist with this type of work in the future.

AI – your service desk sidekick

NLP and ML enable AI to gain insight into the underlying problem of each incoming incident and service request. This helps to improve priority assessment:

  • AI recognizes which incidents and service requests have proved problematic in the past (e.g. because they were bounced from one service desk colleague to another, or because they exceeded their resolution time for example). This alerts service agents, allowing them to give this type of incident or request additional attention.
  • AI recognizes emotions. If typically easy-going customers suddenly appear stressed, or become increasingly irritated upon each communication about the same incident or request, then AI will prompt the service desk employee to contact them to request additional information or manage their expectations.

Imagine an office projector is broken and the normal resolution time is 2 days. The customer, however, is due to conduct a presentation for a major client and requires the projector within a few hours. Thanks to NLP and ML, AI can understand the context and urgency of the incident, and will indicate that it must be assigned the highest priority.

Ultimately, AI will be capable of harnessing numerous factors, such as text comprehension and past experience, to assist in assessing customer satisfaction upon incident or service request resolution.

3. Simplify task assignment using AI

For service desk managers, service desk employees who take the initiative to optimally organize their workload are worth their weight in gold. When that occasionally proves a challenge, AI is there to help.

AI assesses how long a specific incident or request will take to resolve based on previous incidents and requests. It can then assign tasks based on your service agents’ schedules. If one of your service desk employees suddenly finds themselves with an extra hour to spare, then AI will resolve this by suggesting a one-hour task.

Want to learn more about AI for your service desk?

Read our blogs on the topic:

Or watch Arvind's 20 minute presentation on AI for service management.

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