WHITE PAPER - Service desk
It’s time for the IT Service Desk to evolve. Approaches to technology are shifting, the world of work is transforming, and today’s digital natives and...
for the IT
AI, automation, and a
It’s time for the IT Service Desk to evolve. Approaches to technology are shifting, the world of work is transforming and a new model is needed. In this whitepaper, we consider where that evolution could come from.
A faster, more cost-effective service and a better personalised experience is the end goal both for our customers and for Capita.
But the nature of the problems users run into means they often encounter a lot of back and forth questions to reach a diagnosis.
Service desks, for all their skills, can feel like a bit of a mystery, but that’s where a next wave of chatbots, AI, automation and robotics can really make a difference.
They can defuse that mystery and bring information and functionality to the surface. Users can self-serve when it suits them, receive instant advice from a chatbot, track their tickets, get automated updates, know what’s going on, and what’s going to happen next.
Technology will make the next generation of service desks a more personal and personalised experience, and that alone is an exciting future.
"The role of the service desk is changing, and the way people want to use it is changing even faster."
How we interact with technology in our own personal lives has transformed in recent years. We now have a simpler, more confident, and more consumer-like experience with the technology around us.
We are all more capable, and we are surrounded by innovations such as Alexa, Siri and Ok Google that have taught us technology should be an intuitive, responsive and naturally integrated part of our lives.
So where does the modern service desk stand in this revolution of understanding and expectation?
Using technology to drive self-service convenience
Using technology to drive self-service convenience
The service desk has to change to deal with a new generation of informed users.
First, the service desk should be a place of helpful expertise, delivered with the same eye to customer experience you would find in any other customer-facing operation.
It will continue to be an entry place for support, but will likely see a step-change in how it operates. It’s a destination that will increasingly be about technology and convenience as much as it is about resource and know how.
One major shift will be the degree to which users can self-serve. It’s a desire seen with consumers in every other sector, and there is no reason that the service desk should be any different.
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) can be used to aid repeatable processes. For example, chatbots can act as the entry point within the service desk and be trained to have ‘intelligent’ conversations with users.
The end user could go to the service desk portal with a problem and the chatbot would mine its knowledge base to pose intelligent questions in order to diagnose it. The user would then receive a self-help form or self-help video that would guide them to resolving it.
There is still work to be done. While the technology is there, integrating it all together successfully is still in its infancy, but it holds real promise, especially when linked to a layer of RPA that would let a chatbot not only diagnose an issue but also fulfil a request.
RPA via chatbots means a rapid response for the user whilst freeing up the ‘humans’ on the service desk to spend more time focussing on the problems not so readily solved. This enable a service that can run quickly, consistently, 24 hours a day.
can enhance human contact, not diminish it
Chatbots can enhance human contact, not diminish it
Chatbots can’t solve everything and the importance of human contact should not be underestimated, especially when an issue may be causing real frustration for a user.
There is a strong emotional intelligence within a good service desk; the ability to infer through someone’s voice the impact and urgency of the problem they are coming to you to solve.
It’s a skill, it cannot be underrated, and chatbots may never be a replacement.
However, where they can provide real value with more complex incidents is by providing an intelligent handoff to the most appropriately skilled person on the desk, be it first, second or third line.
The chatbot can not only route the user to the best person to help them but pass on the data it’s already gathered so the user doesn’t have to explain their problem again from scratch. The service desk personnel can then begin supporting them immediately.
"In the service desk of the future, the voice channel absolutely still has a vital purpose, but it’s about giving users the choice."
In the service desk of the future, the voice channel absolutely still has a vital purpose, but it’s about giving users the choice.
Increasingly the preferred option for many customers is to go to a one-stop-shop portal where they can self-serve if they’re confident, get engagement when they need it, and talk to a human when the really want to.
Right channel, right time, and a service desk they are using because they genuinely want to, not because they have to.
Giving agents more power to solve
The power of chatbots and AI within the service desk is growing. Chatbots will be able to handle intelligent handoff to a service desk agent, but those agents will also be using internal chatbots themselves to speed up a wide range of tasks.
It might be supporting them via the knowledge base, carrying out verifications, fulfilling requests in the background or automating and simplifying repetitive tasks.
If it’s a complex fix that they would normally pass down to a second or third line engineer, the right chatbot support could help them remedy the incident themselves.
What can often prevent service desks fixing certain issues is the complexity and high-level nature of the rights needed.
It’s not feasible to be giving those rights to dozens of different agents every day, especially when using them incorrectly could create an even bigger problem.
But issuing a command to a chatbot that does have the rights, and knows how to do the job safely, not only solves that problem, but shifts the burden of the work away from second and third line engineers.
Internal chatbots have the potential to drive efficiency, speed and cost saving by accelerating access to greater knowledge and resources and putting technology at the heart of everything we do.
Today, if there’s a change in process, you will likely need to re-educate the service desk and retrain many of your users. But where AI and automation can change that process in the background, then the command remains the same.
While the service desk of the future is not here just yet, it's vital you invest heavily in both technology and people to ensure you can continue to deliver exceptional service to your customers.
"It's vital you invest heavily in both technology and people to ensure you can continue to deliver exceptional service to your customers."