Research shows that support desks take “an average of 24.2 hours to provide a first response to an internal support ticket.” Yet, in spite of this, 28% of IT professionals polled still believe “that their IT department delivers better services, support, and customer service to employees than could be expected from consumer-world companies.”
Further exacerbating the issue—especially for IT staff that deal with outside customers—is the fact that poor service is one of the most common causes for customers abandoning a company, with 67% of people citing poor service as their number one reason for leaving. Even worse, for every one customer that complains, 25 others simply leave without saying anything.
For IT service management (ITSM) good customer service has never been more important. One thing that can significantly improve ITSM customer service is integrating artificial intelligence (AI) to create a smarter ITSM experience.
How AI Can Help
There are a number of ways that AI can improve the ITSM experience. One of the most basic is through the use of AI-driven chatbots and assistants. Some 50% of customers believe they should be able to solve product and service issues themselves, while 70% think a company’s website should offer a self-service application. This is an ideal scenario where AI can provide exactly what the customer wants.
Thanks to natural language recognition, AI-driven bots will increasingly be able to understand not only the specific words a person is saying but also, the context and intent behind those words. Combined with machine learning algorithms and access to previous support cases, this will enable the AI to understand a request, search thousands of cases for a solution and provide the answer to the customer in a fraction of the time it would take a human.
Another way AI can help improve the customer experience is through smart escalation of cases too complicated or nuanced for it to handle. While the AI may not be able to resolve the issue, it will be able to understand the issue well enough to direct the person to an agent who has handled similar cases before. This, in turn, saves the customer from the frustration of being transferred from one support person to another until they’re finally connected to the right person.
A third way that AI can help with the customer service experience is by finding and providing relevant information to customer service agents faster than they could find it manually, based on the AI’s initial interaction with the customer. Imagine a ticket where the AI converses with the customer, ascertains the scope of their problem, finds the correct agent to handle it, transfers the call directly to that agent, all while providing the agent with all of the background information and supplementary files they need to be able to assist. This is the power that AI brings to ITSM’s customer service experience.
ITSM and AI: A Smarter Way to Meet Customer Needs
Once the thing of science fiction, AI is a fact of modern life. By using it effectively in the ITSM field, companies can greatly increase their level of support and their customer satisfaction. For more information read the ebook 7 Reasons Why AI Will Change Everything on Your Service Desk.