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The future of Service Desk communications: intelligent understanding and automation

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Updated March 2022

Prior to the pandemic, Service Desks around the globe had suffered from years of neglect and underinvestment - at least in comparison to their counterparts in Customer Engagement. Of course, this wasn't a surprise to many, as frontline services often have a louder voice due to their direct interaction with customers.

Yet the effect of the pandemic has been to change all that. Service Desks were inundated with unprecedented levels of demand as employees made the messy transition to remote and hybrid working. Companies digitised like never before, introducing a host of new tools and services that added to the Service Desk caseload. In the most challenging time for the world's businesses, it was the Service Desk that kept the lights on and the enterprise running.

The pandemic reminded process owners and business leaders why the Service Desk exists: It has a critical role in keeping your frontline agents and employees logged on and working, even when the business is faced with challenging events. Yet, Service Desks are often still carved out and outsourced entirely, out of sight and out of mind, judged by prioritised SLA’s and ticket closures rather than experience and business value.

Does this need to change? How can you bring your Service Desk into the 21st century?

The artificial intelligence Service Desk

What does the future hold for the Help Desk and Service Desk? For one, Natural Language Processing (NLP) technologies are making the Service Desk increasingly central to understanding business user and internal customer needs.

The intelligence gathered at the Service Desk enables companies to identify and adapt business models to deliver more through technology. Leaders of business services and operations will look to the Service Desk for mission-critical insights, help in identifying opportunities for automation, and for data on how their changes and programmes are affecting internal customers.

Over the next few years, harnessing data from the Service Desk and applying technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and automation should see this function evolve faster and further than ever before. It will become the driver of innovation and business transformation, in addition to being the greaser of the wheels of the enterprise.

Enabling the Service Desk of the future

Understanding the “what” and the “why” of business processes will be critical to improving service standards and enabling this proactive vision of the service desk of the future. Many requests coming into the Service Desk are emails, calls or tickets being raised. Indeed it's estimated that half of all requests that past through the Help Desk are transactional in nature, requiring a limited number of contacts or touchpoints.

Although traditional ticketing tools may be able to confirm how many password resets are requested, they probably don’t have the analytical capability to specify which password, from which department, or by which user and how frequently it happens. This is where Communications Mining comes in. 

Communications Mining platforms including Re:infer look at what the action is, while mining the conversational data to provide insight on the who, and the why. These are the insights you need to positively change a process, system or behaviour which is leading to the request being received in the first place.

I found more out in 2 weeks using the insight from Re:infer, than I had done in the previous 2 years.”
<small>Data Science lead–Leading European FS Firm<small>

Using text analytics to understand what’s happening in a process isn’t new. What makes Communications Mining different is that it has the ability to act on these written instructions and provide structured outputs to your Robotic Process Automation (RPA) bots. This enables close to real-time actions to be completed, while gathering insightful data for your process improvement initiatives. 

With Communications Mining and RPA, the potential for positive Service Desk automation is enormous. Agents spend most of their day processing simple, repetitive and monotonous service requests and tasks, like password changes and triaging emails to the right team member. Such requests add to workloads and pile pressure onto agents. They are the silent killers that drive churn and distract agents from more complex and mission-critical requests, increasing handling times and impacting service quality as a whole.

Yet with Communications Mining and automation, you can automate these processes from end to end, safely and sustainably. Advances in NLP technology mean it is now fully capable of accurately extracting the intent from service requests, with a better success rate than humans. Repetitive, low-level service requests can be safely left to Communications Mining + RPA, freeing agents to focus on the most important and rewarding work.

Our partnership and deep integrations with leading RPA providers such as UiPath & Blueprism provide our customers with the confidence they need to double down on automating conversational based processes”
<small>Dr Ed Challis – Co Founder & CEO Re:infer<small>

Outsourced or In-house, understanding what is going on in your Service Desk is important. Start your intelligent communications journey today. See what Re:infer's Communications Mining platform can do for your organisation. 

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