Let’s face it…we all need an assistant these days! The COVID-19 health and economic crisis has increased stress and potentially made more work for us all. While budgets are under constant scrutiny, business has continued to move forward…and some industries are even thriving.
How can we keep up with the pace while maintaining (or even lowering) operational costs? Based on Gartner research, 25% of all digital workers will use a virtual employee assistant by 2021. With advancements in Artificial Intelligence (AI), the use of collaboration platforms (like Teams and Slack), the need to have solutions that support remote/distributed teams and facilitate automation of communications is no longer a “nice to have,” but an essential part of employee support solutions.
Yet, not all digital assistants, Chatbots, virtual assistants and intelligent assistants are the same! According to Annette Jump, Senior Analyst at Gartner, internal business leaders need to determine the capabilities they want and need and look at both short-term and long-term gains from these solutions.
So, what should you look for in an Intelligent Assistant for your organization? Here are 5 key differentiators:
1. Is the Assistant “intelligent” and can it help employees with all types of questions?
There are a number of “Chatbot” solutions, both customer facing and for internal business use. Some bots are merely “dialog bots,” using basic rules to respond with “yes” and “no” information. Other bots require custom consulting services to fit your business. And, some bots are merely an extension of HR, Payroll or IT tools, that only answer a fraction of the types of information employees desire.
MeBeBot’s solution is designed to answer ALL employee questions, from HR, IT, to Operations…and coming soon, sales, marketing and legal questions and answers! Our AI Employee Experience Platform leverages a knowledge base of curated content, trained to a Natural Language Processing (NLP) data model, using AI and machine learning to produce 85%+ accuracy in answers to employees at launch!
2. Is the Assistant accessible and helpful to all employees?
Today, solutions and tools in the “flow of work” are essential to drive employee adoption and usage. Not all Chatbots are designed to be seamlessly integrated to collaboration tools and Intranet Portals, where employees spend their time working. And, most are not able to support employees across the globe.
MeBeBot’s Intelligent Assistant “lives” as an application in Teams, Slack and other popular communication and collaboration products. Using our web chat, employees can also access MeBeBot from company Intranets…when and where employees may need answers to questions. As an app, we’re also available on mobile devices, with voice and speech capabilities, for both remote and employees on the go!
3. How is the Assistant maintain and serviced over time?
While most digital assistants are very helpful right away, once employees begin to adopt and rely on these solutions, they will continue to push the boundaries of the technology. This means the Assistant needs to be able to learn and grow over time to continue to support employee needs. If you’re implementing a custom Assistant or an Assistant that is an extension of an existing HR, IT or other database product, the capabilities are limited. Yes, you can pay for expensive customizations to fit your growing needs, but Intelligent Assistants, like people, need to be “supervised” and managed so that accuracy can be maintained and the Assistant can grow and improve over time.
MeBeBot’s Intelligent Assistant is cloud-hosted (in a secure ecosystem), managed and maintained by the MeBeBot team of humans. We apply supervised learning and train the Assistant to become “smarter” and more accurate over time. With our dashboard Admin Portal, our customers can see the daily questions asked, by category and even by country. And, our customers can add new custom questions at any time, to service the unique needs of their business and employees.
4. What is the product roadmap for growth for the Assistant?
Some Assistants may have a specific function or purpose, which can solve a business need, but not evolve with automation or digital transformation projects. This limited scope or functionality may be a “quick fix,” but to drive long-term benefits and employee usage and growth in adoption, the Assistant has to continue to provide more and more benefits to employees.
With MeBeBot, our product is focused on being the “one stop bot” for all your employee questions today, yet with a product roadmap and vision to expand automation to improve productivity, save time and lower operational costs. With conversational workflows and personalization approaches, our solution will expand and grow with our customers’ needs over time. And, when employees see the benefit of the Assistant, adoption is gained and usage is high, to provide valuable data and insights, used for business decisions.
5. Does the Assistant provide a strong time to value and a solid return on your investment?
Many Assistants can help create efficiencies, save time and provide instant support to employees. However, if the solution takes months to implement and then train the natural language processing for accurate answers, then the cost savings may be minimized.
While some Assistants require custom implementation and machine learning / training, MeBeBot is a software-as-a-subscription service, implemented in a day, with the ability to update and edit a curated knowledge base (in less than a week). This means less time out of the day for the internal teams or subject matter experts, participating in the project. MeBeBot’s Intelligent Assistant can be launched in weeks, so that your time to value is strong and the return on your investment calculation can begin immediately.
Why wait to have more help…now is the time to take your first step down a path toward elevating the employee experience, while gaining valuable time back into your day!