How AI Impacts IT Support Services Today

How AI Impacts IT Support Services Today

Mar 30, 2019 4:44:15 PM / by Gary Swanwick

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is still a relatively vague concept for many. Most are unaware that AI has previously or is currently impacting them in their day to day life, especially within the workplace...   

Emails are a taxing, tedious yet unavoidable duty that all businesses undertake on a day to day basis. We all know that without emails, companies would be brought to an abrupt halt in their day to day operations.

Now imagine, you’ve returned to work after the holidays and discover that your mail server has gone down and you’re left stranded from your inbox. You have to contact your IT support services and hope they can resolve the issue without too much disruption to your working day.

This was an ongoing issue for one of our customers about a year ago. The Managing Director would often have to take time out of their day to call a technical support agent to ensure their staff could send emails. Due to the size of the company, operating in both the UK and US, an outage could have been disastrous.

Fortunately, this particular local customer’s problem was usually resolved without delay. Although, if the outages had occurred outside of office hours, the customer could have remained stranded for longer periods of time.

Now, our customer does not have to face this issue again, thanks to a form of AI that we’ve implemented. Epoq’s AI system is in place for all our customers, which monitors potential risks and problems against their file and application servers, and proactively attempts a course of ‘fixes’ to prevent issues occurring from the outset.

If the Epoq system is successful in finding a fix, a notification is sent to the customer’s tailored dashboard, prompting the user to take action.

On the other hand, if the tool is unsuccessful in finding a fix, the system will relay the information back to the IT support services team so that a manual fix can occur from a technician.

Our system will work continuously through the night, with the ability to deliver information to the service team by the morning. Often leading to us contacting the customer and informing them about the potential problem before it has the chance to happen. This process allows us to solve problems efficiently and maintain our focus on customer relationships and satisfaction.

 

What other ways does AI impact customer service?

Artificial intelligence backed systems have slowly become more prevalent over the last several years for many online interactions, and is redefining the customer service experience.

Customers want answers immediately to their questions, and prefer not to trawl online or sit on the phone and wait for a solution.

Chatbots are a perfect example of AI developing user experiences. Chatbots are implemented to simulate human conversation via auditory or textual methods, with the intention to satisfy simple customer queries instantly.

We at Epoq-IT believe AI helps businesses in a number of ways. Here are some of the primary reasons why we consider AI to be an asset to IT support services:

  • 24/7 customer support

With working hour limitations in place for many companies, there is nothing more frustrating than a customer having a question or issue and no one is available to help them. AI however, can have a database filled with questions and answers pre-prepared for customer issues. Although this may not work for more complex questions where a service team is required, the system will still be a useful voice for those with simple fix problems.

  • Reduced waiting times

Typically, a caller will have to provide tedious details including name, telephone, account number etc. Epoq’s system, for example, can collect this information automatically and proactively direct the customer to the correct contact for a solution.

  • Staff cost reduction

There is the premise that as AI evolves it will replace potential jobs. However, it’s arguable that AI only replaces tasks, not jobs. Naturally, employees are trained in multiple areas for their roles, and this training is costly. The use of these systems to manage laborious tasks, frees up employees to focus on more important tasks. Therefore, reducing training costs.  

  • Evolving technology

As these AI backed systems develop and become more efficient, business’ customer service will follow behind. While automation in its current state is mainly reactive, as the technology advances, AI will be more capable of handling more advanced queries and providing more contextual answers. We also anticipate that AI will have a better ability to read data proactively and predict inbound questions.

 

How Artificial Intelligence impacted our business

The implementation of Epoq’s AI system into our business has been successful to date. Below are some examples of how it’s impacted our IT support services and what that’s meant for our customers.

  • From all the tickets raised in February, 59% were dealt with by our AI: This alleviates a significant amount of time and stress from the customer, as they would not need to take time from their day to call our service team.

 

  • 22% of these tickets were raised out of our core helpdesk hours, when customers would otherwise need a human on the phone from the Managed Service Provider, and they were all fixed without the customer knowing: Epoq’s system here has allowed the customers to continue their work, without any disturbance being caused to their day to day operation.

 

  • 95% of P1’s outside working hours were resolved before a customer started work: Our tool proactively resolves potentially serious incidents that would otherwise disrupt the operation of a customer’s business.    

 

  • Our AI, which can open and close tickets in seconds, spent 58 man hours on ticketing when you extrapolate the start and close times on tickets to time elapsed: This highlights the efficiency and speed of the Epoq system, assisting the service team by eliminating tedious tasks. Our support agents have more time to work on more challenging tasks for customers, allowing us to solve problems quicker.

What is the biggest impact?

Artificial Intelligence benefits our IT support services in numerous ways, and has had a big impact on our customer service.

One of the biggest impacts we’ve noticed is how we can now be proactive and make first contact with the customer regarding an issue, as opposed to us receiving a phone call from them detailing an issue. Many of our customers are not aware that a potential threat had occurred, as their IT continues to run as normal.

The speed and efficiency of the Epoq system allows us to be on the front foot with informing customers, which in turn creates a trusting relationship between us and them.  

After continuous positive results, we know that we can trust this system to fulfill tedious tasks, allowing our team to focus on fixing larger scale issues.

As the tool can work through the night while service desk hours are closed, our customers do not have to worry about being left stranded with issues when they come into work in the morning. Furthermore, problems that can’t be solved by the system’s list of fixes are relayed to the service team, to be dealt with as soon as possible.

During the ‘fix’ process, the Epoq’s system makes its way through the list, knowing which to attempt and which to avoid. As the tool develops and collects more data, we can tweak the elimination process it goes through to make the procedure more efficient. Ultimately, the customer will benefit from our various tweaks, as we can have their systems working without issue faster.

Lastly, the implementation of Artificial Intelligence speeds up the issue escalation process for a customer, should they have to contact the IT support service team. The system can process previous data for that individual customer and display to the service team what actions have already been attempted. This procedure allows the customer to be referred directly to the correct individual, ensuring that they have the most streamlined experience possible for finding a solution.

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Topics: IT Support Services

Gary Swanwick

Written by Gary Swanwick

I lead Epoq-IT to deliver strategic IT service management, building strong relationships with SMEs to manage IT systems and services that support growth and align with business objectives.

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