Operational Excellence

3 Ways Artificial Intelligence Can Strengthen Your Business (During COVID-19 and Beyond)

By Engage Hub expert 23 November 2020

With AI solutions springing up for applications ranging from customer service to data analytics, it’s no wonder that, at the end of 2019, Gartner predicted massive rises in AI for 2020 and beyond. What Gartner didn’t predict, however, was the coronavirus crisis. Their projected 2020 AI trends – increased accessibility, emotion-driven advertising and AI regulation – were all based on the pre-pandemic landscape.

However, as we are half way through Q4 2020, it’s clear that Gartner was right on a key point: AI has played a vital role this year, and its importance will continue rising. In this blog, we explore 3 use cases where AI is helping businesses navigate the new normal.

Use case #1: Protecting employee wellbeing

One of the immediate coronavirus effects was the mass move to remote working. Even now, as more workplaces re-open, social distancing-induced limitations mean many people will be at home for the foreseeable future.

Managing a workforce that’s either fully or partly remote is challenging, but AI-driven HR solutions can help your employees work not just productively, but also happily. For example, automated employee satisfaction surveys can help you keep an eye on employee’s satisfaction and wellbeing, allowing you to identify areas of concern more quickly, stepping in before people reach a crisis point. And offering AI-driven virtual care solutions as an employee benefit can help address mental health issues arising from loneliness and isolation.

Use case #2: Personalised, efficient internal communication

Communication is another challenge with managing a remote workforce.

For larger workforces, AI-powered chatbots can help answer a wide range of employee questions efficiently, taking the burden off busy managers and HR teams while still delivering a personalised response. Whether it’s logistical questions about return-to-work plans, furlough payments or holiday entitlement, a chatbot can securely pull data from your internal systems and provide fast answers.

AI-powered solutions also have the added benefit of in-built intelligent analytics. This allows you to measure and optimise your internal comms approach, so you increase employee engagement and satisfaction during these uncertain times.

Use case #3: Empowering customers to self-serve 

COVID-19 has accelerated the shift towards digital self-services. At the beginning of the pandemic, many Engage Hub users saw their contact centres inundated, whether it was to ask banks about mortgage repayment holidays or retailers about stock availability. This puts enormous pressure on staff – not to mention leading to high customer frustration due to prolonged waiting and resolution times.

More customers effectively self-serving means less pressure on your contact centre. This not only has cost benefits, but it also gives agents more time and capacity to support those with more complex queries or vulnerable customers.

Of course, it’s not just enough to have digital journeys, you should have seamless digital journeys to really see the benefits. That’s where AI comes in.

For instance, an AI-driven Interactive Voice Response (IVR) solution provides customers with a personalised voice self-service experience. Callers are quickly directed to the answer they need without having to hold for an agent or go through a complicated phone tree. And, thanks to our native Natural Language Processing (NLP), the IVR solution can understand intent as well as words. That way, it feels more like engaging with a human than a bot.

Web and messaging chatbots are another example. Customers who prefer websites, SMS, WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger can quickly resolve issues on their channel of choice at a convenient time. Engage Hub’s cross-channel Chatbot has been built to provide an intelligent, conversational, human-like experience. Our bots are efficient, cost-effective and guarantee a personalised experience no matter the channel. From querying order status to dealing with fraud alerts, the AI-driven chatbots can speedily deal with a range of issues – again, freeing staff to focus on added value.

And thanks to the advanced analytics you get with AI and automation, you can even start pre-empting customer needs. This enables you to head off issues, deliver more personalised offers and achieve measurable customer experience improvements. And that leads to more revenue and better ROI on your customer experience strategy.

For more information about how AI-driven and automated solutions can help you thrive during COVD-19 and beyond, download The ‘New Normal’ for Customer Experience: What Digital Transformation Looks Like in a Post-Pandemic World.