In spite of two years of radical change brought about by COVID-19, most IT service management (ITSM) organizations still haven’t redesigned their employee support for a hybrid world.
A new study from AI service management company Espressive finds that even though there are new support tools available most enterprises haven’t updated their model for employee self-help, forcing remote employees to phone and email the help desk in record numbers.
Remote employees are more likely to pick up the phone (80 percent) or utilize a service ticket (73 percent) as a path to support. Other methods used are by email (60 percent), chat (57 percent), and an IT portal (56 percent). Collaboration tools are used by just 37 percent of remote employees, but are still much more common than virtual agents (nine percent).
“The pandemic ushered in the new hybrid workplace and while this has provided employees with more flexibility, it has been a different story for IT service desk teams who have been increasingly inundated with the new responsibility of supporting both in-office and remote employees. This shift happened almost overnight,” says Pat Calhoun, founder and CEO of Espressive. “Most hoped the hybrid workplace would be temporary, but as this new reality settles in for the long term, IT leaders must assess and prioritize how automation can help lessen the burden on IT support teams while improving satisfaction and productivity for all employees.”
The knock-on effect of all this is that 57 percent of remote workers report that waiting too long for their issue to be resolved is their top complaint. Others say they wait too long for a reply by email or are unable to always reach an agent (44 percent), or they wait too long on the phone (41 percent).
More than half of respondents (52 percent) say IT teams are working in shifts to offer on-call, 24/7 support, while others outsource out-of-hours support (16 percent) or rely on employee self-help (10 percent). For 22 percent though after hours support is not provided.
Less than half of those relying on employee self-help automate with a virtual agent and 60 percent rely on portals to serve up the right answers. Those that have used virtual support agents though are seeing the rewards, 57 percent of respondents cite improved employee productivity, and 25 percent say that fewer human agents are required so they can refocus agents to more strategic work.
You can find out more on the Espressive site.
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