There has been a lot of chatter recently around AI and the use of automated systems or bots to help with anything from writing articles to uncovering the weekly weather forecast. While these systems are impressive and relieve us of our most tedious and mundane tasks, when it comes to IT support, it turns out that people are looking for a human to help solve their IT issues.
Interlaced.io conducted an original research study among 244 participants to explore employee and leadership experiences in the workplace engaging with IT. In this blog post, we’re going to break down the poor experience users had around using automated tools and AI bots to solve IT issues and that at the end of the day, employees and leadership alike preferred to work with people.
What We Learned
Preference for Human vs. Automated IT Support
81% of participants would prefer to chat or speak with a person about their technical issue versus using an online automated bot or AI System. Our data suggest that most people had more confidence in their ability to have their IT issues resolved after having talked to a person.
On top of that, 73% of participants believed that chatting or speaking with a person would be faster to resolve their issue versus a bot or AI system.
Taking that a step further, when dealing with an IT issue, 87% of participants said they start with an activity that involves an immediate or expected human interaction, including:
- Send a support ticket and wait for a person to respond (45%)
- Chat online with an IT person (15%)
- Call and IT person (21%)
- Find an IT person in your office (6%)
This meant that only 10% of the participants typically started using an automated or AI system, with 3% attempting to solve these issues themselves.
Value & Success with Automated Systems for Resolving IT Issues
When asked to rank on a scale of 1 (the worst) to 10 (the best), on average participants rated Automated and AI systems an average of 5.2 in terms of their value in resolving IT issues. So at best, employees had a fairly poor experience when they did turn to automated systems. Nearly 60% of scores fell between ratings of 4-7, 20% gave a rating of 8-10 and 10% gave a bottom score of 1.
For those that have attempted to resolve an issue using an automated or AI system to resolve an IT issue, 79% ultimately required a person to finish resolving (47%) the issue or resolve it completely (32%).
So What Does This All Mean?
Employees have an extremely high preference (81%) for dealing with people around their IT problems. A vast majority (73%) also believe it would provide the fastest result.
And they have the experience to support this as 79% of their experiences with automated systems end with an IT person needing to resolve the issue. This ultimately leads to a very poor overall perception (5.42 rating) of the effectiveness of automated systems.
Knowing that employees, and businesses in general, see the value and want to work with other people to resolve IT issues, it’s incredibly important that business leaders meet employees where they feel most comfortable and where efficiency is not eroded. If technology is at the root of all we do and problems arise, how can business leaders maintain efficiency?
How Does This Impact Your Company’s Culture?
You may be asking yourself at this point – how does all the information impact my business? The short answer: a lot. Your IT team, whether in-house or outsourced, should view themselves as cultural catalysts, not just as service providers.
Your IT programs, policies, and processes have a great deal of impact on your company’s culture. Business leaders have to be aware of the role technology now plays in shaping how teams communicate, collaborate, and bond. In particular, consider these three aspects:
You only have one chance to make a good first impression on new employees
How an employee starts their journey is something they will remember for the entirety of their employment tenure. According to the HR Consulting firm The Wynhurst Group, “22% of staff turnover occurs win the first 45 days of employment.” You have only one shot at creating an incredible first-day experience for new hires.
If you were to audit your existing employee onboarding process, where are you spending the majority of your time? If your focus is on application, software & file access, device procurement, or credential management – how are you ensuring new hires are absorbing key insights such as your company’s core values & why they are important, customer landscape, or company history? Don’t let some of these more tactical aspects prohibit you from offering a great first-day experience.
Technology can be the catalyst for healthy interaction
Ease of use and speed of access coupled with the ability to share and safely store data are imperatives for modern productivity. IT is the basis for how ideas can spread and how ultimately work gets done. An effective IT program allows business leaders to remove barriers for their teams, enabling them to do their jobs as efficiently as possible.
Attracting and Retaining Top Talent
The IT experience your company provides is an important tool for attracting and retaining top talent. In one of our previous blogs, we discussed how behavioral scientists agree that employee engagement is heavily dependent on answering yes to the following statements:
- I have the ability to do my best work
- I have the right tools to be effective at my job
- My teammates care about me
Your IT program is not just about making sure you have the right tools and systems in place. It also helps to ensure your teams feel supported, that their feedback is heard and that they feel supported and cared for by their larger teams.
Fine Is Not OK
Creating an IT program may seem like a luxury, made possible only for larger enterprise businesses. However, that is not the case. And for small businesses, especially those with a remote workforce, ignoring the need for an effective IT program or operating with a sub-par solution are leaving money on the table. “Fine” may work for now but it’s not the long-term solution.
We understand first-hand that the IT landscape can be complex and oftentimes, incredibly frustrating when you have to deal with it on your own. To learn more about how Interlaced’s people-centered IT experts can build an IT program designed to meet your company’s growth goals, contact us today.