The COVID-19 pandemic affected all industries, workers, businesses, and households. Agencies were forced to rapidly innovate their systems like never before so their employees could safely work from home. 

LGS Solutions was part of this innovation process for the State of Oklahoma, creating a responsive chat bot that streamlines IT support for remote workers. With the Oracle Gen 2 Cloud now in place, state employees can find answers to frequently asked questions without  waiting on hold for a live support representative. 

The increasing demand for virtual support

Back in March, Oracle developed a digital assistant for State of Oklahoma employees. This was in the wake of quarantine when most employees were asked to work from home. The surge in home-based workers created a flood of IT questions for the help desk, many of which were simple to resolve online.

The original virtual assistant provided some help, but it had its flaws. It lacked the skills and language necessary to fully address certain problems from start to finish. That is why we migrated the OMES Service Desk to the Oracle Gen 2 Cloud platform in August. This platform had the flexibility and responsiveness necessary to alleviate stress from Tier 1 IT support.

How digital assistants improve user experience

Phone lines often get bogged down with simple support requests, like password resets or basic software issues. These matters do not need to be handled by a human. They can almost always be addressed virtually, clearing the phone lines for more complex issues. Users can get answers faster than they would if they stayed on hold, and support specialists have more time to resolve elaborate problems. 

Training the chat bot to respond to actual questions

The new digital assistant had a good foundation, but it needed modifications to truly serve its purpose. One of the main issues we had to tackle was teaching the chat bot how to respond to specific phrases and input styles. We had to teach it what certain abbreviations, acronyms, keywords, phrases, speech styles, and slang terms meant so it could point users down the appropriate path. 

Our IT specialists had to connect the dots on the backend to maximize the chat bot’s performance. When we noticed dead ends forming, we created new paths to prevent that issue moving forward. The digital assistant is continually learning and evolving, just like we are, and we’re excited to see the improvements to come. 

Room for improvement and future implementation opportunities

In order for the State of Oklahoma’s chat bot to fully evolve, it needs more users. Technology innovation is rooted in data, and we need additional data to reach this assistant’s maximum potential. There are already discussions in place to encourage more state employees to use the chat bot in place of the phone’s helpline. 

The good news is that there is tremendous room for growth. The root chat system can be integrated far beyond IT support, and it is already trained to bypass most of the entry-level frustrations that users experienced. As Oklahomans continue to work from home and adapt during this unprecedented time, our software systems are adapting right along with them. 

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