Can AI deliver great IT support?

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Are we heading for a world where ‘human’ IT support becomes redundant, and customer service representatives and technicians are replaced by machines?

Can tech fix tech?

Are we heading for a world where ‘human’ IT support becomes redundant, and customer service representatives and technicians are replaced by machines?

We don’t think so – but we do believe there’s a place for AI in the IT support environment. Here’s our take on how AI can be used to deliver fast and accurate results for our clients – and where today’s automated or ‘intelligent’ systems can sometimes fall short.

How can AI help to deliver IT support for businesses?

One of the biggest advantages of AI in IT support is it can help IT companies automate repetitive tasks, saving a great deal of admin for their staff.

AI can also assist with categorising simpler queries with more difficult or complex jobs, and routing requests for service to engineers or consultants with different levels of experience. This makes sure that time is being used as productively as possible, and the client is getting the results they need in the fastest possible timeframe.

Here are just three examples of how AI is typically used within IT support companies.

Chatbots and virtual support agents

These are a good first port of call for initial enquiries or smaller IT issues. Chatbots may only be able to generate automated responses to common queries, but they do ensure there’s always ‘someone’ available for customers to interact with.

Chatbots work by applying natural language processing in a messaging platform to draw responses from a script or a knowledge base. Virtual Support Agents (VSAs) have the capabilities to take things one step further by carrying out actions on behalf of the customer – for example, by resetting their passwords, deploying software, or escalating support requests to a more senior team.

Smart Help Desks and ticketing systems

Help desk software helps to categorise tickets, prioritise incidents, assign jobs to individuals with varying skillsets, and ensure the right consultants take accountability for the right incidents. (At ECOM, we use Connectwise to handle our service tickets.)

It’s a great solution for tracking requests and making sure that these requests aren’t duplicated or missed. Help desks take (some of!) the chaos out of managing IT support schedules and also provide a centralised resource for notes on all cases, so anyone can view the status of a job or catch up on what’s been happening. We don’t know where we’d be without Connectwise!

The only downside to smart help desks is, they need to be configured correctly from the start. This means mapping out key user journeys and making sure every type of enquiry can be accounted for within the system.

Language processing tools like ChatGPT

While we wouldn’t recommend that tools like ChatGPT are used in live conversation with a client, they can be handy for researching answers to common queries, and generating scripts for chatbots, emails, and other communication or marketing materials. We sometimes use ChatGPT to speed up our work in these areas.

Questions like “how do I restart my computer?” and “how do I update X software?” can be solved in a matter of seconds with step-by-step instructions that are easy for customers to follow.

As with any kind of AI, however, this software needs to be used with caution. It can’t produce ‘new’ copy, and there’s no way of verifying its accuracy without cross-checking other reference points on the web. So, if it’s used for troubleshooting, it’s the IT consultant’s responsibility to make sure the answers it returns are true, and the instructions it gives are accurate!

As you can see, there are plenty of benefits to using AI to organise IT queries and solve common IT problems. But in our view, AI will never be a viable substitute for real-life consultants. Trained IT engineers will know your business inside out, not to mention have an innate understanding of how your IT systems fit together. Technology doesn’t (yet!) have the ability to match this level of insight – which is why we will continue to use AI to support our operations, but always champion the personal approach!

How is your business using AI to speed up delivery, improve internal processes and free up your staff’s time? We’d love to hear about your experiences.

Are we heading for a world where ‘human’ IT support becomes redundant, and customer service representatives and technicians are replaced by machines?

Have any questions?
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ECOM IT Solutions
2-3 Hovefields Lodge,
Burnt Mills Enterprise Park,
Basildon, Essex,
SS13 1EB.

01268 209060