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How to boost agent efficiency with AI

Martin Stewart -


AI-powered agent tools are changing how a service desk agent’s day looks and feels - disrupting the agent experience by augmenting and complementing the agent’s own knowledge and skills. Integrating AI assistance into your service desk will cut minutes from each ticket, enabling agents to spend less time on routine issues and more time solving novel problems.

The scale of the agent efficiency opportunity

A service desk agent’s day involves handling a broad range of ticket types. Despite the variety of outcomes that an agent is expected to deliver, there are common tasks that apply to many tickets. For example:

  • Gaining a clear understanding of the problem
  • Thinking about possible solutions
  • Communicating updates to customers
  • Escalating tickets to other agents, teams, and managers
  • Documenting solutions and preparing knowledge articles for sharing

Most tickets will involve at least one of the above tasks. Some will involve all of them. Each one of these tasks may take a minute, or a few minutes. Now think about the impact on your service desk if you could take 2 or 3 minutes off your average ticket time. Thanks to generative AI, these routine tasks are now automatable – meaning agents can close more tickets in a day.


How can AI help agents get more done

Suggested responses

Generative AI is very effective at helping agents understand the shape of an issue, the possible causes, and options for a solution. Using the end user’s or agent’s ticket description as a prompt, generative AI can provide information to help the agent quickly zoom-in on the problem and select a solution. That means shorter ticket times and faster outcomes for customers.

In Hornbill Service Manager, AI-driven suggestions are integrated right into the ticket screens. Service desk agents can simply click the Ask HAi button next to the ticket details field to get instant insight into how to approach the ticket.


Content assistance tools

Writing content is part of every service desk agent’s day: documenting solutions, emailing customer updates and solutions, preparing knowledge articles, and more. These content creation tasks can take up a significant slice of an agent’s day - if they are starting with a blank sheet and manually editing text content.

Hornbill HAi includes Text Assist, a suite of text content assistance tools that make the creation and editing of text easy. A range of content can be created from a simple prompt – from emails to knowledge articles. It can be improved and edited using simple one-click tools to:

  • Improve spelling and grammar
  • Shorten content to make it more consumable
  • Reformatted how-to content as a list
  • Alter the tone to suite different audiences (with 4 different tone options)

Once created, the agent can quickly review the content before use. This can cut time spent on content by up to 90% - with a significant impact on average ticket times.


Knowledge preparation

Knowledge management is often a major challenge for a service desk. There’s plenty of knowledge in people’s heads, and plenty knowledge being used throughout the course of the day. The main challenge is knowledge capture, preparation and sharing.

AI helps agents do two things:

  • Generative AI can quickly create simple how-to-guides for common problems.
  • AI can help an agent turn a technical procedure into a usable knowledge article.

The ability to create and transform knowledge content in minutes means it is possible to capture and curate knowledge at scale. This, in turn, makes it possible to quickly push more user-suitable knowledge to the self-service portal – taking significant strain off service desk agents. AI means the burden of documenting and preparing knowledge articles is significantly reduced, so it’s easier for agents to make the time needed for knowledge capture/curation. Agents then benefit from reduced call volumes because end users can self-solve a larger set of minor issues.


Automatic ticket summaries

Tickets often need to be passed from agent to agent or escalated to another team or manager. Normally, to hand over a ticket, the agent would have to manually create a summary of the situation – to get the receiving agent up to speed. This can take a few minutes to gather the information and write it up as a clear summary.

Our HAi Request Summarizer make ticket handover easy. It looks at the ticket details and the timeline and creates a simple summary so that the receiving agent or manager can quickly get a grasp of the problem and its context. All you need to do is click the HAi icon in the Request Summary. HAi will create the summary and let you edit it before reallocating the ticket.


Shift focus from ticket backlog to project backlog

By accelerating the mundane elements of working a ticket, Service Desk AI can help agents handle more tickets in a day – so that customers get the outcomes they want. Agents get to the opportunity to eliminate the backlogs, reduce stress, and shift focus from routine work to improvements and projects.

  • Faster outcomes for employees/customers. Minutes taken off every ticket.
  • Reduced operational workload. Backlogs are quickly eliminated. Reduced stress. Increased focus.
  • Agents can shift focus to solving novel problems, improving services, and introducing new innovations.
  • Happier, more engaged service desk agents. Lower staff churn rate.

Find out more


Hornbill ESM

Automate up to 90% of interaction and activity. Make time. Be future-ready.

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