Dec 7, 2023

AI employee helpdesk

Choosing the right AI employee helpdesk: the ultimate guide for IT managers

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When looking for an AI employee helpdesk to help you optimize your support operations, finding the perfect fit for your organization seems like navigating a labyrinth of options. With each solution boasting its unique strengths and weaknesses, decision-making becomes a complex process. Fear not, for we've crafted a comprehensive guide to help you simplify the evaluation process and choose the ideal AI employee helpdesk platform that aligns seamlessly with your company’s needs.

Step 1: Define what 'Great Employee Support' means for your business

Organizations renowned for outstanding employee support begin by crafting a comprehensive support strategy. Clearly articulate what great employee IT support entails for your business and ensure that these support standards are uniformly applied across all departments.

While some businesses may gauge great employee helpdesk support by positive ratings from employees regarding their interactions with helpdesk agents, others may take a more comprehensive approach. Factors such as the time it takes for IT issue resolution, the cultivation of a tech-savvy workforce, or the emergence of enthusiastic advocates for your IT services could be considered indicators of superior employee IT support. This strategic approach enables a precise understanding of your organizational objectives and priorities, guiding your search for tools and solutions that align with your unique needs.

Step 2: Grasp end users’ and employee helpdesk team’s expectations

Before selecting the optimal helpdesk solution, invest time in understanding the challenges and expectations of both end users and IT support agents . Regarding your team, your responsibility is to streamline their efforts and foster stress-free work lives. The efficacy and operational fluidity of your IT support and helpdesk agents rely heavily on the tools at their disposal. Hence, it's imperative to seek input from those directly interfacing with end users—your helpdesk managers and agents. Their frontline experiences provide invaluable perspectives that can shape the selection of a helpdesk solution tailored to meet the specific needs of your IT support team and enhance overall operational efficiency.

For end users, expectations may vary from seeking prompt responses through a chatbot to having an easily accessible knowledge base. You can directly gather these insights through surveys.

Step 3: Set clear objectives

Next, it's essential to gain a crystal-clear understanding of the challenges you aim to address with your new AI software . Whether the focus is on streamlining ticket management, optimizing asset tracking, or facilitating seamless change implementations, defining your objectives narrows the focus and provides direction. Take the time to set expectations – does your employee helpdesk team require advanced reporting tools for comprehensive analytics, or are enhanced communication and self-service features like chatbots a top priority?

These expectations will guide you through the upcoming demos and trials, ensuring that the chosen AI software aligns perfectly with the unique needs of your employee helpdesk team and end users alike.

Step 4: Gather detailed requirements for key helpdesk features

Now that your objectives are set, dive into creating a detailed list of requirements . Utilize the identified problems and expectations to chart your needs, conducting a gap analysis to understand the disparities between existing and desired states. This process will result in an exhaustive list of requirements, helping you identify the perfect AI employee helpdesk platform that addresses current challenges and aligns with your organizational goals.

Here's a comprehensive list of requirements to consider when comparing different AI vendors:

- Feature fit:

  • Compatibility with existing IT infrastructure and tools.
  • User-friendly interface for both IT staff and end-users.

- Ticket management:

  • Customizable ticket fields to capture specific information.
  • Automation for ticket routing and assignment.
  • SLA (Service Level Agreement) management for timely issue resolution.

- Asset management:

  • Capability to track and manage IT assets efficiently.
  • Integration with asset discovery tools for real-time updates.
  • Maintenance scheduling for assets to ensure optimal performance.

- Change management:

  • Workflow automation for change requests.
  • Version control for software and hardware changes.
  • Audit trails to track and document changes for compliance.

- Communication and collaboration:

  • Seamless integration with communication tools (email, chat, notifications).
  • Collaboration features for IT and helpdesk teams to share information and updates.
  • Knowledge base for employees to find self-help solutions.

- Reporting and analytics:

  • Customizable reporting dashboards for key performance indicators.
  • Trend analysis to identify recurring issues and areas for improvement.
  • Integration with business intelligence tools for in-depth analysis.

- Deployment options:

  • Consideration of on-premises vs. cloud deployment based on organizational policies.
  • Time it will take to implement the solution.

- Business model alignment:

  • Compatibility with the organizational command chain and work culture.
  • Flexibility to support offices in multiple locations.

- Adherence to industry best practices:

  • Alignment with globally recognized IT service management frameworks.
  • Support for best practices to ensure efficient and standardized IT support.

- User experience:

  • Intuitive interface for ease of use.
  • Accessibility features for a diverse user base.
  • Training resources for smooth onboarding.

- Multi-language support:

  • Language options to support a diverse workforce in multiple countries.

- Pricing:

  • Consideration of licensing models and associated costs.
  • Evaluation of the total cost of ownership, including scaling, support, and maintenance.

- Security:

  • Implementation of robust security features, such as data encryption and access controls.
  • Compliance with industry standards for data protection.

By meticulously analyzing each of these requirements, you'll create a detailed roadmap that guides your evaluation process, ensuring that the chosen AI helpdesk platform not only meets your immediate needs but also lays the foundation for long-term success and efficiency in employee helpdesk support.

