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A System and Method to Resolve Help Desk Sessions through Crowd Voting by Subject Matter Experts Disclosure Number: IPCOM000245926D
Publication Date: 2016-Apr-18
Document File: 3 page(s) / 123K

Publishing Venue

The Prior Art Database


Disclosed is a method to increase the effectiveness of help desk support by leveraging the resources of many subject matter experts (i.e., crowdsourcing) when trying to resolve a user’s problem.

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A System and Method to Resolve Help Desk Sessions through Crowd Voting by Subject Matter Experts

When a user experiences problems with information technology (IT) or other equipment, working with a helpdesk find a solution is often frustrating and not always helpful. Today, helpdesk agents are working from a script to help solve some the user's problems. In years past, helpdesk agents were often experts in particular fields; however, that model is no longer financially sustainable. A method or system is needed to apply greater skill levels to resolving a help desk caller's problem without increasing costs to those who provide helpdesk support.

Current approaches to this type of service are not executed in real time, but use newsfeeds (NNTP) and forums to gain access to expert level resources to solve a problem.

The novel contribution is a system and method to use the power of many subject matter experts (SMEs) via crowdsourcing to help examine and solve a caller's problem. The approach allows multiple SMEs to listen to a help desk call and provide recommendations to the help desk agent (e.g., next best debugging step). The help desk personnel examine and solve the problem using a "poll the audience" methodology. An organization might choose to employ SMEs as "experts for hire".

Following are the steps to implement the method and system to allow SMEs to participate in a help desk call (Fig. 1):

1. A caller encounters a problem and contacts the help desk

2. The caller indicates the topic of the problem via one of many mechanisms (e.g., responding to a voice response unit (VRU) prompt, text input, speech input, etc.)

3. System alerts/invites registered topic(s) experts or other tagged SMEs based on proven historical problem resolution success

4. Available SMEs opt to join session in listen-only mode to supplement help desk agent

5. System alerts help desk agent and caller in the active session that the SME(s) have joined the call

6. The help desk call system allows the SME(s) to have a configurable delay (e.g., 10-second sound delay) for the purposes of muting sensitive information or other reason. The help desk agent has the option to eliminate this delay at the consent of the caller.

Figure 1: Method to Engage SMEs


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To set up the crowdsourcing environment for a help desk call:

1. A caller calls the help desk and engages with a help desk agent to reach a problem resolution

2. The system notes the caller's problem topic (e.g., connectivity, email, etc.)

3. The help desk agent tags the problem with a few keywords and phrases to improve identification 4. As the session commences, the system notes whether this session allows other callers to connect in listen-only mode 5. The system restricts others from listening to calls that are for simple requests (e.g., password resets)

To register SMEs:

1. An SME...