Coronavirus: How to Eliminate Long Hold Times for Employees

By Pat Calhoun • March 27, 2020

Earlier this week I published the first two blogs in a three-blog series related to the impact of the pandemic on IT help desks. You can find the other two blogs here:

In the first blog I shared that we heard from prospects that the Coronavirus work from home mandate was flooding help desks with questions. As a result, prospects shared that their help desk wait times were nearing two hours.

In the second blog I discussed that another one of the biggest challenges for help desks was keeping up with ever changing policies. With traditional conversational AI tools that require experts, or the vendor, to intervene in “training” a bot, there is no way for information to be up to date.

In this blog, I will discuss how Espressive customers have avoided long hold times for employees who need assistance to get productive in their new work from home environments.

Every Employee Gets Their Own Virtual Agent

Many of our customers tell us that Barista is like an extension of their help desk teams. Barista can front-end any employee issue or question, and only involves a human when Barista does not have a response. As a result, Espressive customers are not experiencing the help desk hold time issues that we have heard from prospects. Because of the nature of the questions being asked of the help desk during this mandated work from home time period, our customers are now seeing case deflections above 70%.

Our customers’ employees describe Barista as a virtual agent that provides immediate, personalized answers 24/7. Because Barista was designed to deliver a contextual and personalized response, Barista knows what equipment a given employee uses, and even their location. In the context of the pandemic, this is particularly important because most policies are different for each city, state/province, or country.

See What Your Employees Are Struggling With

Just because our customers are relying on AI to automate the resolution of their employee questions or issues does not mean they want to be blind to what challenges they are experiencing. Real-time visibility into what problems employees have enables the help desk to pivot in creating content that will matter in the here and now.

It is equally important to be able to capture critical survey information from employees when they get help. Getting survey data has historically been difficult because employees typically move on once they get the help they need—I get it, I am the same. I am thrilled to announce that next week we will be releasing a new capability to dramatically increase getting satisfaction information from employees.

Scalability for Every Size Organization, Even Under Crisis Situations

One of the big eye openers for us at Espressive was that in times like these, the architecture of a service is crucial. Even though we were seeing insanely high utilization as employees were looking for answers on how to continue to do their work while being at home, Barista performance shined. For this I really must tip my hat to the Espressive engineering team.

Unlike legacy IT service management solutions, such as ServiceNow, which make use of a fixed size virtual machine (VM), Espressive takes advantage of an elastic architecture with a modern, container-based design. This architecture is able to deliver continued performance, even at peak loads with thousands of concurrent users. This is extremely important because employees have the same expectations of Barista as they do a consumer app—they expect a response within 3 seconds, or they will abandon the app and return to picking up the phone and calling the help desk.

Let Us Know How We Can Help You Navigate This Difficult Time

When employees get the immediate, personalized help that they need, the help desk gets extra resources that multiply on demand. The result is no hold times with Barista—and that translates to maximum productivity even in uncertain and difficult times.

On April 1, we will be announcing a free 90-day rapid assistance program to help companies whose help desks are being flooded with calls due to the Coronavirus. If you are interested, please let me know at

Redefine How Your Employees Get Help

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