Sep 13, 2023

Balancing AI and Human Agents in IT Support Solutions

AI vs. Human: striking the right balance for IT support with feeling

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With AI-powered solutions gaining traction in IT support, you might be concerned that we are moving towards a rational, tech-overwhelmed help desk of the future, lacking any emotional connection.

Truth is, as AI takes center stage in the IT world, finding the right balance between AI-driven automation and genuine human interaction is crucial for creating meaningful employee experiences. AI has certain limitations that make human agents invaluable, and both have many advantages to offer in IT support. The question is: how do we find a balance that leverages the strengths of both AI technology and human agents?

In this blog post, we will delve into the role of AI and human agents in modern IT support and explore how to strike the right balance for optimal results.

The rise of AI in IT Support solutions

AI has made significant inroads into IT support, and for good reasons:

  • Speed and efficiency: AI can process and resolve routine queries and issues at lightning speed, ensuring minimal downtime and quick resolutions for employees.

  • Consistency: AI consistently provides accurate responses, reducing the variability that can occur when relying solely on human agents.

  • Scalability: AI can handle an increasing volume of support requests without the need for additional human resources, making it scalable as businesses grow.

  • Cost savings: By automating repetitive tasks, AI can significantly reduce operational costs associated with IT support.

  • Data-driven insights: AI can analyze support data to identify trends, patterns, and areas for improvement, aiding in proactive issue resolution.

    With this in mind, AI-based IT support solutions are particularly good for: \

  • Answering users' frequently asked questions, thanks to their 24/7 availability.

  • Perform repetitive tasks that do not require complex reasoning,

  • Collect preliminary information from users and then refer them to the most appropriate human operator.

  • Provide basic support and troubleshooting, such as for frequent employee problems.

Limitations of AI tools in service desk operations

It's important to acknowledge that AI-powered solutions also come with certain limitations that companies need to be aware of.

  • Lack of human empathy: AI tools lack the ability to genuinely empathize with users. While they can provide standardized responses, they cannot fully understand or address the emotional aspects of user frustration or stress.

  • Inability to handle complex scenarios or ambiguous questions: AI tools excel at handling routine and well-defined tasks but may struggle with complex, non-standard issues that require human judgment and creativity.

  • Dependency on training data: The effectiveness of AI tools heavily relies on the quality and diversity of training data. If the data used is biased or limited in scope, it can lead to skewed results and inaccurate responses.

  • User learning curve: Introducing AI tools to IT support may require users to adapt to new interfaces or procedures, potentially leading to a learning curve and resistance to change.

  • Cost of implementation: While AI tools can ultimately lead to cost savings, the initial investment in developing and integrating AI systems can be substantial. Small and mid-sized businesses may face financial barriers to adoption.

The human touch in IT support

While AI offers numerous advantages, human agents bring essential qualities to the table:

  • Complex problem solving: They excel at addressing intricate and non-standard issues that require creativity, and critical thinking.

  • Empathy and understanding: Human agents can empathize with employees who may be frustrated, anxious, or upset due to technical issues, offering emotional support and understanding during challenging situations. Empathy and understanding can go a long way in improving the overall user experience.

  • Adaptability: Human agents can adapt to dynamic and unpredictable scenarios, ensuring that unique issues are resolved effectively.

    However, they also have limitations, which is also the reason why AI is gaining ground: \

  • Limited availability: Human agents work within set hours, and their availability may not align with the needs of users in different time zones or those requiring assistance outside of regular business hours.

  • Human error: Despite their expertise, human agents are prone to errors, which can include misdiagnosing issues, providing incorrect information, or overlooking critical details.

  • Scalability challenges: As the volume of support requests grows, relying solely on human agents can be cost-prohibitive and may lead to longer response times and reduced support quality.

  • Resource Intensive: Training and retaining skilled IT support professionals can be resource-intensive for companies, with ongoing costs associated with recruitment, training, and employee turnover.

IT support with emotion: striking the right balance between AI and Humans

The key to optimizing IT support lies in finding the right balance between AI and human agents. Here's how to achieve it:

  • Clearly defined roles: Use chatbots as the first level of assistance to reduce the workload of help desk teams. AI should handle routine tasks, while human agents focus on complex issues and personalized support.

  • Seamless integration: Ensure that AI and human agents work in harmony by integrating AI tools into the support workflow. This integration should be transparent to employees, they should be able to move seamlessly from one channel to another and issue history should be shared.

  • Regular feedback loops: Establish feedback mechanisms to continuously improve AI algorithms and human-agent performance based on user feedback and support data.

  • Use AI for proactive support: Identifying problems before they arise can significantly improve user experience and productivity. As human agents struggle to analyze large datasets and identify patterns that could inform proactive support strategies, AI is your best ally.

  • Training and upskilling: Invest in training and upskilling your human agents to ensure they stay relevant in an AI-driven environment.

  • Flexibility: Be prepared to adjust the balance as your organization evolves and as AI technology advances.

Gaspar AI, the perfect blend of cutting-edge AI and human expertise

With Gaspar AI, you can provide seamless digital workplace support that perfectly mixes the finest aspects of human expertise with the capabilities of AI technology. Gaspar, our cutting-edge Virtual Support Agent, automatically answers employee inquiries and resolves their requests, delivering personalized solutions within mere seconds. This not only enhances employee retention, satisfaction, and productivity but also contributes to driving positive business outcomes.

It blends the best of AI technology with the best of human experience: a chatbot that is trained on advanced LLMs to accurately solve employee queries, with the option to easily create a ticket which will be automatically routed to the right human agent when auto-resolution is not possible.

What’s best is that it does not require any special skills from employees and service desk teams to be used: the chatbot is added on Slack, MS Teams or Jira SM support portal, employees interact with it in their everyday language, and the whole support process happens on these platforms. And if you are afraid to ask about the implementation costs, fear not! With our low-cost pricing, which offers discounts depending on the number of monthly users, Gaspar AI is suited even for small businesses that want to enter the AI-powered era.

If you’d like to learn more, you can schedule a demo and explore the world of perfectly balanced and efficient IT support.