My name is Michael, and I am a senior at New York University (NYU). Throughout my time in college, I’ve worked numerous part-time jobs to help cover the ever-rising costs of living and studying in New York City. These spanned from being a video editor, interning at startups, assisting in artificial intelligence research, and numerous other stints in between. I was able to leverage my passion for software and technology to explore my interests in a variety of fields. And of these fields, my job working at an IT support helpdesk was one of my favorites.
I spent my sophomore and junior years working at NYU’s IT Support Helpdesk and call center. My task was to improve digital experiences for NYU students and professors by solving technical issues they encountered. IT support can be both challenging and rewarding. Support technicians can utilize their technology background to find creative solutions as new issues arise. However, I noticed two prominent problems in the IT support process: repetitiveness and availability.
Problems at the IT Helpdesk
My favorite aspect of the IT contact center was employing creative problem-solving to find new technical solutions. However, through my experience with troubleshooting, I found that users typically shared very common issues with one another. For this reason, their problems were not always “new”. This meant my troubleshooting process was at times very uniform and repetitive. This repetitiveness was evident when users had trouble viewing or accessing certain sites. These customer interactions followed an “if-then” messaging sequence of trying possible solutions until a conclusion was reached.
A key skill of IT support is having the ability to problem-solve creatively. However, tasks like these often felt more algorithmic or methodical. They lacked the human-nature ability to invent a new solution, and rather, implemented a dependable step-by-step set of instructions until a solution was found. This type of customer care was a process that could certainly be automated.
Lack of automation also raised the issue that digital customer care was bound within specified hours. Since student workers also had to account for their time in class, it was difficult to have consistent availability for IT support. The same is true in the corporate world, where many companies only offer customer support between the hours of 9 a.m.–5 p.m. At my helpdesk, this often resulted in professors and students receiving delayed support, and morning-shift personnel having to handle an overwhelming number of tickets from the night before. Helpdesk workers are only human and providing 24/7 support seemed unrealistic. That was, until the introduction of AI chatbots for business emerged on the IT landscape.
How watsonx Assistant can help
IBM watsonx Assistant is a holistic SaaS solution for creating AI-enabled conversational experiences. It utilizes natural language processing (NLP) to assist customer care and support employees with internal processes. watsonx Assistant is a versatile solution for a wide range of services and can be a powerful tool in IT automation.
This omnichannel chatbot solution delivers real-time, consistent, and accurate customer support on a 24/7 basis. No longer is customer support bound to 9 a.m.–5 p.m. hours, and no longer are IT professionals bound to repetitive or mundane tasks. Customers receive the same reliable service they would expect from traditional IT support, while freeing up IT professionals for more creative or valuable aspects of the job.
watsonx Assistant seamlessly connects to customer data platforms, enabling data-backed understandings of customer expectations. Integrating these digital channels facilitates delivery of personalized customer experiences, while maintaining consistency in customer satisfaction.
Using watsonx Assistant for stimulating growth and innovation
watsonx Assistant is a powerful and scalable tool that revolutionizes digital customer service, while enhancing employee productivity. For example, the green energy giant ENN Group Co. uses watsonx Assistant for its 50,000-employee team to streamline the IT service request process. Utilizing watsonx Assistant, ENN significantly increases company efficiency, while substantially improving customer experiences. Employing AI-powered chatbots reduces response time and expedites the support process for both customers and employees through effortless messaging. By automating 2,000–3,000 tasks daily, ENN found an increase in employee productivity of 60%. This process is expedited through real-time messaging and customer self-service functionality.
Li Qiang, IT Platforms Executive of ENN Group Co. Ltd claims, “Our AI automation platform provides employees with personalized AI skills, helps employees perform daily tasks, frees them from repetitive daily tasks and unleashes their creativity and imagination.” This automation allows employees to focus on higher-value activities, stimulating growth and innovation.
watsonx Assistant is valuable across various industries and for small, midsize, and large businesses alike. Its integration into different companies has proven highly successful, transforming customer experiences and streamlining IT support processes. The implementation of watsonx Assistant can revolutionize the IT industry, while providing application potential for numerous other commercial sectors as well.