पोस्ट

Conversational AI and the Employee Experience

By Chris Ezekiel, Founder & CEO

Recently I was invited to contribute an article to the Collaboration Journal, a quarterly publication from the Collaboration Network, as a guest columnist. The Journal always features a variety of thought leadership articles focused on achieving better outcomes for customers and employees. They address topical business challenges within the context of the current state of the world.

I shared insights with readers from my over two decades in the conversational AI industry. I started out by talking about conversational AI tools being thrust into the customer service spotlight in 2020 as businesses dealt with COVID-19 lockdowns, restrictions, and rapidly changing information. This created an increased adoption of, and preference for, digital self-service tools.

The key takeaway from my article wasn’t about customer service, however. While conversational AI tends to be associated with delivering easy customer self-service, I encouraged readers not to overlook its value for employee self-service, too. This technology is achieving impressive benefits for both customer-facing and internal use cases.

Why did I place my focus on using conversational AI for employee support? One reason is the important fact that your customer experience starts with your employee experience. Employees that feel supported and have the proper tools to do their jobs are going to be happier and more engaged. In turn, that means better products, services, and support for your customers.

The same growing customer base of digital natives who appreciate having 24/7 intelligent self-service options always available, also appreciate having those same types of digital tools offered within their workplace. This has been amplified by the switch to fully remote and hybrid working arrangements within many organisations.

Sophisticated conversational AI platforms provide options for creating fully integrated virtual agents that can deliver personalised information and support. These can be deployed on company intranets and microsites to support logged-in, authenticated employees regardless of their physical location.

Use cases for internal virtual agents range from supporting contact centre and live chat agents to delivering support for HR and employees’ day-to-day jobs. All employees, whether or not they are in customer-facing roles, can benefit from having access to self-service tools.

Virtual agents and chatbots have come a long way over the past two decades, and there are even more exciting developments on the horizon. Now is the perfect time to make conversational AI a key part of your employee support strategy.

If you aren’t a member of the Collaboration Network, I encourage you to visit the Collaboration Network website to request a copy of the Summer 2022 edition of the Collaboration Journal. It includes many great thought leadership articles on pressing issues such as the impact of the cost of living crisis, supporting vulnerable customers and employees, and scam prevention.

My thanks to the Collaboration Journal team for inviting me to be a guest columnist!

An Employee Self-Service Strategy for Evolving Workforce Realities

By Mandy Reed, Global Head of Marketing

Raise your hand if you are working from home for the first time in your current role.

I’m guessing a lot of hands are up, and along with those raised hands have come lots of fresh challenges for companies struggling to support the new reality of a remote workforce. Digital strategies are evolving as organisations address the immediate needs of their employees and also look to the possibility of a more permanent switch to remote work. Twitter was in the news this week when they notified employees that they could continue working from home even when offices begin re-opening. It’s likely that other companies will offer employees similar options to continue to work from home on a full or part-time basis long after stay-at-home orders are lifted.

Whether your workforce is home-based, office-based or a combination of the two, having the right digital tools in place allows you to not only provide essential support for employees but also improve productivity and efficiency. Just as customers are increasingly adopting self-service channels, employees are also increasingly open to using self-help options. In particular, AI-enhanced virtual agents and chatbots empower employees to self-serve when and where they need help, reducing support costs while at the same time improving the employee experience.

The flexibility of this conversational AI technology lends itself to a wide range of successful employee support use cases across areas such as IT Service Management (ITSM), human resources (HR) and staff training. Depending on the size of your workforce and nature of your business, it’s likely that your company could benefit from implementing self-service options in multiple areas.

When it comes to creating a successful employee self-service strategy, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. The brand new guide Creating a 20/20 Vision for Your Employee Self-Service Strategy will help you get started on your unique strategy with:

  • Three steps for creating and implementing a customised digital self-service strategy
  • Successful use cases for employee-facing virtual agents and chatbots
  • Questions to ask when selecting self-service technologies
  • Advantages to starting with a proof of concept (POC)

There are lots of benefits to improving your employee experience, from increased staff retention to the knock-on effect on your customer experience. Whether your workforce ends up adopting a permanent work-from-home option or everyone returns to your office or place of business, having the right digital tools in place to support them is a necessity. Download this employee self-service guide for insights on how to make your vision a reality.