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The power of IT support automation for business efficiency

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Quick question: how long does it take for your information technology specialists to solve a complex technical issue? If your answer was “too long,” then maybe it's time to learn about IT support automation.

Let's start with the basics: IT support automation refers to the process of implementing a technological solution to streamline the workflow of a support team and reduce the need for manual intervention. It also serves to identify bottlenecks, eliminate redundant processes, and enable your staff to focus on the most valuable, intellectually demanding tasks.

Following the implementation of an automated IT support solution, you can expect lower operational costs, increases in overall efficiency, and improved end-user satisfaction.

In this article, you’ll learn:

  • The benefits of IT support automation

  • Important features you should take into account when choosing a solution

  • Pillars to guide your implementation strategies

  • Ways to measure a successful IT support automation deployment

What are the benefits of IT support automation?

1. Reduce operational costs

Managing a complex IT structure can be challenging, time-consuming, and costly. As systems become more interconnected, you may need to:

  • Deal with a higher volume of support tickets

  • Hire IT professionals with a specific skill set to solve problems effectively

  • Extend support hours to more promptly meet users’ demands 

Taken collectively, these modifications tend to drive up costs. Fortunately, there’s a proven and powerful way to mitigate them. McKinsey suggests that the incorporation of solutions such as Generative AI, which liberate humans from tasks suitable for automation, has the potential to contribute trillions of dollars in value to the global economy.

For instance, an automated IT support solution can help quickly and effortlessly route tickets to the right reps, relieving your team of the time-consuming responsibility of manually reading and tagging conversations.

2. Enhance operational efficiency

In the world of business, efficiency is more critical than ever. It’s so critical, in fact, that it could be the key to keeping your customers happy and your company highly competitive within its respective market.

According to Intercom’s The State of AI in Customer Service 2023 report, 67% of support leaders believe they are already seeing value from their automation efforts. The report’s research also shows that this efficiency potential is often tied to leveraging artificial intelligence (AI).

Businesses that are adopting AI-powered chatbots as part of their IT support automation toolkit, for example, are driving up their efficiency and protecting their human workforce. These chatbots are helping to solve a significant number of low-complexity tickets and answer frequently asked questions; in addition, they’re collecting relevant information so that human agents have all the context they need in the event that they do ultimately have to address the query themselves. 

The benefits of this strategy are twofold: your employees save time and optimize their workflow, and users looking for 24/7 assistance get help in an agile, personalized, contextual way. In short, your business becomes more customer-centric.

But don’t just take our word for it. Look what Geronimo Chala, Chief Consumer Officer at Rebag, has to say:

3. Improve customer satisfaction

Another Intercom study found that 95% of US consumers say being communicated with in a way that makes them feel valued affects their decision to continue doing business with a company. That’s a staggering majority of American consumers who prioritize courteous, responsive communications in their dealings with businesses. 

In the context of IT support automation, there are several ways to make a user feel appreciated:

  • Reduce First Response Time: When contacting technical support, users expect quick and accurate responses that overcome the issue at hand and help them get back to business.

  • Offer contextual assistance: The best automated IT support tools let you know the users' request history, their recurring difficulties, and solutions offered by your team in the past. This type of historical information will help you understand the query within its full context and help your customer receive support in a more in-depth, personalized way.

What features should you look for in an automated IT support tool?

1. Ease of creating automation flows

Within any given IT support team, there are people with different levels of technical skill. Because of this, whatever IT support tool you choose must be able to meet the needs of employees with varying levels of technical proficiency and programming knowledge. 

In addition to making people feel included in the digital transformation taking place at your company, you’ll also reduce dependence on specialized IT staff, which will speed issue resolution and increase productivity.

You can even provide a framework for your team to assess which tasks could be automated, based on several critical factors:

  • Touch level: the level of human intervention that a given activity requires

Value attributed: the relative worth of an activity to your business

2. Knowledge base

A knowledge base refers to an interactive digital repository containing comprehensive details regarding a product, service, or particular process.