Step 5: Analyze AI capabilities

Not all AI is created equal, and the same holds true for AI employee helpdesk platforms. Scrutinize the platform's AI capabilities – does it use natural language processing and machine learning? Is it trained on advanced LLMs grounded in enterprise data? Is it integrated with GPT models? These features can significantly enhance the platform's ability to understand user queries, learn from interactions, and provide more personalized responses. The smarter the AI, the better the user experience.

Step 6: Assess integration capabilities

The success of an AI helpdesk platform hinges on its ability to seamlessly integrate with your existing IT infrastructure. Evaluate the platform's compatibility with your current systems, applications, and databases. Ask for API support for custom integrations with CRM, project management, or other relevant applications. The last thing you want is a solution that adds complexity rather than streamlining processes. Look for a platform that plays well with others and ensures a smooth integration journey.

Step 7: Evaluate scalability

As your organization grows, so should your AI employee helpdesk platform. Assess the scalability of the platform to ensure it can accommodate your expanding user base and increasing support demands. Understand its flexibility to add more technicians, end users, and IT management tools. Look for a solution that can effortlessly scale without compromising performance, ensuring a future-proof investment for your IT infrastructure.

Step 8: Budget and ROI considerations and tracking

Every decision involves financial considerations. Establish your budget and delve into understanding the return on investment (ROI) and payback period. Consider how the chosen solution will lead to savings on resources and increased output through consistent service quality. Prepare a list of financial requirements:

  • Budget management features to track IT expenses.
  • ROI calculation tools to measure the financial impact.
  • Payback period analysis for assessing the investment's profitability.

Consider these factors to ensure the help desk system aligns with your budgetary constraints:

  • Resist the temptation of steep discounts: Avoid being swayed solely by steep discounts or low prices. While cost is a crucial factor, prioritize a tool that not only fits your budget but also provides the necessary features for your team, ensuring a balance between affordability and functionality.

  • Seek approval from Upper Management: Engage upper management in the decision-making process and obtain their approval before finalizing any employee helpdesk tool. Foster transparency by clearly communicating how and where the allocated budget will be utilized.

  • Opt for Cloud-based solutions with flexible plans: Instead of making a substantial upfront investment in an open-source tool, consider acquiring a cloud-based helpdesk software. Look for solutions that offer flexible pay-per-user plans, allowing you to scale as needed. Explore annual plans, which often come with substantial discounts ranging from 10 to 50%. Additionally, inquire about any potential hidden costs or charges associated with the chosen plan, e.g. usage or automation limits.

Step 9: Raise important questions about your helpdesk vendor

Now that you've gained a comprehensive understanding of customer needs and expectations, it's time to delve into critical questions concerning potential AI helpdesk vendors.

  • How many paying customers do they have?
  • What is their average rating on popular software review platforms?
  • What other perks/benefits do they offer? Explore additional perks and benefits provided by the vendor, including features that differentiate them from competitors. E.g. combination of chatbots with Workflow Automation.
  • How secure is your business data with them?
  • Do they provide a free trial of their tool? Opt for vendors offering free trials to allow firsthand exploration of the tool's functionalities and alignment with your specific requirements.
  • What helpdesk metrics does the tool allow you to measure?

Following discussions with your team, you can formulate additional questions to ensure a thorough evaluation of potential helpdesk vendors.

Step 10: Review vendor’s support and training

Even the most advanced AI platforms may require some human touch. Assess the quality and responsiveness of customer support and training provided by the platform's vendor. Check the availability of support channels and resources. A responsive support team and comprehensive training resources can make a significant difference in the successful implementation and ongoing use of the AI helpdesk platform.

Step 11: Harness the power of free trials

Certain vendors extend the opportunity for a trial period, often spanning 15 to 30 days, providing you with a firsthand experience of their product and facilitating a more informed purchasing decision.

Through a free trial, you gain the advantage of test-driving the tool at zero cost, allowing you to assess its functionality before committing financially. This trial period serves as a valuable opportunity to verify if all the touted features and options are genuinely included and how seamlessly they operate. Most trials even grant access to premium features, enabling your team to grasp the full spectrum of capabilities.

A free trial allows for a comprehensive evaluation of the platform's efficacy, offering sufficient time to explore each feature in detail. Encourage your team during this period to meticulously note down their positive experiences and pinpoint areas where the platform may fall short, ensuring a well-rounded understanding before making any commitments.

Ready to make the ideal AI employee helpdesk software choice?

Selecting the right helpdesk software can be a daunting task for many CIOs and IT managers, with the starting point often elusive. It shouldn't be a source of sleepless nights. Your team deserves a tool that not only eases their workload but also empowers them to swiftly resolve employee issues.

Armed with this comprehensive guide, you're now equipped to navigate the intricate landscape of AI helpdesk solutions and select the perfect platform for your company. By following this systematic approach, you'll not only simplify the decision-making process but also ensure that the chosen platform aligns seamlessly with your organization's unique needs, setting the stage for enhanced IT support services and user satisfaction.

If you're on the lookout for an AI employee helpdesk tool that seamlessly blends rich features with affordability, your search concludes here. Gaspar AI stands out as a meticulously crafted solution designed to foster a content helpdesk team and delighted end users. Schedule a free demo and discover how to make every support interaction not just effective but meaningful.