The chatbotis the latest manifestation of artificial intelligence thatis simplifying the way IT services are delivered to the end-users.
Chatbots are instrumental in drivingIT servicesin modernorganizations.They augment the relationship between customers and service providers as they are equippedwith learning capabilities backed bycutting-edge technology.
Chatbotscan help organizations tosolve a variety of complex andrepetitiveproblems. And thereby,they help in bringing down the expenses incurred in terms of service and support.
Further, they assist in accelerating the reaction time and provide a breathing space for service technicians, so that they can be utilized in more challenging roles.
Chatbots are the outcome of an ongoing AI revolution.Tech-gurus are suggesting that most of the conversations that a consumer does with an organization these daysare actually with a chatbot.
In a recent survey, it was found that 40% of millennials interact with a chatbot on a daily basis. (G2’s Facebook Chatbots Guide, 2018)
Chatbots: What are they in reality?
A Chatbotis a software solution. They have been developed with the purpose of communicating with humans and are powered by machine learning technology.
There is a particular stream of AI research called natural language processing (NLP) whose purpose is to extract meaning from the interactions between machines and humans.They assist in comprehending questionsaccurately, decipher them properly and finally respond in a fitting manner. Therefore, the NLP branch of AI aids the chatbot to deal with human interactions and understand the communication contextually in order to stay relevant and precise instead of being vague in its response.
Due to machine learning a chatbot gradually becomes more knowledgeable and efficient in solving problems for the customers. At a given point of time, it may happen that the bot may not possess the concerned information in its knowledge pool. During those moments, the chatbot passes the query to an operator or a service technician,who is a human.
Chatbots: Their present state and future prospects
It is somewhat true that the mass adoption and mass acceptance of chatbots is still awaited. However, chatbots solving business-to-customer issues is expected to rise in the future.
A recent survey, the State of Chatbots Report 2018, has shed light that during the last economic year, a mere 15% of customers have taken the help of chatbots to interact and converse with the businesses.
The current figures even suggest that the orthodox modes of access and traditional communication channels still dominate customer interactions. However, they are going to be out-of-date and obsolete in the future because of the huge drawbacks they possess like:
- Traditional communication channels provide response very slowly and demand a long waiting period.
- The current customer portals are often not very user-friendly, and this might cause even simple solutions to become long-drawn and complicated.
- The service providers or operators at times may not possess the correct knowledge, and hence the solutions to simple problems may become complex.
Advantages of chatbots
A chatbot relieves IT support technicians from performing routine and monotonous tasks. They undertake high-volume, low-value, repetitive, and mundane tasks which might be resource-heavy, and hence, they allow the support team to utilize their time efficiently.
A chatbot ends up boosting the overall efficiency of ITSM operations and the productivity of the service technicians.
In addition to the efforts, time and cost savings, chatbot presence helps in elevating the morale of the IT support techniciansas they get rid of the routine and mundane operations.
The ways in which a chatbot benefits IT support teams are specified here:
- Betterment of self-service quality: By taking care of routine incidents and service requests and providing prompt solutions, chatbots support both customers and IT support technicians.
- Personalization: Chatbots do not provide generic solutions. Their interactions with a customer are totally personalized. They bank on the data and the background of the customer as provided in their records and thus communicate to the customer in a friendly, personalized manner which is bound to amplify their satisfaction.
- Relentless support: Chatbots allow the IT service desk to perform round the clock and provide real-time response. Hence the SLA improves drastically.
- Cost optimization: Chatbots are instrumental in reducing all the costs related to handling routine issues.
- Boosting IT service desk analytics:The IT service desk analytics capability can get a major boost by the implementation of a chatbot. Bot technology can boost analytic operations by taking the responsibility of repetitive yet heavy tasks.The technology can help in automatically categorizeincidents and service requests, assigning them to the most appropriate analysts.This process assists agents with contextual knowledge, retrieving information, generating reports, notifying customers, and a lot more.
Implementation of a chatbot in business
It must be borne in mind that whenever one chooses to implement a chatbot in his/her business, it should be done with ROI in mind. For this, the business objectives should be very clear, and once the target audience is identified, goals can be measured and bot technology can be incorporated.
A platform should be identified where the chatbot will be built and managed. A number of options are therein this regard, along with pre-existing platforms.
During the initial stages of business, it should be clear to the organization as to which metrics matter the most. If it can be determined, what type of metrics matter the most to the stakeholders, proving the worth of the implemented chatbots or associated AI becomes easy.
Once a chatbot has been implemented and is functional, it is essential to pave the way for its evolution.
There should be a process by which the concerned people, as well as the technology, get to learn continuously and adapt likewise. Serving customers also adds to the knowledge base of the chatbot, thereby facilitating it to inculcate that knowledge and provide better customer service over time.
Chatbots are becoming a necessity in IT service management,and there will be a time when humans will interact more with bots than with technicians.