Bot application - advice

alexwhite19800 used Ask the Experts™
We currently have an application called "Support" for mobile devices (runs on iOS/Android). The end user types their issue into the a form and it goes off to the helpdesk, who log a ticket.

To me, this seems somewhat pre-historic.

I was thinking of utilising bots, so that the user could interface with some level of AI which would then at least be able to present solutions

Is this possible? Are chatbots available to understand that the user has written and then point them to a Knowledge Base?

Any way to make this even better?
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There are solutions like this, more or less ...

I don't run such a thing, but I've been stuck with 'em often.

Many companies run such an engine as some kind of filter to keep the helpdesk load as low as possible - usually the user enters his question (and probably a lengthy description) and send that off to the helpdesk. The bot engine intercepts that process and offers a bunch of KB articles of which it thinks they're matching the problem (from my experience, they seldom do).

If the use states that nothing fits to his problem, his question is forwarded to the helpdesk people (usually answered with prearranged phrases, at least in the first and second round ...)

I don't know it such a process would enhance the end user experience on support - to me it looks mostly like a way to keep human helpdesk cost as low as possible and repell all users with not so much hurting problems ...

Sorry that I can't pinpoint a software that provides suchs services.
A lot help desk software does this as an initial lookup, rather than a conversation.  Not too fancy required - user enters problem ticket and before it goes to the help desk, you search the knowledge base for matches and present those to the user and ask them "anything helpful here?"  If not, they submit the ticket like normal.

There certainly is an increasing amount of work around chat bots to take on this - but that seems like an odd niche to me.  If my problem is simple and can be handled automatically, in the modern world I can just search for the answer (e.g. how do I get a password reset on expert's exchange? - the answer is clearly going to be out there).  But if my problem is complex, then I don't really see how an automated bot could provide it (e.g. why does my browser just reload the front page after I enter my valid password?).  At that point I need customer service.

So the gap between simple information available by search and complex problems that require a human with admin access to my account seems pretty slim to me.

Just my two cents,


P.S. Former AI researcher :)
Jackie Man IT Manager
Top Expert 2010
I think you need to consider the information consumption needs of the users first.

Most users just want to have the helpdesk support directly without looking up or chatting with a robot.

Of course, technology will change the information behaviour if there is a breakthrough in AI technology.

Do you want to develop your own AI app or just to use what app which is available?

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