Chat bots and live chat are nothing new. You’ve probably used chat on a web site while shopping or making an inquiry as a customer. Some chat experiences are good, and some can actually hurt the customer experience. ServiceNow has a solution many organizations are successfully using to support their customers, consumers and internally for employees.

There are three features in ServiceNow that work together to deliver a successful chat experience. They are Agent Chat, Agent Workspace and Virtual Agent—visible features to the agent or customer. Behind the scenes are the supporting features including, Natural Language Understanding and Advanced Work Assignment. Let’s learn what they do.

Reader note: Throughout the blog, we’ll refer to all these groups as the “customer” and to “incident” as the ticket type to keep things simple.

Agent Chat

If you’re familiar with Connect Chat in ServiceNow, Agent Chat is the newer version. One of the first differences you’ll notice is that Agent Chat is not available in the standard ServiceNow user interface. Agents receive chats as well as other work items within Agent Workspace, which is a newer and more modern user interface (UI).

Agent Chat can be configured for one queue or many depending on your business needs. It has features you would expect like automated welcome message, quick actions for agents to re-use common chat text responses, as well as the ability to transfer a chat to another queue or agent.

One big advantage is the transcript. Once the agent accepts a chat interaction, they see the chat transcript, which contains the text of what the customer asked the virtual agent, and the virtual agent’s responses. This can provide the agent with valuable insight into what the customer is looking for, and what steps they have already tried with the virtual agent. This can result in less churn and faster resolution for the customer.

Agent Workspace

Agent Workspace is a great tool for agents who need to handle multiple chats and toggle between different open records in one centralized space.  The flow is very natural. Agents can accept a live chat interaction and with one button create an incident. Once an incident is open, the agent can work the incident while continuing to chat with the customer. Any incidents viewed or created during the session are automatically related to the chat interaction.

Agent Assist enables the agent to search for knowledge articles, catalog items, open or closed incidents that match the search criteria. This improves their ability to find a resolution for the customer.

Chat managers and supervisors can monitor active chat interactions. This makes it possible to do real- time quality assurance checks and coaching. While observing a live chat, a supervisor has the option to “whisper” to the agent in a private message or join the chat conversation to assist.

Virtual Agent and Natural Language Understanding

By exposing Virtual Agent on a ServiceNow portal, customers can engage with the chat bot. The Virtual Agent can handle automated actions such as creating an incident, check the status of an incident and add comments. Utilizing Natural Language Understanding, the Natural Language Understanding model can interpret a customer’s question or phrase (known as an utterance) into an intent of what the customer wants to do. It can then respond with topics that best match the intent. Topics can include direct answers to common questions or be as complex as taking the customer through a decision tree of steps to guide them to an issue resolution.

If the Virtual Agent did not answer the question, live agent chat can be offered within the topic flow. Agent Chat is also available directly from the Virtual Agent menu. When a customer requests live chat, the work item goes through the advanced work assignment for queue routing.

Advanced Work Assignment

Advanced Work Assignment offers or assigns chats to agents based on their availability, capacity and affinity depending on your business needs and how you configure it.

For organizations that need multiple chat queues, live agent variables can be utilized to route from a Virtual Agent topic to a specific queue. Live agent variables can also be used to populate fields on the chat interaction record. For example, the short description can give the agent information to know in advance what it is the customer needs.

Agent Affinity is another feature in Advanced Work Assignment which enables assignment of work items based on the agent’s work history or by customer as part of an account team.

In conclusion, there is a lot of great benefits to deploying Agent Chat in ServiceNow. You can implement Agent Chat with or without Natural Language Understanding and Virtual Agent topics. A single chat queue can be used or chats can be routed to many queues. Our Covestic team is ready to help you successfully take advantage of and optimize the features and capabilities of Agent Chat. Contact us at servicenow@covestic.com to learn more.