ServiceNow Virtual Agent is revolutionizing the way businesses automate tasks and deliver self-service solutions. Designed to address common challenges faced by IT and customer service teams, it serves as a versatile tool across multiple messaging interfaces.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore its key features, its benefits, and the problems it solves. Whether you’re in IT service management, customer support, HR, or operations, you’ll find value in understanding how ServiceNow Virtual Agent can streamline work, enhance user experience, and catalyze a digital transformation journey.
Oh, and it won’t judge your tech knowledge, it doesn’t require feeding, and, unlike Fred in marketing, it never takes an unexpected day off.
What Is ServiceNow Virtual Agent?
ServiceNow Virtual Agent is an innovative chatbot that harnesses the power of artificial intelligence (AI) and natural language understanding (NLU) to automate routine tasks and offer self-service solutions to end users. Built on the Now Platform, it uses NLU models to decipher and respond to user queries, providing a seamless and interactive user experience.
Built as a core plugin, it can be incorporated into different apps within the ServiceNow platform. ServiceNow Virtual Agent can also be integrated with external platforms like Slack and Microsoft Teams, making it a versatile solution for multiple messaging interfaces.
It’s your digital superhero, but without the pompous reminders that it’s a superhero.
Introducing Now Assist for Virtual Agent
ServiceNow’s latest addition to its Virtual Agent is Now Assist. Using generative AI, Now Assist enhances the self-service experience, providing relevant responses and promoting productivity and faster issue resolution. It’s a representation of ServiceNow’s commitment to embedding generative AI across the Now Platform, allowing customers to unlock the potential of enterprise-grade AI.
Now Assist for Virtual Agent is currently available to a limited set of customers, with general availability expected in ServiceNow’s Vancouver release in September 2023.
What Problems Does ServiceNow Virtual Agent Address?
ServiceNow Virtual Agent is designed to mitigate various challenges that IT and customer service teams frequently encounter.
- High Volume of Common Requests: IT and customer service teams often face a high influx of common, repetitive requests, which can overwhelm live agents and lead to slower response times.
- Slow Issue Resolution: The time it takes to resolve end-user issues is crucial in providing superior customer service. Delayed responses can result in customer dissatisfaction and, ultimately, affect the overall user experience.
- Excessive Live Agent Tickets: There is often an influx of tickets that could have been resolved through self-help resources or automated responses. This overflow can burden live agents, leading to slower ticket resolution and increased workload.
- Communication Gap: The gap in understanding between technical and nontechnical users can lead to confusion and delays in problem resolution. This divide often complicates IT service management and can affect the quality of communication.
- Integration Challenges: As businesses use an increasing number of apps and platforms, seamless integration becomes a significant challenge. The need to embed functionalities across different apps can be a complex process.
- Inefficient Workflows: Manual or overly complicated workflows can reduce productivity and increase the chance of errors. The inefficiencies of such workflows often drain resources and could hamper overall operational performance.
- Lack of Personalized User Experience: Ensuring a personalized and engaging user experience across different platforms can be challenging. The task of designing conversation flows to meet unique user needs can be intricate and time-consuming.
- Managing Notifications: In the era of real-time communication, managing notifications effectively can be a daunting task. Overloading users with unnecessary notifications can lead to a poor customer experience and dissatisfaction.
Addressing these issues is critical for any business aiming to improve its service management operations and overall user experience. They represent common yet critical pain points that teams face in their daily operations.
Goodness, if each IT problem was a gray hair, we’d all look like Gandalf by now. But hang in there—there’s more to this blog post.
What Are the Benefits of ServiceNow Virtual Agent?
The ServiceNow Virtual Agent is packed with numerous benefits that can dramatically enhance IT and customer service operations. Here’s an expanded look at the advantages it offers:
- Efficiency through Automation: One of the main strengths of the Virtual Agent lies in its automation capabilities. By automating common requests and routine tasks, Virtual Agent dramatically reduces manual efforts. This efficiency boost frees up live agents to focus on more complex issues, enhancing the productivity of your customer service and IT teams.
- Simultaneous Conversations: Unlike human agents, the Virtual Agent chatbot can handle multiple conversations concurrently. This multitasking ability ensures a quicker response to end-user queries, minimizing wait times and enhancing the user experience.
- Improved Conversational Experience: Thanks to its NLU functionality, the Virtual Agent enables an engaging conversational experience. It interprets end-user language and responds effectively, improving user interaction and the overall customer experience.
- Flexible Integration: The ability of the Virtual Agent to embed into various apps and platforms offers unmatched flexibility and convenience. It integrates with popular platforms like Slack and Microsoft Teams, allowing users to get help within the tools they are already using, thus improving workflow efficiency.
