Service desks increasingly lean on chatbot technology to help automate and improve customer support. The trend has surfaced in the IT service provider & MSP software market, where SupportBot -- which supports PSA tools like Datto (Autotask) and ConnectWise (Manage) released a ‘Slack-like’ chat room allows all team members to communicate in one place with customers, each other and directly with SupportBot.
Similar developments are unfolding in the enterprise and midmarket sectors, where ServiceNow earlier this year announced a conversational bot technology dubbed “Virtual Agent.” The company claims it is designed to improve customer and employee experiences by getting work completed quickly through more natural interactions and real-time automated resolution.
ServiceNow Virtual Agent Capabilities
Virtual Agent claims to manage employee or customer requests from start to finish, leveraging ServiceNow’s Now Platform to resolve conversational requests automatically, such as resetting a password.
ServiceNow’s Virtual Agent can deliver common service conversations such as:
- IT: Improve employee experience with common help desk requests such as automating password resets, creating an incident, processing approvals and checking outages, the company says.
- HR: Make it easier for employees to get answers or submit requests such as a leave of absence, research pay discrepancies, check status and update their profile, the company asserts.
- Customer Service: Increase customer satisfaction and improve agent efficiency when customers can create cases for products or orders and check product status through virtual agents, the company adds.
The platform will also allow you to create your own virtual agent service conversations with a drag-and-drop interface and little-to-no development time, ServiceNow claims. Organizations can use these custom conversations within third-party messaging services, including web, mobile and apps like Microsoft Teams and Slack.
Automated Service Desks: Is the Public Finally Ready?
We asked the question last year about whether the people who need support are ready for a fully automated system. Bots promise to handle a request from start to finish. But we're curious to see how effective the technology is -- and if SMB users will embrace the technology from their MSP partners.
ServiceNow seems to understand the technical challenges at hand. For instance, the company acquired Parlo to eventually inject more natural language understanding (NLU) into its virtual agents. NLU seems to address a challenging area for AI: understanding the nuances of human language. With Parlo, customers using virtual agents will train their bots to understand the technical and jargon-laden content. The result should be that everyday work interactions become simple, accessible and natural for everyone.
Partner interest in ServiceNow, meanwhile, appears to be skyrocketing. More than 2,000 partners -- including ISVs, IT consulting firms and MSPs -- attend the company's Knowledge 2018 conference earlier this year in Las Vegas.