At this point, most of us have interacted with chatbots in a customer service capacity – even if we haven’t realized it. If you’ve ever started a chat with an “agent” after visiting a website for the first time, and all you did was ask a few basic questions, you were probably interacting with a chatbot. In the customer service industry, chatbots save an insane amount of time by automating what would otherwise be a demanding human task.
But can chat bots improve the capabilities of your IT department?
The short answer is yes – and they’re much more sophisticated and practical than you might think.
How Chatbots Can Help Your IT Department
Any use case of generative AI in IT can feasibly be a plus if it accomplishes one or more of the following goals:
- Saving time. One of the most obvious general benefits of using a chatbot is saving time. The chatbot may be able to automate a manual human task, freeing time for that person so they can focus on more important matters.
- Saving money. Chatbots are also relatively inexpensive, so they typically save you money in the long run. If it costs you $10,000 to keep a chatbot running, but it saves you $25,000 of man-hours and costs associated with errors, it represents a net savings of at least $15,000. The benefits of chatbots are hard to objectively calculate, but the benefits clearly outweigh the costs in most cases.
- Improving consistency. Any reasonably programmed technology should excel in terms of consistency. Chatbot performance isn’t contingent upon morale, tiredness, mood, or other fluctuating variables; you can always rely on it to perform its job optimally. This significantly reduces the role of human error and helps your organization become more streamlined and predictable.
- Potential for innovation. You can also use chatbots for innovation and development. If your best assets can set their minds to more creative and high-level tasks, they can come up with better ideas for how to improve your business. You can even interact with chatbots directly in pursuit of generating new ideas.
- Effective resource allocation. Chatbots assist with effective resource allocation. Instead of being bogged down with repetitive, mindless, or excessively time-consuming tasks all the time, your best team members can decide how their efforts are best spent.
- Employee morale and retention. Most people find their jobs are easier and more rewarding with the available help of chatbots. This leads to increases in employee morale and retention.
Specific Applications for Chatbots in IT
How do chatbots in your IT department help you achieve these goals?
These are some of the most common, specific applications:
- Knowledge base development. Chatbots can be used for knowledge base development. By interacting with these sophisticated AI tools, you can generate large sections of instructive or educational text. With the right prompts, your IT department team can write elaborate guidelines or troubleshooting algorithms for other employees to follow, and do it in a fraction of the time that it would take to write by themselves.
- Help desk support. IT staff members also love chatbots for their capacity for help desk support. Dealing with end user complaints and inquiries all day can be both time consuming and stressful, but having access to a chatbot makes it easier. In some cases, people seeking help can use these bots to resolve their own problems. In other cases, IT department staff members can rely on these tools to generate rough drafts or review and polish their own rough drafts, saving time in the process.
- Translation. Do you have an international team? Or do you frequently work with customers or end users who speak a different language? If so, you should know that modern chatbots are able to quickly and easily translate between different languages, and much more skillfully than they could in the past.
- Call scripts and more. Chatbots may also be able to help your IT department generate call scripts and other documents that are meant to make work more efficient and streamlined. With enough effort in this area, you can substantially increase consistency across your department and save time in the process.
- Internal documentation. There are many internal documents that your IT department is responsible for creating and maintaining. Disaster recovery planning is indispensable if you want to make sure your company can survive a catastrophe. Standard operating procedures (SOPs) ensure everyone on the team is following the same protocols consistently. Device and remote work policies dictate how employees can and should use company technology. And yes, chatbots can help you create and maintain all of these and more.
As you can see, chatbots are more than just a novelty, and they’re more than just a customer service tool. When utilized in a responsible and creative way, they can empower your IT team to save time, save money, and serve your company better.