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AI Purchases No Longer Need to be Limited by Budget

on December 15, 2020

Many organizations point to a tightening 2021 budget (driven by the pandemic’s uncertainty) as a reason not to implement AI-powered technology. The smart HR and IT technology shopper knows that there are options for AI-powered technology that can fit their talent management and people operations strategies AND budget. Even better, some options provide a handsome return on investment (ROI) while boosting employee productivity, employee experience and cutting costs.

The purchase of any technology needs to meet the finance team’s “hurdle rate” for return on investment. Answering questions like “When will the purchase and implementation costs be paid off?” and “How much of a positive financial and transformational return will it provide the business?”

Calculating ROI for an AI technology product is usually straightforward. Customer-facing call centers have been analyzing the ROI of AI-powered chatbots for years. For example, it is not unreasonable for customer service chatbots to provide a company with a 59 percent ROI by avoiding the cost of hiring additional customer service representatives and deploying more of their live agents to answer tough or escalated questions to quickly resolve employee problems. This strategy provides impactful customer service where it is needed and improves customer satisfaction in the process.

Companies are now deploying AI-powered intelligent assistants for employee support, to answer the frequent questions of IT, HR, and Operations. As with customer service chatbots, leadership teams are finding that AI-powered intelligent assistants can provide an extraordinary ROI and shift the cost of hiring additional IT and HR staff to more strategic work—all while improving the employee experience and productivity.

McKinsey’s analysis shows that the first movers (especially during tough economic times) with re-inventive technologies gain the highest returns on their investments and grow faster.

How to determine ROI on AI? 

For each company, that answer will be different. At MeBeBot, we have this advice to calculate your return on investment.

Affordability. Achieving a ROI hurdle is easier when the original cost is not staggering. For the price of a cup of coffee per employee per month, MeBeBot’s AI-powered intelligent assistant is affordable and fits many budgets. Our solution is also not just for HR or IT, but for use across the business. These functions can pool their resources and allocate the expense by employee to purchase MeBeBot, and all get a return on it.

Costs Saved. As with the customer service example above, our customers have found that MeBeBot’s AI-powered intelligent assistant quickly and accurately took over the task of answering common questions of HR and IT from employees and reduced this burden on their staff by 75 percent. The time saved allowed them two advantages: The first was the reduced need to hire additional staff as their businesses scaled quickly. Second, it allowed them to reassign staff who were not needed to answer questions to higher-level problem-solving work with managers and employees.

Time-to-Value. Many calculations of ROI do not take the “time to receiving value” factor into account. Many companies have paid thousands of dollars in monthly software subscription fees for innovative technology (when the contract is signed) yet months to years are spent implementing the solution before any benefits or value are obtained. MeBeBot has curated questions for HR, IT, and Operations based on industry expertise and the experience with our customers. Also, our AI and natural language processing allow us to return accurate answers significantly faster. MeBeBot typically implements in four to eight weeks, not four to eight months as other AI chatbots require. Our exceptional time-to-value means you can begin earning your return on the MeBeBot investment much faster.

Time to Value: MeBeBot typically implements in four to eight weeks, NOT four to eight months, as other chatbots require.

Easy to update and maintain. MeBeBot makes it easy to update answers to questions to address the business’s changing priorities and needs without having to write code. This means your maintenance costs are next to nothing and leads to a faster ROI.

Employee Productivity. When employees get answers quickly, 24/7, they are more productive. With MeBeBot, employees do not have to read policy or self-help documents on a share site, wait for a help desk agent to respond to them, or wait for a return phone call to get answers to their commonly asked questions. Companies have often determined this number by reviewing help desk ticket logs or email response time (as well as employee satisfaction surveys) to get a baseline on wait time for such answers and how they are reduced after using a chatbot. Employees who are more productive and less frustrated have a better experience, leading to higher productivity.

The pandemic has limited spending on HR and internal services technology in 2020 and continues to threaten technology investment in 2021. However, the long-term remote work and hybrid workforce will require changes in talent management, employee support, and optimizing work processes. The smart shopper of technology can find solutions for every budget and every ROI requirement and begin a path to realizing the benefits of AI on digital transformation for the employee experience.