Digital Assistants Take on Departments' Biggest Headaches

May 1st, 2018

Imagine a digital assistant that could help simplify the work day and improve the employee experience. A digital assistant that could eliminate the productivity burdens of employees having to login to multiple applications to find information. One that could manage to-dos, tasks, and approvals, and ultimately get work done. A way to empower employees by delivering an intuitive mobile-friendly interface and integrated chatbot acting as their digital assistant, telling them what they need to know, when they need to know it, so they can get more work done, faster.

A digital assistant made for the workplace that could integrate across all the common systems and tools found in the workplace (Office365, Google, Workday, PeopleSoft, Slack, Oracle, SAP, etc.) to intelligently surface information and data to employees that is personalized and contextual to each individual employee. Furthermore, the digital assistant could anticipate the users’ needs, serving up the right information at the right time, and even automating tasks. A digital assistant is always looking out for its users, remembering things so they don’t have to, and proactively suggesting things they may need to do.

Digital assistants are here and and are making waves in the workplace. This technology is alleviating pain points across all departments to promote productivity and give employees a better work experience.

Department-Specific Pain Points and Where Digital Assistants Come Into Play

Every department has its frustrations. You know, the ones that have you banging your keyboard, saying “Ugh, not again!” Or the ones that you’ve just come to accept at this point because there doesn’t seem to be any solution in sight. Thankfully, digital assistants could be the answer to your problems. We’ll dive into some major headaches for IT, HR, and Communication Departments, and address how digital assistants could be implemented to ease these burdens.

IT Department:

Problem:

Whether working the employee help desk or answering consumers’ questions, the IT Department has its hands full. Often similar sentiments of frustration span across both internal and customer-facing IT roles. Mainly, many service reps report that they complete common mundane tasks (such as password resets) that take up a lot of time and back up the queue. An overwhelming influx of inquiries paired with a shortage of reps exacerbates customer wait-time and hurts satisfaction-rates. A major painpoint for IT employees is that most of these questions don’t require a human to solve, and can either be found in “FAQs” or a knowledge base.

On the other hand, IT Managers have their own concerns. How will their department be able to implement innovation when their employees are stretched thin managing day-to-day operations? Similarly, how will they stay up-to-date with the latest technology? Training new employees is already a lengthy process, and adding new technology would result in further training.

Solution:

Digital assistants can free up call-center employees’ time so they can focus on more complex tasks. For example, a chatbot could interact with an employee or customer to provide answers to their questions, guide them through simple tasks, or help them adjust to new technology. If an employee needs to unlock their mobile device for example, they could either spend 15 minutes on the phone or use the chatbot to resolve the problem in under 2 minutes. A chatbot works 24/7, so even when IT employees are off the clock, inquirers can still receive help. When tickets/ employee issues are solved faster and call-volume is reduced, your organization saves money. And with all that extra time to focus on higher-level work, IT employees can better manage data and address innovation. Overall, a digital assistant improves customer satisfaction and boosts employee engagement.

HR Department:

Problem:

The HR Department is quite possibly the department that uses the most systems to get their work done. While each of these systems serves a different and necessary purpose, there are too many systems to integrate neatly and efficiently. This spread of data requires too much human effort to sort through and can lead to inconsistency. Equally as frustrating is that the data is not readily available when stakeholders need it, or when an employee calls the HR administration desk. Another productivity-inhibitor is the misalignment between HR and IT. The two departments overlap each other in many ways, leading to confusion regarding who owns what.

Solution:

A digital assistant helps keep track of all the siloed applications HR professionals use from one central location on any device. HR employees can approve transactions like transfers, start dates, title changes, and pay scales with ease. In the same way a digital assistant caters to the HR Department’s needs, it is also there to support employees across the organization, so when an employee wants to know information like their time-off balance, payroll data, or benefits, all they have to do is check the digital assistant rather than login to multiple systems. Any other questions can be asked to the chatbot to receive answers in real time. All of this can be accomplished without having to call the HR administration desk. With information at their fingertips, employees are more productive and satisfied, and HR professionals get more time back in their day.

Communication Department:

Problem:

Internal communications are deployed to share company-wide or department-specific news, but so many end up lost in a sea of emails, unopened and overlooked in the face of more pressing employee matters. The Communication Department struggles with how to optimize these messages so employees receive relevant announcements that they actually want to read. Often times, a missing part of this equation is collaboration between the Communications team and other company sectors that they are crafting messages on behalf of.

Solution:

What if there was a way to send personalized, engaging communications… and let each department create their own as well? That would solve many issues that the Communication Department faces. With a digital assistant, the communications experience is reimagined and revamped. Communications can be sent out to any recipients at any time, and can be interacted with via commenting, “liking”, etcetera. Through audience targeting and personalization, communications are contextual for each individual employee. Take alerting employees of an offiice closure due to weather… With a digital assistant, this alert would only be sent to specific employees versus all employees. A digital assistant results in better open rates for the Communications Department, allows groups within an organization to take control of their messages independently, and empowers employees to filter communications that are relevant to them. Plus, it helps unclutter empoyees’ inboxes by removing notifications from email.

A Digital Assistant for Everyone

With each suggestion, groan, and frustrated coffee station vent session, your employees across departments are asking for a digital assistant and they don’t even know it. The great thing about implementing this technology is that one digital assistant applies to all departments and can be tailored to individual needs, hitting upon and solving each employee pain point and making your organization a better place to work.

When an employee wants a sweeping overview of everything they need to do on a given day, all they have to do is check their digital assistant, and they can add more to-dos simultaneously. To schedule meetings, complete payrolls, reset passwords, grab data quickly, or do anything that you’d usually need to sift through several systems to accomplish, employees can simply instruct the digital assistant, which then relays the tasks to each specific application. Utilizing a digital assistant promotes productivity and organization, and allows professionals in all departments to address work that matters.

Interested in learning more about digital assistants for the workplace? Check out our recent blog- Say Hello to Your Intelligent Assistant.

Logan Colby Nunziato Marketing and Communications

Logan Colby Nunziato is a Marketing and Communications Intern at Workgrid Software. She is studying Business Management at Babson College, class of 2018. Logan is fascinated with how technology combined with entrepreneurship helps connect people and solve critical problems. Her experience spans across different industries including real estate, clean energy, insurance, and software services and she enjoys playing tennis and travelling. You can connect with Logan on LinkedIn.

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