Do your service desk employees see chatbots as a threat? This blog should help you put their minds at rest.

Frank Smit, Chief Innovation Officer at our partner OBI4wan, explains what chatbots are and where you should (and shouldn’t) be using them.

'I forgot my password'.

How often does your service desk receive this call? Wouldn’t it be easier if you could automate this type of simple request, so that your service desk employees could focus on more interesting tasks?

Good news. Chatbots can make life easier for service agents. How? Chatbots capture requests automatically. Here’s how it works: a customer asks a question. Then, the chatbot analyzes the text and interprets its meaning. Based on that interpretation, the chatbot knows how to respond to the customer. Having a database with all your FAQs is essential for this process to work.

This is what the service desk of the future will look like

Don't miss out on the latest service management trends, tips, and tricks - delivered straight to your inbox

Which tasks can you assign to chatbots?

Chatbots can intercept requests. But not all of them. So, how do you determine which processes should be automated? Below is an overview of the types of queries received by a typical service desk and whether they’d be suitable for a chatbot.

1. Simple, recurring requests

Password resets are a prime example. Employees are constantly forgetting their passwords. This is something that you can’t prevent. But for the service desk employee who’s having to reset the umpteenth password, this is pretty tedious work. And for the organization, staffing a service desk for this type of request is a waste of money.

Chatbots are the perfect solution: they understand the query and know what to do to ensure that the customer receives a new password. The customer is happy that they’ve been helped quickly and your employees are able to focus on more rewarding work. It’s a win-win situation.

2. Gathering feedback

As a service desk manager, you want to know what customers think of your services. This isn’t directly helpful for customers, but is highly beneficial for your service desk. For example, you can ask customers how easy it was for them to source the information that was relevant to their request. This is an ideal job for a chatbot. The chatbot collects qualitative feedback while the service agent talks to the customer. This provides your service desk with valuable input to keep improving your services.

3. Processes that are too complex for the customer

Some processes are too complex for the customer to handle alone, resulting in multiple calls to the service desk. This was a situation that service desk employees experienced at the Education & Student Affairs department of Erasmus University. International students needed to input 20 variables to determine their tuition fees for the coming year. This was confusing for the students and the service desk were struggling to process the resulting requests.

How did OBI4wan resolve this? They created a chatbot which would engage in conversation with the students to determine their particular circumstances and then respond to their tuition fee requests accordingly. This saved international students a great deal of time and unnecessary stress, while taking pressure off the service desk.

4. All other queries

Other kinds of requests are generally more complex and are therefore unsuitable for outsourcing to chatbots. It’s best to assign these more challenging requests to your service desk employees. And, in some situations, customers prefer to call and speak to a real person, such as when phoning an insurance company to report a car accident. In this scenario, the customer is looking for empathy and reassurance. This is when a human touch is needed.

Start by deciding which queries require the human touch and which can be automated.

What are the benefits of chatbots?

Once you get started with chatbots, the first benefit will become clear from the word go. Start by deciding which queries require the human touch and which can be automated. You’ll immediately start processing requests more efficiently. And, once the more straightforward queries have been automated, your service desk staff will have more time for more challenging work, resulting in happier employees.

Looking for more ways to improve employee experience? Say goodbye to service desk stress with the tips in this blog

And the customer? They’re guaranteed a friendly response 24/7, even if they’ve forgotten their password for the umpteenth time. And if the chatbot is unable to resolve their request? Then a service desk employee can intercept it right away, so the customer still gets helped quickly.

Want to learn more about ITSM automation?

Discover new ways to save time and money, while improving your customer experience. Learn more about ITSM automation in this blog.