A new report by Freshworks Inc., revealed a surprising juxtaposition for IT teams in the UAE. While on average, IT service requests from employees in the country are resolved 20% faster than the global average, when it came to the employee satisfaction, the nation placed in the bottom 4 of the 25 countries in which the research was conducted.
Freshworks’ report also found that while First Contact Resolution for IT service tickets in the country (80.8%) is also impressively higher than the global average (72%), the ability of IT teams in the UAE to meet resolution SLAs (90.8%) is still lower than the global average (95%).
“As IT continues to permeate every aspect of the modern business, employees become increasingly reliant on tech support teams to provide more efficiency. Having become accustomed to exceptional service as consumers, they as professionals now demand similarly high quality of support from their company’s IT service organisations”, said Prasad Ramakrishnan, Chief Information Officer at Freshworks.
“UAE is a global leader in digital transformation and Freshworks’ data indicates that they are indeed delivering a level of service that in many ways exceeds that of their global counterparts.”, said Sandie Overtveld, SVP of Freshworks APJ and MEA. “To continue going above and beyond employee expectations, IT teams need software that goes beyond speed of response to resolution and also enables features that make it easier to provide a great experience. Giving employees self-service support resources, the ability to make requests on the channel of their choice and bots to answer questions in real time is better for everyone”.
Fortunately for UAE IT teams struggling to meet lofty expectations, Freshworks’ report provides insight into the most effective ways to enhance their efficiency and quality of service. Unsurprisingly, AI, which has dominated headlines in recent months, emerged as a key solution. The report found that organisations using AI-powered virtual agent(s) experience ticket deflection rates as high as ~46%, which means that nearly half of the employee or end-user interactions have been handled solely by virtual agent(s). Intelligent suggestions by AI/bots also help simplify incident management for agents with Freshworks’ report showing that this enabled them to respond to issues and resolve them faster by 23%.
Automation of workflows is another area which delivers outsized positive impact. Freshworks found that over 88% of organisations have streamlined business processes using workflow automations. The benefits of this approach are especially pronounced for enterprises (500 to 1000 employees) wherein its utilisation helps resolution time drop by 36%.
Choice of service channels can also influence resolution times as according to Freshworks, tickets recorded via chat were resolved 52% faster compared to the benchmark. Redirecting users to this channel could however require some ingenuity on the part of organisations as currently, well over half (57%) of IT tickets are still received via email.
“In times of economic challenges, IT plays a critical role in optimising processes and the use of resources across all functions. My team uses Freshservice and having tools that allow rapid deployment of process changes is equally important for IT and the business to realise value faster from their technology spend”, said Prasad Ramakrishnan, CIO of Freshworks.
 In the case of IT support organisations, the ‘customers’ or audience being served could include both external customers and/or internal employees