- Customizable Conversations: The Virtual Agent Designer is a powerful tool that lets organizations tailor their virtual agent conversations. This feature allows the creation of customized conversation flows to meet specific use cases, delivering a personalized and engaging customer experience.
- Performance Analytics: One of the critical features of the ServiceNow Virtual Agent is its performance analytics functionality. This feature helps in monitoring and optimizing the bot’s performance, identifying areas of improvement, and ensuring the maximum possible deflection of queries to the Virtual Agent.
- Real-Time Notifications: The Virtual Agent sends real-time notifications to users, keeping them updated about their queries or issues. This proactive approach enhances communication, reduces uncertainty, and improves overall customer satisfaction.
- Mobile App Functionality: ServiceNow Virtual Agent extends its functionality to mobile apps, providing support to users on the go. This feature ensures a seamless customer experience across platforms, promoting user engagement and satisfaction.
The ServiceNow Virtual Agent is an invaluable tool that offers immense benefits, ultimately improving the overall efficiency of service management operations and enhancing the end-user experience.
You: “It’s like a multitasking wizard—working magic on multiple conversations at once!”
Your boss: “Do we have to provide it with a wizard hat?”
You: “Not at all, Linda. It’s all magic—no props required!”
Your boss: “Nice. I’ve always said this place could use more sorcery.”
How Is It Different from Other Virtual Agents?
ServiceNow Virtual Agent sets itself apart from other virtual agents in the market with several unique characteristics that give it a competitive edge.
- Deep Integration with ServiceNow Platform: Being an integral part of the ServiceNow ecosystem, the Virtual Agent has a deep understanding of the platform’s data and workflows. This integration allows for swift, automated task completion and superior self-service experiences. It can pull information from the entire ServiceNow suite of services, making it particularly efficient in providing accurate and comprehensive responses.
- Intuitive Virtual Agent Designer: ServiceNow provides an easy-to-use, no-code Virtual Agent Designer. This feature enables businesses to customize the Virtual Agent to fit their unique needs, design conversational workflows, and create or modify existing conversations with a simple drag-and-drop interface.
- Natural Language Understanding (NLU): ServiceNow Virtual Agent uses advanced NLU models to comprehend user queries better. This understanding goes beyond keyword recognition to interpreting the intent behind user phrases, leading to more accurate responses and a more human-like conversational experience.
- Automated Task Triggering: Unlike many other virtual agents, ServiceNow’s can trigger automated tasks on the platform. For instance, it can create a ticket, update a user’s information, or even order a new device, all based on a simple user command.
- Omnichannel Availability: ServiceNow Virtual Agent can be deployed on various platforms like the ServiceNow portal, Microsoft Teams, or Slack. This omnipresence allows end users to get support on the platforms they already use daily, creating a seamless user experience.
- Robust Analytics and Improvement: ServiceNow Virtual Agent comes with an analytical dashboard showing usage statistics, conversation success rates, and more. This information provides actionable insights to refine and improve the Virtual Agent over time, making it a continually evolving tool.
By combining advanced natural language understanding, deep ServiceNow integration, and powerful configuration options, ServiceNow Virtual Agent is uniquely positioned to deliver superior end-user experiences and transform service management operations.
If it were in a race with other virtual agents, it’d be at the finish line enjoying a cool drink while others are trying to trip and elbow-check each other.
Why Use Both ServiceNow Virtual Agent and ITSM Pro?
The combination of ServiceNow Virtual Agent and ITSM Pro offers a powerful duo that can dramatically enhance your service management operations. Here’s why this pair is invaluable:
- Proactive Issue Resolution: ITSM Pro’s predictive capabilities, combined with Virtual Agent’s automation features, enable proactive issue resolution. This proactive approach decreases downtime and enhances end-user satisfaction.
- Workflow Automation: The integration of Virtual Agent with ITSM Pro simplifies and automates workflows. This synergy between tools not only accelerates processes but also eliminates redundant tasks, boosting overall productivity.
- Enhanced Service Delivery: ITSM Virtual Agent integrates seamlessly with the Service Catalog. This integration enables users to access and request services directly through the Virtual Agent, streamlining service delivery and enhancing user experience.
- Improved Knowledge Base: With ITSM Pro, the Virtual Agent can tap into a vast knowledge base, providing quick and accurate responses to common requests. This functionality ensures that end users receive reliable information, leading to faster resolution times.
Combining ServiceNow Virtual Agent with ITSM Pro unleashes an advanced IT service management solution that can revolutionize your service delivery and user satisfaction.
Which Industries Especially Benefit from This?
