Who is PDQ: Enabling companies to do more tech in-house
The competition is fierce these days for IT staff and software developers—the talent modern companies need to keep their operations agile and evolving.
One way to go is to develop this kind of talent in-house. But that can be time-consuming and expensive.
Or, you can talk to PDQ. Its platform makes it easy for system administrators to install, set up, and deploy software; automate their patch management, update 3rd party software, deploy scripts—and on and on. And you can do it all in just minutes after downloading your PDQ tools.
Imagine the things you’ll be able to do in-house—and the money you’ll save—when you equip your current staff with the right tools!Challenges
PDQ’s Challenge: Being More Responsive to Customers
No matter what industry you’re in, the quality of your customer service is a leading indicator of success. And when, like PDQ, you’re providing technical tools to end users, you can get a lot of service requests.
Before using Forethought, PDQ was addressing customer needs through a combination of macros, a library of predetermined responses, and a knowledge base. This approach was a good start, but it wasn’t helping the company move fast enough to reach its dual goals of reducing first-response times without decreasing customer-satisfaction scores. Additionally, PDQ’s support tickets are highly complex, taking their support engineers longer time to troubleshoot and respond to their customers.
PDQ looked at traditional AI tools, but given the high technical literacy of its customer base, it knew that basic chatbots built using decision trees weren’t going to provide the right customer experience.Solutions
Traditional AI is the web’s version of the classically frustrating switchboard. Because they’re built using basic if-then statements and decision trees, they severely limit the questions they can understand and the responses they can give—leading customers to beg to talk with a human and leaving them with a bad experience. Even when companies are able to find a conversational AI chatbot as a point solution, these are disconnected from the rest of the customer journey and difficult to seamlessly pass off to a support agent when needed.
Forethought’s platform is built on the concept of human-centered AI. Many automated response products are designed to keep humans out of the loop. Forethought understands that only those technologies that keep humans at the center can provide the kind of sophisticated, nuanced interactions that decrease response times and increase customer satisfaction.
By infusing human-centered AI at each stage of the customer support journey, Forethought helps companies resolve common cases instantly, predict and prioritize tickets, and assist agents with relevant knowledge—all from one platform.
PDQ uses Forethought’s Assist solution to help the team stay organized with all the various tools they use. Historically, PDQ would have to look in three or four different places, but with Assist, they have one central dashboard to locate their items.
– Sid DeVins, Solution Manager at PDQ
“PDQ tools are designed for systems administrators, so they’re very technical in nature. We have an extensive knowledge base, along with multiple other systems we reference for information. One thing that Forethought has been able to help us with is compiling all of that information from all of those sources into one place. The ability to search across all of our sources of information—from technical documentation, to blog posts, to development tickets—all at once has been huge for our engineers. Instead of needing to have multiple browser windows open to search everything, we can search all of it in one place without ever leaving the ticket we’re working on.”
Additionally, PDQ utilizes Solve Email to help answer technical questions and instantly interpret their customer’s needs.
Equally important is the ability of Forethought tools to learn—to improve its responses through repeated interaction with users. Rather than having a predetermined set of responses, Forethought enables PDQ responses to evolve. Given the complexity and equally evolving nature of PDQ products themselves, this capability is key.Results
Shorter Waits, Better KM, Finish More Tickets
Forethought has done its work to help PDQ meet its immediate goals of reducing wait times while maintaining customer satisfaction. Used primarily by solutions engineers (product support) and sales-processing team (customer service representatives), Forethought’s Solve and Assist products have helped PDQ reduce response times by a full 45%.
And there have been other benefits as well. By virtue of the fact that it can access information from multiple sources, Forethought has helped PDQ teams improve the way they compile this information, thus further improving end-user satisfaction. And that’s not all.
Future– Paige Landau, PDQ Sales Processing team lead
“When we moved to that new sales portal, one of the big pushes was to start helping our customers discover more self-service tools. Forethought can recognize when someone is asking about something they can easily do themselves, then point them to those self-service options. That’s helped us increase customer satisfaction—and to increase the number of tickets we can respond to each week.”
What’s Next For PDQ?
PDQ is continually developing new products and acquiring new companies. Its challenge is to maintain the high level of customer support and satisfaction as it does.
The challenge is met using human-centered AI, presented in a way that enables PDQ staff to both teach to and learn to continually improve the quality and speed of its customer service responses.
decrease in response times