Optimizing AI for the Employee Experience by Josh Feast, Co-Founder and CEO at Cogito
In today’s job market, employees have more say over their work experiences than ever before, including where, when and how they work. This new era of the employee-led market is forcing businesses across industries to invest in creating positive workplace experiences. In the contact center, where agents are navigating difficult situations and dealing with frustrated customers on an hourly basis, the task of creating a positive work environment becomes even more challenging. Business leaders can use all the help they can get, and fortunately for them, certain AI technologies are creating better overall employee experiences, leading to improved job satisfaction, productivity and, ultimately, exceptional customer experiences. For many leaders though, it can be daunting to know where to begin.
No matter where companies are in their journey, there are a multitude of opportunities for them to leverage AI to deliver better EX. Currently, many are implementing AI models that help executives and operational leaders prioritize engagement, improve the onboarding experience and highlight risks of burnout amongst frontline customer service professionals.
Streamlining Workflows to Maintain Customer Loyalty
Creating loyal customers is what every company strives for – they make repeat purchases, spend more, and refer others to the brand, leading to increased revenue and profitability. Unfortunately, increased competition, evolving customer expectations and reduced switching costs have contributed to a decline in customer loyalty in recent years. Customers now have more choices, greater access to information, and higher expectations for personalized and seamless experiences.
To meet these ever-increasing customer expectations, organizations are turning to purpose-built AI to automate and streamline repetitive and time-consuming tasks, allowing employees to focus on more meaningful and strategic work for their customers. By reducing mundane tasks, AI enhances employee productivity and reduces burnout, enabling them to provide better service and engagement to customers.
Employees can also deliver superior customer service by leveraging AI-powered learning platforms. These platforms offer targeted recommendations for skills development, enabling employees to acquire the knowledge and competencies needed to excel in their roles and better meet customer needs.
AI algorithms offer incredible value to organizations beyond just task automation and personalized learning, too. Specifically, AI can analyze vast amounts of data from disparate sources, providing employees with actionable insights to make more informed and personalized decisions for customers. By accessing this information in real-time along with predictive insights, employees can also anticipate customer needs, identify opportunities for personalized interactions, and proactively address customer concerns. This streamlined proactive approach helps to further enhance customer satisfaction and long-term loyalty – and it starts with using AI to improve the employee experience.
Boosting Employee Morale & Increasing Engagement
Even with improved workflows, much of today’s workforce is still experiencing burnout. Remote work in conjunction with ongoing economic instability are only leading to more feelings of isolation and disconnection. With organizations focusing on budgeting and cost-cutting measures, development opportunities such as training, promotions or salary increments may be limited. Additionally, the reduction in opportunities for team bonding, collaboration, and social interactions to mitigate these feelings of isolation can have an even greater impact on employee morale and engagement.
To combat this, AI-powered applications can monitor and analyze employee well-being indicators such as stress levels, workload and work-life balance. This data can help identify areas of improvement and determine interventions to support employee well-being. Happy and engaged employees are more likely to deliver exceptional customer service, creating a positive impact on customer loyalty and engagement.
AI tools also offer key insights necessary for enhancing overall teamwork and further bolstering collaboration across organizations. These tools facilitate seamless information sharing, project management, and virtual team interactions, creating a sense of belonging and camaraderie among employees. However, companies should transparently and clearly communicate the role of AI within their organization, educating employees about how AI enhances their work, while also addressing its limitations. Ensuring employees understand that AI is a tool to augment their capabilities rather than replace them can help to alleviate ongoing concerns regarding AI's impact on human contributions to the workforce.
When implemented transparently, AI-powered collaboration tools can provide timely insights, identify areas for improvement, and help employees develop professionally. This in turn fosters a growth mindset and supports a culture of continuous improvement that reduces employee attrition.
Real-Time Feedback & Performance Management
When employees do not receive feedback in real-time, negative consequences can arise that impact both individual employees and overall organizational performance. Without timely feedback, employees will continue with ineffective or suboptimal practices, leading to a decline in individual performance as employees miss opportunities to correct errors, develop new skills and enhance their work outputs.
Delayed or inconsistent feedback can also cause critical communication channels to break down, leading to misunderstandings, strained relationships and a lack of trust between supervisors and their teams. Real-time feedback, on the other hand, can provide employees with clear guidance and direction to improve tasks and achieve their goals. The employee benefits by improving their skills and reducing performance frustrations without having to wait for an annual performance review, and the more immediate impact leads to improved organizational performance as well.
To create this sense of performance-based empowerment, organizations should prioritize a culture of frequent and timely feedback. AI-powered performance management systems that provide real-time feedback, recommendations for recognition, and contribute to employee evaluations can be a gamechanger for organizations. In fact, real-time EX measurement solutions are capable of analyzing employee perceptions on 100% of the calls they take. These continuous feedback loops between employees and managers help facilitate ongoing performance discussions and constructive feedback to benefit employees and employers.
AI Forges a Competitive Advantage
Without AI-powered solutions to improve EX, companies will struggle to gain in-depth customer insights, hindering their ability to meaningfully understand customer needs, preferences and behaviors. This can limit employees’ ability to deliver personalized experiences and make data-driven decisions that could make or break long-term business goals.
When integrated effectively, AI has the potential to revolutionize EX by streamlining processes, personalizing learning, facilitating collaboration and promoting overall well-being. With employees serving as the face of the brand, improved EX is no longer just a nice-to-have in today’s employee-driven market – it’s essential to delivering the highest levels of customer satisfaction and loyalty.
This customer loyalty is especially vital for business continuity as it drives revenue, reduces costs, fosters brand advocacy, enhances resilience, and facilitates continuous improvement. By prioritizing customer loyalty, businesses can ensure long-term success and sustainability in a highly competitive marketplace.