Updated Oct 11 2020 :: by Katie Joll

One of the hallmarks of a successful helpdesk is operational efficiency.

While we’ve come a long way since the early days of helpdesks, there are still many companies that are using manual processes for prioritizing, assigning tickets and taking care of other key tasks.

Helpdesk automation is a solution to ensure you’re running as efficiently as possible. There are several applications for which automation can be used in the helpdesk environment, saving you time and ensuring that important tasks don’t fall through the cracks.

Here’s how automation can help:

Your helpdesk should automate these 9 tasks - download here

What is helpdesk automation?

Helpdesk automation covers a range of possible functions that can be set up to work automatically. One of the first and most obvious examples is an automated ticketing system.

When a user or customer sends in a help ticket, you want to ensure that the ticket is routed to the appropriate person to answer, that it is dealt with in a timely way, and that the answers given actually do resolve the issue for the user. Under manual systems (such as shared inboxes), it’s easy for tickets to slip through the cracks. When it isn’t assigned to a person, no one is taking accountability and it can lead to a poor experience for the user.

Part of the function of an automated ticketing system is ensuring that tickets get assigned appropriately, so that Service Level Agreements are met and the customer is satisfied with the service. Automation helps you to cut out the possibility that a human drops the ball. Your automation should also notify the agent that tasks have been assigned to them and should document their communication with the user.

Besides an automated ticketing system, there are other applications for automation of a helpdesk. For example, you might use automation to:

  • Request feedback from your users or customers.
  • Provide answers or solutions automatically. For example, you could use chatbots to suggest appropriate knowledge base articles that could solve the customer query.
  • Use behavioral software that gives feedback to your agents (Cogito is an example of such software. It uses behavioral science and can give feedback such as letting agents know if they speak too fast or don’t listen enough).
  • Automatically take care of routine requests. Password resets are a good example of these for service desks.
  • Set up “rules” for how tickets are to be routed. For example, certain keywords might indicate a ticket should be tagged under a certain category.
  • Send status updates to users.
  • Track and manage any company assets that the support or helpdesk is charged with minding.
  • Escalate any major incidents.
  • Time tracking and scheduling for team members.

If you branch out into other aspects of managing an office environment, there are multiple ways in which you can use automation to benefit your helpdesk. It’s an area that is continuing to grow with new possibilities for automation being added regularly.

Helpdesks now have more tasks than ever that can be handled via automation

How does automation work?

How does automation work for helpdesks? The mechanics depend upon the software you use, but automation overall works with “rules.” Those rules are set up at a basic level so that “if this condition or thing occurs, then do this.” Some are more complex, so it’s more like “if this and this and this, then do that and that.” This is either achieved by being written into the code for a program, or it may be via AI - a more complex coding with the ability to “learn” on its own.

Essentially, automation is about rules, processes and workflows. Most tasks that your agents need to perform repeatedly will be good candidates for automation because you can build a process around them. Automation is great for making step two follow step one, but it can also initiate a workflow to escalate anything outside of the “normal.” It can be as basic as programming that says “I don’t understand this - escalate ticket to X.”

For any helpdesk that is not yet using automation, there are many reasons to look into an appropriate, automated solution. For one thing, these solutions aren’t as costly as they once were. Automation has become more commonplace and there are solutions available for many different budgets and levels.

What are the benefits of helpdesk automation?

What benefits can your helpdesk expect to enjoy through using automation? The key benefit we’re highlighting here is an overall efficiency of your operations. We can break this down with a few other major benefits, too. These include:

  • Saving agent time. Instead of spending time on repetitive tasks, they can take more time on more complex issues with users. In fact, automation can help free them up so that those complex issues are dealt with sooner.
  • Improving agent use for your helpdesk. When agents are being used more efficiently, you don’t need to employ as many to get through the same volume of work.
  • You free up more time for upskilling agents and learning new things.
  • The customer experience can be improved. Efficient processes mean faster turnaround for tickets and the ability to help themselves.
  • Avoiding losing tickets through the cracks. Automation helps to ensure they are prioritized and attended to.
  • Keeping knowledge and fixes for future reference. Sometimes under manual systems, those fixes get lost to time, whereas an automated system can store this information easily to refer back to.

JitBit helpdesk automation solutions

JitBit has automation macros to perform automatic actions on tickets that meet specific conditions. For example, it can assign categories based on keywords in the subject or it can affirm SLAs by sending reminders if a ticket hasn’t been updated for a period of time.

Rules are commonly used for:

  • SLA (service level agreements)
  • Escalation
  • Staff notification, customer notification
  • Helpdesk Workflow management
  • Auto-responding - in case a ticket contains a common question. Or - asking the user to provide more details.

We estimate that automation rules can do up to 40% of the work for you. Many tickets that come into helpdesks tend to be of a repetitive nature and this is where automation excels as a tool. The screenshot below shows where you can make automation rules with JitBit.

Helpdesk Automation triggers

Here are some useful examples of rules you can create:

  1. When a ticket is created and it has keywords "A", "B", and "C" in the subject - send a link to a Knowledge-Base article "X".
  2. When a ticket becomes "overdue" (past a due date) - send an alert to particular members of the team.
  3. When a ticket is closed (aka resolved) send an email invitation to rate the customer support experience.
  4. When a ticket is created and the "office" custom field is unset - prompt the user to fill the field.
  5. And when the "office" custom field is set - assign the ticket to technician "John" who's responsible for that office.
  6. If a ticket hasn't been updated for several hours - send a reminder to administrator.
  7. When a new reply is being added to a ticket - send an HTTP POST request to an external API that will update some external app.

You can also use our automation engine to create a rule-based chatbot using “rule chaining.” This can be used for live chat tickets as well as email.

Free download: 9 tasks your helpdesk should automate

Final thoughts

Helpdesk automation is bringing multiple efficiencies to helpdesks. Perhaps the bottom line for many is the ROI. Streamlining the helpdesk improves ROI by making more efficient use of resources.

Automation helps you to use your team’s skills more effectively and to address the issues in order of priority. You can stay lean while handling larger volumes of tickets and keeping up a higher level of service.

Helpdesk automation makes sense for businesses or organizations of all sizes. Take a look at JitBit’s solutions here.


'How Helpdesk Automation is Streamlining Efficiency' was written by Katie Joll
Katie Joll
Katie is our writer who specializes in technology and travel. When she's not writing, you'll probably find her on a trail, taking photos.


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