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IT Service Desk Automation: 3 Tools to Boost Performance and Quality


Gabriela Tames

Service Desk Manager

In today’s fast-paced business world, organizations can’t afford prolonged IT downtime. IT service desk automation is essential to alleviating long help desk queues – speeding response and resolution of support incidents and requests without sacrificing quality.

A high-performing service desk is vital to keeping business operations running smoothly. But a pandemic-fueled perfect storm of remote work, widespread digital transformation initiatives, and heavy technology dependency make help desk support harder than ever to get right.

Internal help desks receive an average 492 tickets per month, with an average response time of 28.7 hours, according to The Zendesk Benchmark. Depending upon the issue, that means some users waste more than a full day unable to access critical applications they need to work.

Zendesk further found that 69% of internal service desk tickets are resolved with one touch – suggesting the biggest obstacle to fast resolutions is ticket volume.

It’s not hard to understand why. The increasingly global, remote nature of today’s workforce leaves many help desks stuck in firefighting mode, struggling to keep pace with an unprecedented number of requests at new hours. Service desk teams must also support an ever-widening range of new technologies – at the same time tightening budgets and mounting pressure for IT to add strategic value make it difficult for technical resources to devote enough attention to support.

Recruiting and retaining help desk talent amidst the nation’s severe IT labor shortage presents another significant challenge to consistent and timely support, with North American help desks experiencing average turnover of 40% per year.

IT service desk automation boosts the productivity and efficiency of your service desk, smoothing end-user experiences and reducing resolution times and ticket volumes by managing simpler queries without human effort. Read on to discover 3 service desk automation tools your organization should be using to lower help desk costs, reduce overall wait times, and free human support staff from the tedious, repetitive requests that distract them from more complex and urgent work.

Service desk automation tools that high-performing help desks are using

1. Chatbots

Thanks to AI-powered technology, chatbots can handle about 20% of service desk interactions end-to-end, if not more, cutting operational costs by 30%. Not only does this lighten the burden on human staff, but it also increases end-user satisfaction by providing an immediate, 24/7 way for end-users to communicate with the help desk and potentially solve problems without waiting for an agent to become available.

Service desk chatbots can provide immediate solutions to common or simple issues from a knowledge base of frequently asked questions, enabling users to quickly implement the advice and resume work.

Chatbots can also be used as the initial point of contact for service desks, speeding ticket documentation. AI capabilities enable automated categorization, prioritization, and routing of incident and service request tickets as well – ultimately creating a scalable process for creating and managing tickets across an organization.y, end-users can chat about issues and even share files or screenshots without leaving a meeting or stopping work.

Auxis service desk solutions have even recently begun integrating chatbots into Microsoft Teams collaborative tools, taking user-friendly support to the next level. That was

2. Voice recognition

Voice recognition-enabled bots represent another important service desk innovation, using conversational AI communication tools that can capture, interpret, and analyze vocal input from end-users and deliver relevant responses in real-time. Voice chatbots can also record and convert end-user interactions into a machine-readable format for human agents.

Speech remains the fastest form of communication – and talking instead of typing service desk requests saves valuable time and effort for busy end-users. Intelligently designed voice technology also lets end-users choose if they want to connect to human agents immediately or create callback requests, enabling them to start the help desk process at any time of day or night.

Voice chatbots reduce strain on service desk agents as well, lowering average handle time and expediting first contact response by taking over the time-consuming process of documenting problems. Recorded transcriptions further enable agents to research and prepare resolution steps before contacting the end-user, ensuring the interaction provides value without wasting time.

A new breakthrough use case for voice recognition is for this technology to “authenticate” a user based on their voice and speech patterns which plays a great role in improving security. This mitigates the need to challenge the user via other methods and have a more secure environment. Users can ask for password resets and other type of requests as the Voice chatbot will be able to authenticate the user without the intervention of an agent.

Some companies have hesitated to embrace voice functionality as earlier versions didn’t always work as intended. However, as the technology continues to advance and deliver positive customer experiences, nearly 70% of IT decision-makers say they work at companies that employ voice technology or plan to invest within 3 years.

3. Self-service portals

Automated IT self-service is a vital component of a high-performing service desk. It empowers end-users with a one-stop portal containing the resources and tools they need to immediately resolve common IT issues on their own, avoiding potential waits and drawn-out conversations with human support staff.

These service desk automation tools reduce ticket volumes by enabling zero-touch resolution of basic tasks that don’t require help desk intervention. For instance, Auxis self-service support portals enable end-users to independently create and deliver hardware requests directly to the proper IT teams, request software licenses, create accounts, and more.

Automatic access to knowledge base articles that answer frequently asked questions like password resets drastically improves key help desk metrics like ticket resolution times and costs. Ticket deflection is a key advantage of self-service portals – freeing support teams to focus on issues that require human intervention by automatically pulling up relevant articles for end-users making common service requests.

Typically, self-service portals can resolve 30% of end-user issues at an average cost of $2-5 per ticket, compared to an average of $16 per ticket for Level 1 help desk support.

Automation can also manage workflow approvals – using predetermined rules to save human agents from the time-consuming and frustrating process of chasing down the right people for standard equipment approvals, for example. Self-service portals further enable end-users to create and manage tickets from a single interface, providing easy access to human agents if end-users can’t resolve the issue independently.

Gain instant access to exceptional IT service desk automation with the right outsourcing provider

IT service desk automation helps transform your support team into a service delivery powerhouse. It delivers win-win benefits to end-users and support teams – boosting performance, eliminating mundane manual tasks, lowering costs, eliminating errors, optimizing processes, and providing fast, seamless, and consistent support experiences aligned with customer needs and availability.

Taking repetitive, process-driven actions away from the service desk also significantly reduces ticket volumes, relieving the burden that keeps help desks stuck in reactive firefighting mode so they can become proactive, high-performing teams.

However, IT Departments consumed with other priorities often lack the time or expertise to choose, implement, and maintain the right service desk automation tools. Outsourcing your service desk to a high-quality provider delivers instant access to the process maturity, tools, resources, talent, and proactive approach that ensure high-quality support.

Take IT to the next level with the right Nearshore Outsourcing Help Desk Partner

Meeting SLA contracts and maintaining strong customer relationships also keep outsourcers focused on continuous service desk improvement, staying on top of the latest technologies and constantly innovating new automation opportunities to boost performance and quality. Reputable outsourcers further have experience with change management processes that ensure end-users realize the value of utilizing IT service desk automation instead of waiting for human agents.

When help desk outsourcing is done right, CIOs can expect their third-party provider to resolve 80% of user issues at the most optimal costs. Investment in outsourced help desk services has surged from 25% to 50% nationwide – and 95% of companies already outsourcing support plan to maintain or increase their level of service.

IT organizations are regularly judged on how well end-users perceive service desk quality. In today’s fast-paced digital world, IT service desk automation is essential to helping support teams reach their goal of customer service excellence.

Written by

Gabriela Tames
Service Desk Manager
Gabriela Tames is a highly-skilled Service Desk Manager who has worked in the outsourcing industry for 15 years and in the IT environment for the past 10 years. Tames has extensive experience working with Self Service portals and Chat integrations in several ticketing systems. She has also participated in implementing KCS Knowledge-Centered Services and specializes in leading and structuring empowered teams. Gabriela is also trilingual, ITIL certified, and is about to obtain her Master’s Business Administration degree.

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