When the COVID-19 shutdown began in March throughout the United States, my team at Adobe had to face a stark reality: Business as usual was no longer an option. Suddenly, over just a single weekend, we had to shift our global workforce of over 22,000 people to working remotely. Not surprisingly, our existing processes and workflows weren’t equipped for this abrupt change. Customers, employees, and partners — many also working at home — couldn’t wait days to receive answers to urgent questions.
We realized pretty quickly that the only way to meet their needs was to completely rethink our support infrastructure.
Our first step was to launch an organization-wide open Slack channel that would tie together the IT organization and the entire Adobe employee community. Our 24×7 global IT help desk would front the support on that channel, while the rest of IT was made available for rapid event escalation.
As we began building the framework and interfaces on our Slack Channel, we realized the same, specific questions and issues were coming up frequently. By focusing on the most common and weighty issues, we decided to optimize our support for frequently asked questions and issues. We dubbed this AI and machine-learning-based Slack channel “#wfh-support,” and it had built-in natural language processing (NLP).
The chatbot’s answers could be as simple as directing employees to an existing knowledge base article or FAQ, or walking them through steps to solve a problem, such as setting up a virtual private network. We chose to focus first on the eight most frequently reported topics, and today we’re continuing to add capabilities as we learn what works and what delivers the biggest benefits.
Clear results – satisfied employees
The results have been remarkable. Since the initiative went live on April 14, the automated