24x7 Customer Service Without Additional Headcount

Diane Merrick, Vice President of Marketing at Serviceaide
Diane Merrick, Vice President of Marketing at Serviceaide

Diane Merrick, Vice President of Marketing at Serviceaide

Every IT service desk has the goal of providing great experiences to its customers. Indeed, in a poll by HDI, 71% of organizations said that improving customer experiences was a key factor motivating new technology implementations or upgrades.

Providing round the clock support is a key theme of almost any strategy created to deliver great customer experiences. The ability, however, to offer 24×7 support can be difficult, especially for small and medium-sized companies – many of these businesses staff their IT service desks only during normal office hours, for very practical reasons.

One of these reasons is cost, specifically the cost of adding the headcount needed to provide support during evening hours and on weekend and holidays.

There are, of course, opportunities for smaller businesses to offer round the clock support without headcount, using for example, contact centers – these can, however, be difficult to ramp up and, moreover, require monitoring, and retraining as the complexity of an organization’s infrastructure increases.

A virtual agent is an ideal way for organizations of any size, and with any budget, to offer 24×7 support without adding headcount.

Always On, Always Learning

Virtual agents that leverage machine learning and natural language processing enable conversational approaches to issue resolution – and create more satisfying and productive service experiences for users.

Best of all, they are always available – they don’t take lunch, or need to sleep. And they can be just as helpful and energetic first in the morning as they are last thing in the evening – and in the wee small hours of the night.

As a business expands, a virtual agent mitigates the need to add IT analysts at a corresponding rate. Luma, for example, makes a help desk more efficient because its automated services deflect tickets and provide immediate resolutions to users without any analyst involvement. Luma also relieves analysts from the burden of triaging requests, chasing down users for more information and handling repeatable mundane requests.

If the expansion of a business involves establishing offices in different countries, a virtual agent ensures that the same level of customer service is available at every location, and in different languages – without any need for training.

Moreover, if the virtual agent learns something valuable at one location, that knowledge is available to everyone across the entire company. Instantly.

And, while the character of an organization often changes as it grows, and as people become compartmentalized and focus only on specific disciplines, the personality of a virtual agent remains the same – even as it learns and enhances its ability to resolve issues quicker and more permanently.

Making Self-Service More Appealing

Many businesses have attempted to provide 24×7 support by offering employees the option of resolving some issues themselves. People looking for help could send in their requests via email or go to a web page and fill a form or select items from a catalog. These approaches provide value, of course, but have limitations and, consequently, adoption of self-service resolution, has been slow.

The best virtual agents expand self-service adoption by allowing users to communicate through the messaging applications they already use, such as Google Chat, Microsoft Teams, Skype for Business, Slack, and more. This enables issues to be reported anywhere and at any time, in an intuitive manner.

Your Best Employee?

Every one of us is growing accustomed to having the ability to transact different things online, anywhere and at any time. Businesses of all sizes are, consequently, increasingly expected to provide IT service that matches this level of experience.

A virtual agent is a digital colleague, available at all hours, and able to speak different languages. And with a fundamental nature to learn. You want to take one for a test drive – it may become your best employee.

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