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The New Golden Rule: Do Unto Employees As You Would Do Unto Customers

By Ryan Lester, Director of Customer Engagement Technologies, LogMeIn

We've all heard business leaders say that employees are their most valuable asset, but when it comes down to it, are they actually walking the walk? Unfortunately, when it comes to providing the tools employees need to be productive and do their jobs well, companies have fallen short.

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Compared to customer-facing solutions, employee support has been stuck in the dark ages. Employees want (but are not getting) the same technology they enjoy in their personal lives, at work. With innovative technologies already being leveraged to ensure superior customer service, what is hindering employees from getting access to the same tools that can contribute to improved satisfaction and job efficiency?

There is a common misconception that to challenge the status quo by applying more modern technologies, companies need multi-million dollar budgets and a dedicated team to manage the change. But it doesn't have to be that way – especially for companies that have deployed these technologies for customer-facing applications. Those same solutions can be used internally to remove the friction from the day-to-day tasks of employees, while making them happier and more productive. Let's explore that a bit more.

The experience most of us have with chatbots are either our Alexa, or maybe we've used one when online shopping or banking for those frequently asked questions. "Where's the nearest branch?" "What's your return policy?" Businesses across all industries are using chatbots to help consumers self-serve, making it easier to get answers to questions fast, no matter the time of day or night. With more self-service channels available, customer service agents spend less time having to answer repetitive questions, allowing them to spend more time on complex (and rewarding) work. So why wouldn't the same hold true for employees?

Helping Employees Serve Customers Better

No one is perfect. We don't always have the answer to everything – no matter how much we wish we did. Unfortunately, when a customer question has an agent stumped it can turn into a frustrating experience for everyone involved. Chatbots can also be used internally to help customer-facing employees put their best foot forward. Whether onboarding new or seasonal employees or simply helping agents get answers faster, bots are becoming a critical tool in the customer service arsenal. According to recent research, customer service agents use an average of 3 different systems to service a customer and spend over half their time understanding basic facts like customer profile information and the nature of the inquiry. Working through these systems make time to resolution significantly slower. Operating behind the scenes chatbots can gather this information in real-time – informing the agent of who they are talking to, their history with the brand, the potential problem the customer is having, and how to solve it.

Empowering Self-Service

Like customers, employees should have access to always-on support that keeps them productive and efficient versus having to wait around for someone to respond to a support ticket or provide an answer to a simple question about company-provided benefits. Making the chatbot accessible to employees – gives everyone a "personal assistant" of sorts that can help make everything from changing a password to signing up for commuter benefits simple. It also helps ensure that support staff are deployed in the most optimal way. No longer will their days be filled with repetitive questions but instead they can focus on more strategic projects that can have long-term impact on the business and employee experience overall.

Creating a Personalized Employee Experience

Outside of simply having 24/7 support for employees through chatbots and other self-service tools, AI can also help companies offer a more personalized experience for employees. For example, if an employee wants to understand the vacation policy – they can ask their dedicated HR bot for the answer. Instead of providing a generic answer, these bots can provide the policy as it pertains to the individual employee. An employee in the UK may have a different policy than an employee in the US. AI can recognize that I am an employee in the US and provide that policy and include the days I have already accrued. In addition, if I am a new employee, I likely have very different needs and questions than someone 5 years in. A bot can recognize who I am, my tenure with the company and serve up content that can help me get onboarded quickly.

This is the employee experience of the future. One that removes the friction commonly associated with work-life and makes the day-to-day, just a bit easier. Internal AI use cases can also act as a proof of concept for more widespread rollouts – whether it serves as a way to get approval on more ways to boost employee and customer experience, or even one day change how a company operates or the services/products it sells.

There is a lot of focus on AI in the customer experience lately, and there is no doubt that leveraging chatbots and other emerging technology is transforming how consumers interact and conduct business. However, it should not be forgotten that nearly all the benefits AI can provide customers can be translated to employees as well. We all want the freedom to do our jobs without the hurdles that so often plague us. Wouldn't it be better if we could spend our time getting work done rather than searching for the information necessary to do so? AI is helping make that possible.


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