Enhancing responsiveness to stakeholders through UNV’s new Service Desk

The UN Volunteers (UNV) Digital Transformation project reached a new milestone recently with the launch of a new Service Desk digital solution. In a game-changing leap forward, this Service Desk offers a better user experience for all those who interact with UNV.

The new Service Desk consolidates enquiry input channels, including web and email queries, and leverages AI and self-service technologies such as chatbots, to give around-the-clock service to UN partners and those who manage UN Volunteers. External visitors are serviced in three UNV languages – English, French and Spanish, including on the AI interface.

This new feature comes as part of the UNV Digital Transformation project, which is a major digital endeavour to ensure UNV succeeds in its ambitious plans to better serve the UN system in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). --Avetis Avagyan, Digital Transformation Project Manager

The Service Desk uses machine learning to suggest resolutions to user enquiries, thus reducing demand on UNV personnel. Supported by community pages and knowledge base articles, it can help visitors find useful resources through self-service.

Organized on three tiers of service, the platform delivers significant internal efficiencies to UNV personnel managing stakeholder queries. Ultimately, the Service Desk will connect to a cloud-based Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform.

Prior to the development of this service, UNV staff fielded over 10,000 repetitive enquiries per month, each responded to manually with varying response quality and speed.

Voli, UNV’s Chatbot service and a core component of the Service Desk has already proven a success. Over 34,000 chatbot conversations were initiated between January and March 2020, with only 3.2 per cent of inquiries escalated to human-powered resolution level. Leveraging frontier technologies means UNV expects that out of all external enquiries only up to 1,000 enquires per month will require a human response going forward, with improved quality, consistency and speed of response.

Behind the scenes, the Service Desk has consolidated five different types of service request channels and over 20 resources mailboxes to a single-entry point and case management. Decentralized data management at office level previously meant a lack of visibility across the organization and inconsistent reporting. Moving to one CRM, also part of the Digital Transformation project, will ensure UNV partners experience even better partnership management and engagement.

Through the new Service Desk and CRM, UNV staff now have one shared platform to view previous collaborations as well as tools and templates to easily engage partners and improved reporting. Information flow between colleagues and visibility is also enhanced through social features that facilitate better interaction and exchange. 

Ultimately, the Service Desk is a completely new way to provide and share information, with a focus on improving the experience of those requiring assistance and is an important milestone in UNVs Digital Transformation journey.

We are grateful to the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) for its support to UNV’s Digital Transformation project, which has enabled our innovative pathway.