The power chatbots can bring to a business is undeniable. At ServiceNow, 15 to 20 per cent of routine interactions can be handled by our Virtual Agent; these tasks range in complexity from a quick question to an entire business action plan. When businesses make work life easier for their employees, it frees up time for more thoughtful, productive and important tasks. As chatbots become more ingrained in everyday business functions, they are improving work life through personalization and efficiency across customer service, IT and human resource departments.
Streamlining Customer Service Delivery
Gone are the days of customer service members answering the same questions countless times a day. With business chatbots, employees and customers can engage with a virtual agent similarly to how they communicate online with a customer support employee. As machine learning and natural language processing methods improve, so does the ability for chatbots to deliver sophisticated, accurate responses to everyday questions or issues.
Chatbots are programmed to handle mundane and repetitive tasks, allocating more time for employees to focus on providing deeper levels of customer service. If a chatbot determines a customer is dissatisfied with a product or service, they can be programmed to transfer the customer to connect with a human agent for more complex conversations. As this conversation is transitioned, the agent will already have detailed context of the issue and will be better equipped to provide a solution. In taking on these simple tasks, chatbots enable employees to focus on more complex customer service issues, which can be more interesting and rewarding for them, and, ultimately, helps deliver a better experience for both the customer and employee.
Automating IT Service Management
IT departments are vital to the success of a company, maintaining all network systems and solving technological issues as they arise. Familiarity and comfort level with technology varies from employee to employee, and IT departments can often experience a high volume of questions or requests that have simple solutions. As every employee IT issue must be addressed, it can be time-consuming for the IT department and can take away from their capacity to complete other tasks, such as advancing or improving a business’s IT processes.
When chatbots are incorporated into a company’s IT department, they use machine learning to automatically categorize, route and prioritize issues. In turn, basic IT problems can be handled quickly by a virtual agent, getting the employee up and running faster, and saving time for the IT department to focus on more critical tasks.
Implementing a chatbot makes IT help accessible no matter where an employee is working. As workplaces become more flexible to adapt to employee needs in a competitive talent market, companies must be equipped to provide support remotely and outside business hours. Since chatbots can conveniently be accessed from any device the employee chooses to work on, they allow for both greater convenience and accessibility.
Modernizing Human Resources
Human resources is another area where we see automation and implementing chatbots having a dramatic impact in reducing the time HR spends on simple tasks. Chatbots can accurately locate information across a company’s databases to quickly and confidentially deliver the appropriate documentation to HR for thousands of employees.
A recent study from ServiceNow surveyed over 350 HR leaders, and found that employees struggle to access key HR policies and processes when needed. Although 99 per cent of respondents say it’s valuable for employees to feel as if they could find information on company policies in the evening or after hours, only 12 per cent say it is easy to do so. Chatbots offer a productive way for employees to access documents and information, schedule time off, inform managers about sick leave and ask other internal work-related questions.
With businesses facing a talent war, organizations are adopting new business solutions that focus on the needs of their people to retain top talent in a competitive market. High performing employees are demanding more from their workplaces, and employee satisfaction is a crucial factor contributing to company success. Businesses are increasingly taking advantage of new tools that are making work life easier for employees by giving them easier access to information and taking routine and mundane tasks off their desks. In doing so, businesses are creating more opportunities for employees to undertake thoughtful and creative projects to grow and improve the business, encouraging them to be more motivated and productive and improving the overall employee experience.
Marc LeCuyer is Canada Country Manager for ServiceNow.
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