What to Look for When Shopping for Conversational AI

With the explosion of AI technology over the last year and the intense growth in interest around generative AI – many companies are looking to find ways to carefully incorporate AI technology into their business.

One of the best places to start is within IT, and here’s why.

Investing in AI for IT can result in several benefits – especially when the AI is focused on driving self-service adoption and supporting your organization’s IT Service Management (ITSM) functions. We hear all the time from companies and organizations that their IT ticket volumes are rising, but their budgets and technical resources are stagnant or declining. One of the easiest levers to pull to help alleviate these issues (aside from automation) is conversational AI chatbots.

Conversational AI Chat vs. Traditional Chatbots

Conversational AI chatbots are intelligent software applications that can understand and respond to user queries in natural language.

In IT Service Management, conversational AI chatbots can be used to provide quick, efficient support to your users by resolving common issues, answering questions and guiding people through various processes.

When you use conversational AI chatbots on your self-service portal, for example, you can significantly enhance the overall user experience and streamline your IT support operations. You can also deflect tickets, support requests and calls/emails from your overwhelmed and overworked IT help desk.

It is important to note, however, the distinction between conversational AI chatbots and traditional chatbots because the success rates of using one over the other are drastic.

When talking about traditional chat, we mean a chatbot experience that has a limited conversation path. It can take inputs and guided dialog paths to return answers in a simplified question/answer format – similar to what you’d get if you searched a knowledge base or FAQ – there aren’t many actions a user can take from the conversation with a traditional chatbot.

Traditional chatbots don’t fare as well as those built on conversational AI. In fact, a recent market study from CIO.com found that nearly 76 percent of chatbot customers report user frustration with existing solutions. However, When conversational AI is used, the study shows more than 61 percent of respondents could effectively resolve problems vs just 35 percent when traditional chat is used.

The main benefit of a conversational AI chatbot lies in its ability to provide accurate, personalized responses to customers without any human intervention.

Conversational AI brings a number of additional benefits to service management teams when paired with enterprise integration and automation (using iPaaS). This combination can elevate chat from a glorified knowledge base search engine into an automated, action-centered channel to field requests through the use of dynamic forms or conversation flows.

No matter how good your knowledge base is, personalized user information can only be uncovered through the inherent ability to connect to business systems via APIs and integrations. This capability is what makes it possible to automatically provide dynamic content and fulfill simple, repetitive requests for action. When you have a conversational AI chatbot with this functionality already baked in, you can better service your users and even improve self-service adoption rates across your organization.

The Benefits of Integrating Conversational AI and ITSM

Because conversational AI chatbots are intelligent software applications that can understand and respond to user queries in natural language, there are many benefits to using conversational AI as part of your ITSM strategy including:

  1. Enhanced User Experience: Conversational AI chat offers a human-like conversational interface that makes it easy for users to interact with IT systems and seek assistance. It eliminates the need for users to navigate complex knowledge bases or submit tickets, resulting in a more intuitive and efficient experience. By offering personalized, interactive and real-time support, conversational AI chatbots can significantly enhance user satisfaction, reduce frustration and improve overall engagement.
  2. 24/7 Availability: Traditional IT help desks often operate within limited hours, leading to delays in issue resolution and increased downtime. However, conversational AI chatbots can be available around the clock, providing users with instant access to support and self-service options at any time. This 24/7 availability not only improves user satisfaction but also ensures prompt issue resolution, minimizing business disruptions and maximizing productivity.
  3. Efficient Issue Resolution: Conversational AI chat utilizes advanced natural language processing and machine learning capabilities to understand user queries and provide accurate solutions. By leveraging pre-defined knowledge bases, FAQs and historical data, conversation AI chatbots can swiftly identify and address common IT issues, providing users with quick and precise resolutions. This reduces the burden on IT support teams and frees up their time to focus on more complex tasks, resulting in faster response times and improved efficiency.
  4. Scalability and Consistency: As organizations grow, maintaining consistent IT service quality across various departments and locations becomes challenging. Conversational AI chatbots offer a scalable solution that ensures consistent support delivery by following predefined workflows and guidelines. It can handle multiple simultaneous conversations, catering to a large user base without compromising quality. This scalability and consistency enable organizations to meet the growing demands of their customers while keeping costs under control.
  5. Self-Service Empowerment: Conversational AI chatbots can play a crucial role in enabling self-service options for users. By providing an intuitive interface and access to knowledge bases, FAQs and troubleshooting guides, it empowers users to resolve common IT issues independently. In addition, with a chat solution like TeamDynamix Conversational AI, you can even take action from a conversation (like resetting a password or putting in a PTO request) without needing to talk to someone or submit a ticket. This not only reduces the dependency on IT support teams but also fosters a culture of self-sufficiency and continuous learning within the organization. Additionally, self-service options through conversational AI chatbots can significantly reduce support costs, as fewer resources are required to handle routine inquiries.

Critical Conversational AI Chatbot Capabilities

When looking to implement a new conversational AI chatbot, you’ll want to make sure it has these three critical capabilities to set your business or organization up for success:

  1. The bot can self-learn and is easily trainable.
  2. The bot can automate the fulfillment of requests directly from chat.
  3. The bot can programmatically ingest data from documents, PDFs, forms or other information sources.

While any conversational AI chatbot requires training to be successful, the tool you choose should come pre-set to answer the most common IT questions.

“Any conversational AI platform should have a clear understanding of what 80% of requests to the bot will be,” Andrew Graf, chief product officer at TeamDynamix, said. “Thankfully, that’s easy to do because TeamDynamix has tens of millions of service request data points that help refine what’s being asked of an organization, so our platform can come ready to go out of the box. And, over time, it will improve through self-learning.”

As you plan your future investments in chatbot and conversational AI technology, there are some key areas to consider and evaluate. Here’s a checklist of what to look for when selecting a conversational AI chatbot for your business or organization.

Does it have multichannel support for the following?

  • Web Chat
  • Teams
  • Slack
  • SMS/Text
  • Email
  • Social Media
  • Web Forms
  • Ticketing

When it comes to AI-Based Natural Language Processing can it handle the following?

  • Intent
  • Labeling
  • Response Management

Are these response actions available?

  • Designed Dialog Paths
  • Present Knowledge Base Articles and Services
  • Personalize with Data from Backend Systems
  • Launch Dynamic Forms
  • Send Notifications via SMS/Text, Email, or Webhook
  • Live Agent Failover
  • Send URLs
  • Launch Automations to Fulfill Requests
  • API/Webhooks

When it comes to advanced training and learning, does it include the following?

  • Preloaded Training Templates
  • Iterative Models
  • Supervised Learning—Human-in-the-Loop
  • Intent Matching Confirmation
  • Exception Processing

Do you want to learn more about chat vs. conversational AI? Read our market study: State of Chatbots and Conversational AI.

Curious about TeamDynamix Conversational AI? Learn more at https://www.teamdynamix.com/conversational-ai-chatbot/

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