The primary purpose of a knowledge base is to enable users to access useful information independently, eliminating the need to contact a help desk or customer support representative for assistance. It essentially acts as a self-serve online resource, empowering individuals to find the answers and solutions they’re looking for on their own.

A great knowledge base article would look something like this:

When evaluating IT support automation providers that offer a knowledge base, keep in mind the following must-have characteristics:

  • Search functionality: users should be able to quickly and accurately find answers to their queries.

  • Tags and labels: categorization makes it easier to organize, navigate and find relevant articles.

  • Multimedia support: images, videos, GIFs, and other interactive elements can enhance understanding, especially in a field full of complex subjects like information technology.

  • Multiple languages: finding information in your native language can make troubleshooting processes more convenient and effective. 

  • Analytics and reporting: whatever knowledge base you choose should be able to track user interactions, identify trends, and provide actionable insights to improve the articles.

  • AI-driven suggestions: by using AI algorithms, you can automate article suggestions based on user behavior and save even more time for your staff.

If you're still not sure if it's time to use artificial intelligence in your IT support team, read: To AI or not to AI? The support leader’s dilemma.

3. Integration with existing tools

If you’re considering an IT support automation tool, you should prioritize those with an omnichannel approach that offers users seamless support across multiple distinct channels.

Let’s say Sarah is facing issues with her company laptop, which is disrupting her work routine. At first, she calls the IT support hotline and, upon talking to Adam, an IT representative, she discovers that it might be a hardware problem.

Adam then creates a support ticket with all the information Sarah reported about the issue and sends it to her via email so she can follow the progress of the resolution. He also schedules an on-site visit to make any necessary repairs.

After the repair, Adam has a follow-up call with Sarah to ensure everything is resolved. Then, an automated survey invitation is sent to gather feedback on her IT support experience.

In this omnichannel IT support scenario, customers have a smooth, personalized experience, while IT representatives receive all the context they need to solve issues with speed and effectiveness.

4. AI-powered chatbots

According to the aforementioned 2023 Intercom report, support leaders that use AI and automation are reaping substantial rewards. 

  • 61% have seen improvements to their customer experience over the past year.

  • 58% have seen improvements to their CSAT scores.

  • 66% are achieving their KPIs and meeting SLAs in part because of the technology.

Pillars that should guide your implementation strategies

As this article has hopefully been demonstrating, support automation can be a powerful complementary tool for customer service. To maximize the benefits of support automation for your IT team, keep three pillars in mind during the implementation stage:

1. Clarity about roles and responsibilities

To ensure a smooth and successful deployment of an automated IT support tool, you need to define how and to what extent each team member will contribute to the process.

Having clarity about roles and responsibilities will help your IT team to:

  • Foster efficient collaboration

  • Enhance accountability

  • Avoid duplicate efforts

  • Minimize the risk of leaving a crucial task behind

If you have stellar IT support representatives, it's time to learn how to recognize their great work. Read more: How to keep and nurture customer service talent.

2. Self-service options to empower end-users

We are in the age of autonomy: users want to solve their problems at their own pace, and at a time that’s most convenient for them. Nobody wants to wait for a callback or play phone tag with a customer support representative anymore. People want to resolve their issues without losing control over their time. 

By offering self-service options like knowledge bases, you can satisfy your customers’ expectation of convenience. Plus, you can go even further by connecting those knowledge bases with chatbots for auto-generated article suggestions.

Learn how to optimize your knowledge base for AI-powered bots.

3. Balance between human and automated IT support

It's important to keep in mind that the automation process can create uncertainty about the role that human IT representatives will assume in the support flow, especially when that automation process is attached to those two increasingly dreaded words: "artificial intelligence."

By building trust within your team and reassuring them about the importance of their roles, you can replace fear of the unknown with curiosity and excitement about the evolution of their jobs.

