What happens when customers spend a long time waiting on the phone to get assistance? What about when they have to log into your helpdesk system and get updates on their tickets, enter notes or coordinate meeting times? Does that help your brand?

These problems don’t end with customer inconvenience. The whole time your customers are waiting on hold (in spite of incredible hold music), your support reps are backed up with other calls and are not able to handle the load. Once the highly-trained technician is able to get on the phone, the customer has a simple question that could have been answered more efficiently, saving the service provider and the customer valuable time.

Instead of forcing your customers to wait on the phone, what if they could contact your company using a messaging app they already have installed on their computer or mobile device? Instead of waiting several minutes to create a support request, they could get the process started immediately using a customer service chatbot. This can be a powerful way of alerting your support reps of a problem without tying them up on the phone, while providing the customer a pleasant, guided experience.

What is a Chatbot?

A chatbot can take many forms, but it is most likely an AI powered software that takes input (in this case, your questions) and then formulates an answer based upon predefined responses it has been “taught”. The chatbot may not know everything, but it can utilize machine learning to learn how to answer certain questions next time.

Chatbots today have a limited scope of knowledge. While they can answer specific questions to help customers get a quick resolution to a problem or perform simple tasks, they are limited to the questions and answers they have been taught, or have learned along the way from other customers.

Customers Need Help

Customers frequently ask questions via social media and other channels and often those questions go unanswered. There simply isn’t enough time for reps to answer the barrage of questions being asked. However, with a properly programmed chatbot, it becomes possible for the chatbots to answer many of the repetitive questions that customers ask and let the reps handle the rest.

Examples of Chatbots in IT

Zendesk recently teamed up with AgentBot to allow companies to offer support services using automatic customer service to get quicker resolutions for clients.

Another example is SupportBots. It is made specifically for managed service providers, allowing them to improve customer service while reducing response time. SupportBots can handle many tasks like opening support tickets, appending tickets, and ultimately closing tickets. They can also handle more sophisticated tasks like scheduling technician appointments and updating a customer on the status of her call. SupportBots is currently in Beta.

AI for IT is definitely something to keep an eye on, and in the coming years, it may prove to revolutionize how support is done. Chatbots meet a need by allowing customers to ask questions and get answers without having to spend time in your helpdesk system or on the phone. They can help your support team save valuable time by automating repetitive tasks. All of this can reduce response time, making your customers happier while at the same time allowing your customer service reps to focus on high-value problems rather than the same repetitive questions.