The ability for customers to solve their own problems without interacting with humans means that service desks still delivering ‘tier 1’ support should urgently investigate the potential of automation to improve the situation.
Speaking at SDI18, Mike Matthews of Fujitsu Services said that while the impact of AI on service desks and other IT roles is exaggerated, we must acknowledge that automation is already advanced enough to efficiently handle ‘tier 1’ interactions.
“AI and automation can now legitimately handle every tier 1 customer interaction. Therefore, if you are still running a customer service operation predominately with tier 1 agents, how can you add value?”
According to Mike, the difference between automation and AI is poorly understood. He listed a number of services which are often incorrectly labeled as AI. For example, Apple’s virtual assistant Siri is not AI, it is “pseudo-intelligent”. This is because it leans on other systems and isn’t intelligent in itself. Mike says there are very few examples of true AI, listing services such as Pandora Radio and Boxever (an airline booking tool) among the handful of legitimate examples.
He mentioned the power of advanced and highly expensive platforms such as IBM Watson, describing the functionality which will gradually filter down into more realistically-priced business and consumer applications. “IBM Watson, with its incredible processing power, is used to diagnose cancer. It’s 99.5% accurate and also takes the emotion out of the process, both areas that humans struggle to match.”
One of the reasons why humans are still so critical to powering knowledge and automation is they must curate, structure and input the data that powers these systems. “For AI, self-service and automation to work, you must consolidate your data into a single source of the truth.”