Start by simply sparking a conversation about it. For instance, you can ask your IT support team the following questions:

  • Do you have any concerns about bringing in AI and automation?

  • How can I help you to feel confident and supported as we make the transition?

  • Where do you see opportunities to use AI and automation to improve our current workflow?

  • How do you want your career to grow?

  • Are there new areas you’d like to get more experience or training in? 

How do you measure a successful deployment of IT support automation tools?

So you've convinced yourself of the benefits of IT support automation and chosen a tool that takes into account the must-have features we mentioned. Maybe you even followed our best practices to implement that tool. 

Now how do you measure the success (or failure) of those extensive efforts? For this, we’ve compiled three key metrics:

1. First Contact Resolution (FCR)

First contact resolution (FCR) is a key performance indicator. It’s used to gauge the frequency with which your customers' issues are effectively addressed during their initial interaction, whether by phone call, email, text, or chat session.

To calculate FCR, you should apply this formula:

[Number of customer inquiries resolved on first contact during a given time period] ÷ [total number of customer inquiries over same time period] x 100 = [% of first contact resolution]

In order to gather accurate data for this calculation, it’s essential to maintain records of how frequently customers' inquiries are successfully handled during their first interaction and also keep track of the total number of inquiries received over the same time period.


Proactive support is the way to improve your FCR. With IT support automation, you can identify and address common customer queries or technical issues before they escalate, significantly reducing the number of incoming support cases.

2. Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)

As the name suggests, Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) is a metric that measures how happy a user is with a product, service or experience.

While there are many ways to obtain this information, companies typically send a survey to the customer asking how satisfied they were with the product purchased, the service received, or the experience they had.

These surveys are sent at opportune moments along the customer journey, such as when the IT support team closes a ticket and asks the customer if their issue was completely resolved.

Responses are often based on a five-point scale, with extremes ranging from "very dissatisfied" to "very satisfied." Customers who choose 1 are profoundly unhappy with their experience. Those who choose 2 or 3, on the other hand, speak to a more neutral experience. Finally, those who select 4 or 5 are happy or very happy with your product, service or company.

To calculate your CSAT, you can apply the following formula:

CSAT (%) = Number of satisfied customers (those rating your 4 or 5) ÷ Total number of responses x 100

If a significant number of the customers surveyed chose a 1, you may want to carry out an in-house analysis to carefully diagnose the reasons for their dissatisfaction. You could, for example, select some of these people for a more in-depth conversation in exchange for some reward for their time.

Another number that you should pay attention to is that of neutral customers – those who voted 2 or 3. After all, indifference can easily become disinterest. The good news is that this middling position also serves as an opening for you to tip the scales in favor of your business. 

With neutral customers, the key is to identify the triggers that might move them one way or the other, and then make informed decisions based on those triggers. 


Use AI to reduce the time and effort it takes for customers to get a resolution, leading to greater satisfaction. A knowledge base supported by automation, for example, can provide 24/7 support and ensure customers always receive accurate information for their IT related queries.

3. Customer Effort Score (CES)

Customer Effort Score (CES) is a metric that measures the level of effort a user needs to get assistance, resolve an issue, or simply contact a support representative.

To procure these scores, companies tend to apply small surveys based on the Likert scale, with a range of five to seven points. 

Questions look like this:

  • On a scale of ‘very easy’ to ‘very difficult,’ how easy was it to interact with [company name]?

  • On a scale of 1 to 5, how easy was it to obtain assistance with [company name]?


With an automated IT support tool powered by AI, you’re able to generate comprehensive summaries of all user interactions up to the present day. This way, you can remove the need for users to repeat themselves to different representatives.

Going the extra mile: resources to keep learning

As you've seen, IT support automation can be a great ally in the ongoing quest to boost your team's productivity and reduce the stress caused by endlessly repetitive tasks. When combined with artificial intelligence solutions like chatbots and knowledge bases, automation efforts can take your business to astonishing new heights. 

If you want to continue learning about the subject, take a look at these articles: