Artificial intelligence (AI) has entered our lives in an almost unnoticeable way. It’s been built into home appliances, phones, cars and a host of other products to help make our lives easier. In a relatively short period of time, we’ve grown accustomed to the technology guiding our individual journeys, with more of us interacting with it every day.
Many businesses are looking to AI for its ability to streamline processes, help customers self-serve, and reduce costs. A recent study with Forrester Consulting found that 58% of global customer engagement decision makers have made CX an organisational priority and have implemented a holistic AI strategy to help transform the customer journey. And those companies are noticing major benefits with 63% seeing an increase in their Net Promoter Score (NPS) as a result of their customer engagement strategies.
From the boardroom down, there is little doubt in AI’s ability to dramatically transform the customer experience, but that’s not the only place AI can have a major impact. Leading companies are also using the technology to help transform the employee experience.
The workforce has changed
The modern workforce is inherently different to previous years. Where we work (remote offices or roaming are now the norm) and even how we work has changed dramatically. All employees – whether they were born a digital native or not – have certain expectations of how technology should work for them. They are looking for well-designed, easy-to-use applications and expect that technology will make their jobs easier and help them be more productive.
Yet, despite the bar set by consumer applications – companies often fail to deliver user-friendly business systems. AI is helping create a more streamlined and modern experience for employees in all roles throughout an organisation.
Happy employees make for happier customers
Businesses know that if they want to compete with industry titans and market leaders, they need to differentiate on customer experience. Whether that’s offering customers various ways to engage with them, delivering hyper-personalised offers, or leveraging cutting-edge technologies to help with purchase decisions, customers have sky-high expectations of the companies they do business with. This leaves employees under constant pressure to provide not only quality service but also a memorable experience that customers will talk about.
Often though, employees are not equipped with the tools and technologies to help them do their jobs. In fact, the technologies designed to support the modern workforce regularly do the opposite – hindering employees’ productivity, efficiency and even the ability to produce meaningful work. In a business-driven world where time is money, no one should struggle to figure out technologies that are supposed to support them and make their lives easier.
Reimagining the workplace of the future
So how can businesses improve the employee experience and give their staff the freedom to achieve great work?
Businesses need to reimagine the employee experience the way they’ve reimagined the customer journey. As workplaces continue to become increasingly more remote, dynamic and fluid, companies need to be prepared to support employees across countries and time zones. Employees working for a US company out of a Sydney home office, for example, need to be able to access support 100% of the time – even after their HQ has shut down for the day.
This is where technologies like AI-powered chatbots can shine. Whether it’s assisting a new employee with onboarding and training or helping solve common IT-, HR- or facilities-related questions in real-time, AI is helping businesses save time and energy – while still ensuring employees have help every step of the way.
Remove employee pain points
One of the best emerging use cases for AI in the workplace is in IT. This division spends a good majority of its day working through cluttered support queues full of repetitive tickets like password resets, email access and printer setups. While the answers to these questions are frequently found in knowledge management systems or the company intranet, most employees – especially ones with an urgent issue – would much rather ask their IT team than go searching through a sea of URLs and documents to find the answer. This endless onslaught of requests cuts down on the amount of time the IT team can devote to higher-value problem solving or long-term strategic initiatives that benefit the business.
IT isn’t the only one affected by this cyclical support queue. While the help desk team is busy working its way through tickets, employees who are waiting for support grow frustrated with resolution time. Sometimes they even turn to unauthorised solutions that bring their own security implications.
Employing an AI-powered support partner to help answer these questions removes the pain of searching through outdated and hard-to-read knowledge articles, empowers employees to self-serve and frees up the IT team for employees who need them most.
It’s time to act
The age-old phrase holds true: time is money. By not focusing on the employee experience, businesses have hampered their own best efforts and caused inefficiencies that impact the bottom line. It’s time to take employee support out of the dark ages by removing friction from day-to-day functions and using tools that enable employees to do their best work. These efforts will help businesses compete by driving improved employee productivity and satisfaction.