ServiceNow Virtual Agent’s versatility and adaptability make it a beneficial tool across a wide array of industries. Here are some of the sectors where this tool can create a significant impact:
- Healthcare: In the healthcare industry, the Virtual Agent can handle appointment requests, frequently asked questions about health services, and patient queries while providing vital information, improving the efficiency of healthcare operations and patient satisfaction.
- Retail: Retailers can leverage the Virtual Agent to manage inquiries about orders, process returns, provide product information, and more. It helps in enhancing the customer shopping experience, ensuring swift responses, and reducing customer service overheads.
- Logistics: In logistics, the Virtual Agent can play a crucial role in tracking packages, managing shipment requests, and answering logistics-related queries. It can improve operations, reduce delays, and elevate customer satisfaction.
- Education: Educational institutions can use the Virtual Agent for IT service requests, administrative questions, student inquiries, and more. It can streamline information delivery and support services, enhancing the student and staff experience.
- Financial Services: Financial institutions can utilize the Virtual Agent to handle banking inquiries, process transaction requests, provide information about financial products, and offer immediate assistance, leading to improved customer service and operational efficiency.
- Manufacturing: In manufacturing, the Virtual Agent can assist in managing supply-chain inquiries, maintenance requests, IT service queries, and more. It contributes to increasing the operational speed and productivity in the manufacturing sector.
Through its capabilities in handling customer service management (CSM) inquiries and IT service requests across industries, ServiceNow Virtual Agent proves to be a versatile tool that brings immense value.
It’s even rumored that the music industry wants it as a backup singer.
Which Job Roles Benefit from ServiceNow Virtual Agent?
ServiceNow Virtual Agent offers valuable benefits to professionals in diverse roles. The following job roles, among others, stand to gain significantly from this powerful tool:
- IT Service Management Professionals: ITSM professionals can leverage Virtual Agent’s automation capabilities to create efficient workflows. It helps streamline IT services, enhances the end-user experience, and reduces manual tasks.
- Customer Service Representatives: With its capability to provide rapid query resolution, the Virtual Agent can support customer service representatives in handling high volumes of customer queries, improving customer satisfaction and service efficiency.
- HR Professionals: The Virtual Agent can assist HR professionals by handling common employee queries related to policies, benefits, leave requests, and more. This can free up HR’s time to focus on strategic tasks.
- Developers: Developers can harness the power of the Virtual Agent Designer to customize the chatbot as per organizational needs. The ability to integrate with APIs opens up possibilities for enhancing functionality and connectivity with other systems.
- Project Managers: Project managers can use ServiceNow Virtual Agent to automate routine tasks, track project updates, and handle team queries, leading to improved project management efficiency.
- Operations Managers: With ServiceNow Virtual Agent, operations managers can handle operational inquiries, track workflows, and manage notifications, enhancing operational efficiency and responsiveness.
By catering to a broad range of roles, ServiceNow Virtual Agent not only improves operational efficiency but also drives higher satisfaction rates among internal and external users.
Oh, if you were wondering, no, it won’t replace the office barista. They still hold a special place in everyone’s heart.
Success Story: Driving Call Deflection
A prominent commercial real estate company found itself facing a pressing challenge—the service experience was inadequate for both end-users and agents.
The service desk team was being bombarded by a high volume of reactive demand. This overwhelming influx was pulling the agents away from focusing on critical, high-priority work, significantly hindering their productivity and service efficiency.
To address this, the company introduced “Wes”—a virtual agent configured to handle the 10 most common end-user issues, delivered through the Virtual Agent solution. Wes was programmed to automate responses, including referring to knowledge databases, checking ticket status, and opening incidents or requests.
With a user-friendly and cheeky interface, Wes added a human touch to the interactions while retaining the efficiency of an AI solution. Users felt taken care of while also being subtly guided to adopt the right path for resolving their issues.
The introduction of Wes had an immediate and significant impact on the company’s service desk operations:
- In the first month alone, there was a 12.5 percent decrease in call volume and a 10 percent reduction in incidents reported.
- In the first quarter following Wes’s introduction, the company reported a 20 percent reduction in incidents.
- Users started turning to Wes for help, particularly through Teams, which provided a familiar interaction framework and eased the transition.
- Wes not only reduced the pressure on the service desk team but also empowered end users by providing them with self-service options for their most common issues. This transformation significantly increased the transparency of service, thereby enhancing user satisfaction and trust.
The successful implementation of Wes through Virtual Agent created a more effective, efficient, and user-friendly service desk operation. This success story illustrates how Virtual Agent can help organizations tackle high reactive demand, improve their service experience, and drive efficiency.
(You wouldn’t be blamed for wondering if Wes became the office heartthrob. Also, no, he doesn’t have a charming British accent, even though his service delivery does charm end users.)
