While not every IT department handles the same level of demand, teams of all sizes feel the pressure to meet rising expectations of their support services. Conditioned by the convenience of mobile devices, online chat, and virtual assistants, employees have come to expect a smooth, simple, fast support experience—any day, any time.
So how can IT teams continue to deliver exceptional support without overworking their best employees or driving up costs? By leveraging AI.
Artificial intelligence tools like virtual agents (VAs)—previously known as chatbots—work with humans to deliver an unprecedented level of service and reduce the cost of IT support. Human agents are still the driving force behind effective service, ensuring that high-priority and complex cases are handled with the personal attention. But Salesforce-integrated virtual agents can manage a large percentage of repetitive tasks for which the playbook is clearly defined, providing faster access and expediting processes throughout the issue resolution process. The key to success with AI-powered virtual agents is finding the right balance of automation and human service. With the right mix, IT teams can improve the quality of support, reduce the touch needed for agent training, and lower overall per-case costs.
With the incorporation of AI into the training process, IT support agents can train faster and in greater detail.
From their first day on the job, support agents have an intelligent resource available to assist them at any time. As they train, they can get questions answered in the blink of an eye, enabling them to learn faster. Because AI can deliver relevant content in real time, agents can spend less time studying informational materials and memorizing answers and more time on developing strategies to serve users better.
Agents can continue to rely on AI-driven support as they transition from the training phase to handling live interactions where they are actively helping users. Whether providing relevant knowledge base articles, suggesting solutions, or connecting other dots, AI-powered insights can elevate the experience of the agent significantly.
Salesforce-integrated virtual agents can help customers before human agents are ever involved, using machine learning and natural language processing (NLP) to handle simple conversations entirely on their own. One VA, for example, recognizes over 40 distinct use cases to quickly resolve simple requests.
In cases where a human representative is needed to resolve the issue, VAs use conversational data to route users to the correct area. This routing saves considerable time and energy for both agents and users, reducing wait times and improving accuracy.
Human agents also receive informational support from AI, reducing the time and effort required to find relevant data. These time savings allow agents to serve more users in less time, and with improved individualized service.
Virtual agents provide information faster and more accurately than humans can. The average customer service session with a VA is 80 percent cheaper than a voice session with a human, which can generate significant savings at scale and over time.
In addition to accurately routing calls and messages, virtual agents can forestall the need for re-engagement by using Salesforce data to predict a user’s future needs and offering relevant information during the first interaction.
With the support of virtual agents, human agents can resolve issues faster, manage their time better, and interact more with colleagues. With an improved quality of work life, agents are more likely to be engaged and less likely to leave, which saves the extraordinary cost of hiring and training new workers.
One research firm predicts that VAs will deliver over $8 billion in cost savings by 2022. This technology, when combined with Salesforce, is changing IT support agent training and practices across industries, including yours. Will this be the year you add VAs to your IT support channels?
Consumer Index 2020, Aspect
“Gartner Says Only 9% of Customers Report Solving Their Issues Completely via Self-Service,” Gartner press release
“Exploring Call Center Turnover Numbers,” QATC
“100 Essential Customer Service Statistics and Trends for 2021,” Nextiva