Does AI Have a Role on the Service Desk?

04/04/2018 by: The SunView Team

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Artificial intelligence has made headlines in recent years. The news is mixed – depending on what you read, AI is either fantastic or terrible. It’s confusing, especially when it comes to AI and service desk management

What is the truth of the matter? AI has a positive impact on the service desk. Read on to learn how it helps you provide better customer service, faster incident resolution, higher efficiency, and greater value while preserving service desk jobs.

AI and ITSM: Providing Better Customer Service

The combination of AI and ITSM enables service desks to provide better customer service. This might fly in the face of conventional wisdom – how could an AI-enabled ITSM solution help customers have a better experience than a human being? 

As strange as it sounds, employees don’t really care whether they receive customer service from a computer or from a human being. What they want is fast, easy access to IT services and support all the time. Human employees of the service desk simply can’t make that guarantee.

“Employees want fast, easy access to IT services and support all the time”

AI, on the other hand, never takes a break. It’s always available, so whenever human employees are working, it’s on the job, too. That means that you can keep up with the speed of business.

In addition to AI’s workhorse capabilities, AI-enabled service desk management solutions improve the customer service experience by tailoring suggestions to fix the user’s problem. These solutions enable the user to solve their own problems. If the situation is serious enough to merit attention, the ITSM solution will escalate it so a human takes care of it. 


AI-Enabled Service Desk Management Solutions: Faster Incident Resolution

Think about what the average workflow looks like for a ticket at your IT service desk. It’s highly manual; the help desk employee answers a call or email about a problem, writes down the details, and performs triage of a sort to determine how serious it is. Regardless of the problem, the employee can only solve it if he or she has the right combination of existing knowledge and contextual knowledge.

Moreover, this help desk employee is likely swamped with many other requests for assistance, of varying importance. As a result, a backlog of tickets grows. Users begin to complain, your employees feel overwhelmed, and members of the C-suite begin to wonder aloud what good the help desk is doing the rest of the organization. 

“Think about what the average workflow looks like for a ticket at your IT service desk – it’s highly manual”

AI-enabled service Desk Management solutions cut down incident resolution time. Here’s how: while machines need to learn, like humans do, they do it much faster than humans and are capable of processing more information. They analyze a collection of previous incidents, assessing what connections can be made between incidents and understanding what actions to take for the next time a similar ticket comes along. This process is called “machine learning,” and it’s continuous – the ITSM solution never stops making these associations.

How does this lead to faster incident resolution? When the service desk solution receives a ticket request, it can quickly analyze the details of the ticket to find the right solution. Then, it can suggest the best possible solution to the user. Should it turn out that the human touch is necessary to solve the issue, the service desk solution will notify the help desk.


How Do AI and ITSM Lead to Greater Efficiency?

Aside from better customer service and faster incident resolution times, the combination of AI and ITSM make your service desk more efficient. How do they do that?

AI-enabled ITSM solutions allow the help desk department to optimize scarce resources (the knowledge and time of IT employees). Instead of users approaching the help desk, support capabilities come to the users through chatbots or knowledge libraries. 

“AI-enabled ITSM solutions save time, money, and effort”

This method saves time, money, and effort. Users can get back to work faster, rather than sitting around waiting to be able to work. That, in turn, saves the company money, because lost productivity is expensive. As mentioned earlier, IT help desk resources are scarce; when users can find their own solutions to problems, it lets the help desk handle the tasks that really matter (more on that later).


AI-Enabled Service Desk Management: Delivering Greater Value to the Organization

Choosing an AI-enabled service desk management solution helps the IT department deliver true value to the rest of an organization. How does it do that?

It has to do with the other capabilities that AI-enabled service desk management solutions provide. As we discussed earlier, AI and ITSM improve customer service, reduce incident resolution time, and make the organization as a whole more efficient. All of these qualities show that the IT service desk empowers the free flow of business – it’s not just a cost center as many members of the C-suite previously believed. 


Debunking the Myth: AI and ITSM Won’t Cost Jobs

We’ve discussed the benefits of AI-enabled ITSM solutions. What about the drawbacks? One of the most popular myths out there is that the combination of AI and ITSM will cost service desk jobs. It’s not true, and desperately needs to be debunked.

In fact, AI and ITSM actually make the job of a service desk employee easier. Many service desk tickets involve issues that aren’t mission-critical (such as password resets). By giving users self-service capabilities or by providing a knowledge base or chatbots, service desk staff have more time to deal with the things that really matter (such as ensuring that the servers are up and running). 

“AI and ITSM make service desk staff jobs easier”

Moreover, there are times when the human touch is necessary to effectively deal with problems. Service desk staffers are still essential, and AI will never erase the need for them.

AI most certainly has an important role to play in your service desk. It brings a number of benefits that will change the IT department for the better. To learn more, read the ebook 7 Reasons Why AI Will Change Everything on Your Service Desk.

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| IT Service Desk / Artificial Intelligence