Why Enlist a ServiceNow Partner to Help?
Onboarding a ServiceNow Elite Partner for your ServiceNow Virtual Agent implementation can bring numerous advantages. These experienced professionals carry a plethora of certifications and have an in-depth understanding of the platform’s capabilities. Enlisting their help provides the following key benefits:
- Expert Design of Virtual Agent Topics: They can help you create and design Virtual Agent topics that are tailored to your business needs, improving the user experience and the efficiency of your service operations.
- Assistance with NLU Models: A ServiceNow partner can assist in creating advanced NLU models. These models enable your Virtual Agent to comprehend user queries better, making interactions seamless and effective.
- Maximizing ROI: With a comprehensive understanding of ServiceNow’s suite of offerings, a partner can guide you to leverage the Virtual Agent to its maximum potential, ensuring you get the best return on your investment.
- Integration Support: From the service portal to messaging platforms like Slack and Microsoft Teams, a partner can effectively integrate the Virtual Agent with various platforms, expanding its reach and enhancing its accessibility.
- Performance Optimization: A ServiceNow partner can help monitor and analyze the Virtual Agent’s performance using ServiceNow’s Performance Analytics. Their insights can aid in optimizing conversation flows and boosting the overall efficiency of the Virtual Agent.
In essence, ServiceNow Elite Partners can play a pivotal role in enhancing your Virtual Agent implementation, taking it from good to great while ensuring that it is finely tuned to meet your business requirements.
Think of a ServiceNow partner as your business’s own fairy godmother: They’ll transform your service delivery from a pumpkin into a high-performance carriage.
How Cask Helps You with ServiceNow Virtual Agent
With an experienced team of certified ServiceNow ITSM specialists, Cask plays a crucial role in transforming customer experiences with the ServiceNow Virtual Agent. Cask’s proficient handling of ITSM processes and service-first methodology makes the implementation of ServiceNow Virtual Agent not just seamless but also extremely beneficial for businesses across various sectors.
Here’s how Cask optimizes your ServiceNow Virtual Agent:
- Solving ITSM Challenges: Cask helps businesses overcome common ITSM challenges, such as repetitive tasks and confusing support structures. Their solution uses Virtual Agent’s capabilities to streamline support tasks and provide clear, efficient support routes.
- Integration: Cask ensures the ServiceNow Virtual Agent can be utilized through your service portal or integrated with tools like Microsoft Teams, Slack, and Facebook Workplace for a broad reach and ease of use.
- Tailoring Experiences with ITSM Pro: Cask leverages ITSM Pro features such as dynamic translation and integrations to personalize user experiences. Real-life stats show improvements in incident deflection, process backlogs, and efficient routing with ITSM Pro.
- Proactive Improvement: With Cask’s services, businesses can expect to see continuous growth and improvement in their Virtual Agent capabilities. This includes expanding conversations and topics, implementing Natural Language Understanding (NLU), and predictive intelligent clustering.
- Post-Implementation Support: Cask doesn’t just leave you after implementation. It provides robust post-implementation support, including developing a roadmap from the current to future state, helping with reporting and maintenance, and capturing real-time customer satisfaction feedback.
- Providing Analytical Insights: By harnessing the power of Virtual Agent analytics, Cask helps you measure usage statistics, conversation rates, and success rates, providing actionable insights for continual improvement of your service operations.
Cask’s expertise in ServiceNow and the Virtual Agent can empower your business to maximize the potential of this AI-powered tool, paving the way for enhanced customer experiences and superior service management operations.
Cask treats your Virtual Agent like a valued sidekick, complete with training, performance improvement, and the occasional “good bot” recognition.
Elevate Your Service Management with Cask’s Virtual Agent Spark
Overwhelmed IT teams and frustrated employees don’t have to be the norm. You can break free from the cycle of inefficiency and dissatisfaction plaguing many service desks. The answer lies in automation and effective self-service, driven by Cask’s Virtual Agent Spark.
Here’s what Virtual Agent Spark brings to your organization:
- Seamless 24/7 AI-powered self-service across popular channels
- Quick time to value through our express implementation process
- Improved user experience and satisfaction
- Reduced Tier 1 support costs and mean time to resolution (MTTR)
- Enhanced work prioritization for agents
(It’ll save you so much time, you’ll be able to start that office band you’ve been dreaming of.)
Empower your IT team members to shift their focus to more valuable work while giving your employees the instant, round-the-clock support they need. Experience a fast track to efficiency and ROI, and witness the transformation in your service management operations.
If you’re ready to free your agents from the shackles of repetitive tasks and aim for improved user satisfaction, it’s time to consider Cask’s Virtual Agent Spark.