Does Turning Off the Phones Work? Espressive Customers Say Yes!

By Leah Lindblom • February 14, 2020

I wrote another blog called “Turn Off the Phones” that discussed employee adoption of self-help chatbots and suggested that when you have a chatbot that gives employees what they want, turning off service desk phones can result in extremely high adoption rates. Here are two case studies of Espressive customers that did just that.

First Case Study: Barista Fridays

Last year, a medical device manufacturer automated their IT and HR service desks with Espressive Barista (our AI-based virtual support agent) to deflect Tier 1 calls. Employee adoption was good, but they wanted it to be higher.

The team got creative: they decided to turn off the service desk phones one day a week because they were confident that Barista could handle it and would generate awareness while delighting employees. For that one day each week, if employees experienced an IT or HR issue and called the service desk, they would be met with a voice message instructing them to ask Barista instead. By turning off their phones, they would give employees the chance to experience Barista on their own.

They dubbed this day, “Barista Friday.”

The results were undeniable. Bolstered by positive interactions with Barista, employees continued using Barista even when the phones came back on the following Monday. For the three-month period since implementing Barista Fridays, the company has seen:

  • 236% increase in employee interactions with Barista
  • 43% decrease in phone calls to the service desk

Second Case Study: Eliminate Outsourced Tier 1 Support

Another recent example: a large, diversified energy company was outsourcing their Tier 1 service desk to an offshore company. The CIO felt the resulting employee experience did not justify the cost and decided to implement Barista to completely virtualize their Tier 1 support. Instead of just selecting one day a week, they turned off the service desk phones for good and leveraged Barista’s omni-channel capabilities to capture all employee interactions.

Again, the results were immediate. Within the first week of turning off the phones to the outsourced Tier 1 support, the company saw:

  • 62% of tickets were deflected from the service desk by Barista
  • $10,540 saved in one week, for a projected savings of $548,080

Be Bold in Your Adoption Strategy

You must be bold in your strategy to gain widespread employee adoption of your self-help chatbot. Over the years, employees have become accustomed to calling and emailing the service desk and habits like that are hard to break. You need to stand in the way of what they have been conditioned to do with an alternative that will delight them. To do that, you must have confidence that the chatbot you implement will deliver. If it doesn’t deliver, employees will abandon your chatbot and never come back.

The good news is that Espressive Barista is up to the challenge. Barista leads the market in conversational chatbots with advanced natural language processing that is optimized to understand over 750M phrases and growing right out of the box. Employees receive a true consumer-like experience and so they keep coming back. That means that your service desk agents can focus on strategic initiatives for your organization rather than answering the same questions over and over again.

Want to find out for yourself? Request a demo here.


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