Outsource Mundane IT Questions To This Helpful Bot

Outsource Mundane IT Questions To This Helpful Bot
Retail

Spoke is an AI service that will filter the most mundane of help desk questions and answer them to save human operators' time

Anna Johansson
  • 23 october 2017

Help desk customers are often frustrated because their products aren’t working properly and they’re forced to wait in line to get the help they need. IT professionals are working to meet their needs, but it’s hard to offer total satisfaction with long lines and customers getting more irritated by the minute. But artificial intelligence has improved the process for help desks all over the world, and a startup called Spoke believes that it could be the answer to further automating the help desk process.

“Now you can have both,” reads the Spoke homepage. “More time to get things done and happier, more productive employees.” The system interface is similar to that of Jira Service Desk or ServiceNow. After the initial setup, an admin will fill out a profile with information about the company and other facts from the knowledge base. Then, all help desk requests will be routed through Spoke’s ticketing system.

This is where the software gets really helpful. Human IT professionals will work on answering each ticket request. Meanwhile, Spoke’s machine learning feature will observe and learn from the responses. When Spoke has a high percentage of confidence that their answer will be correct, it will chime into the conversation.

Ideally, this will save held desk operators a lot of time. Spoke can answer the run-of-the-mill questions with an automatic response. This means operators won’t have to waste 10 minutes of paperwork on a call about how to login to an account, reset a password or cancel a service. The AI machine will handle the most mundane of questions and the IT brains will be reserved for the more complex answers.

“Think about how much more rewarding your job would be if you didn’t have to keep answering repetitive questions and could focus your time on the big, impactful, creative stuff,” the company writes in a blog post. “And if your colleagues could get the information and support they need—when they need it—to stay happy and productive at work. In a nutshell, that’s the promise of Spoke.”

Spoke was founded by Pratyus Patnaik, Jay Srinivasan and David Kaneda. They previously worked for Google, but when they came up with this idea, they left the major tech corporation to help IT businesses get a little more freedom through their innovative solution.

In case you’re concerned about the AI system giving the wrong answer to someone, there are fail-safes built in to prevent that. Spoke won’t try to answer a question that it’s not reasonably confident about the answer. It will direct any unknown question to a human professional. Calls will also be monitored for quality control, and human operators can step in if they hear a wrong answer.

Don’t worry about customer satisfaction either. If customers find Spoke to be unhelpful in any way, they can request a redirect to human customer service. These redirects can be very good for the machine as it learns more about human behavior. With each redirect, it will learn more about providing good customer service.

“It’s basically human-curated machine learning,” Srinivasan, the start-up’s CEO, told CNBC in an interview.

The machine learning feature also kicks in for the benefit of the entire company. Spoke will sit the background of a company’s workflow, observing processes and collecting data. It can be put into action as a web app, through a text message conversation or over email. It can also be used inside Slack, and Spoke is hopeful that it will soon be able to integrate with a variety of messaging and productivity apps.

Spoke is currently designed for medium-sized businesses with more than 100 employees but fewer than 1,000. As the technology develops and funding continues, Spoke developers aim to bring the software to a larger businesses as well as make it more accessible to smaller companies. After two very successful rounds of funding, Spoke has raised $28 million, primarily from Greylock Partners and Accel.

Spoke


Lead Image: Javier Quesada | Unsplash

Help desk customers are often frustrated because their products aren’t working properly and they’re forced to wait in line to get the help they need. IT professionals are working to meet their needs, but it’s hard to offer total satisfaction with long lines and customers getting more irritated by the minute. But artificial intelligence has improved the process for help desks all over the world, and a startup called Spoke believes that it could be the answer to further automating the help desk process.

+AI
+artificial intelligence
+chatbot
+customer service
+Google
+startups
+technology
+work

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