In our technologically driven world, we are continuing to see an increase in use of artificial intelligence in the customer service arena. From chatbots, to self-serve checkouts, to online shopping and much more, AI is really taking over when it comes to the service sphere, and it’s only getting stronger and more personalized.
Why Do Customers Want AI Service?
Customers want fast, friendly and hassle-free service. Many customers choose AI service options because it is available more conveniently for them. For instance, the chatbot services online are often available 24/7 and you can get through to a AI service rep immediately versus waiting for sometimes hours on the phone to speak with a human rep.
That brings me to another reason why customers might choose AI service over a human interaction and that is, faster service. AI customer service can often provide speedier answers to customer inquiries and problems.
Why Do Employers Want To Use AI?
Employers are also jumping on the AI bandwagon for several reasons. Having AI service can often prove to be cheaper than paying a human body to be available. The fact that AI service is ‘running in the background’ all the time, regardless of if it’s being use every moment, frees up the time of human agents making them much more efficient and productive.
Organizations are realizing more and more that having an omni-channel experience for their customers is critical. And consistency among those channels is paramount. Your organization might use a combination of AI and human customer service in order to provide an omni channel experience for your customers. For instance, your human front-line workers might represent your company in your brick and mortar stores, whereas your AI reps fulfil online service inquiries.
Is AI Going To Take My Job?
If you could interact with a fast, friendly, hassle-free human OR a robot, which would you choose? If they knew for sure that their customer service experience with the human would be exceptional, most people would probably choose the human.
With human to human interaction there are a lot of nuances and ability to provide personalized service that a robot can’t provide. Of course, as technology is getting smarter, robots can automate to create personalized solutions for customers. However, with robots there are many variables that we can’t control.
From an employer perspective, there is a place and time when AI should be used to increase productivity and efficiency and save costs. But there are so many things that a robot cannot do that a human can provide.
The best solution for employees who find them in a precarious place when it comes to technology taking over their jobs, is to be constantly learning and growing to stay relevant. Read more about how you can stay relevant in the age of AI by Re-Skilling the Workforce to Prepare for Technology.read more
There’s a generation in the workforce that will soon play a very important role in leading your organization into the future. In fact, Forbes reported that by 2030, Millennials will comprise 75% of the workforce.
There has been a slew of articles lately about millennials ‘killing off’ various industries. This attests to their immense buying power and control in the markets. And, it is another reason why it is very important for you to treat your millennial employees well – because what is being felt on the inside of your organization can be felt on the outside by your customers.
All generations of talent want to feel valued in the workplace. Millennials have reported several things that help to motivate and engage them in the workplace and turn them into loyal employees (and customers).
Here are some of things millennials look for in an organization to keep them motivated and engaged:
Flexibility. This comes at the top of the list for many millennials. Many would even forgo a pay increase or bonus in lieu of more remote work, flexible hours, vacation time and a better work life balance.
Mentorship. Millennials want to receive feedback and one on one coaching with their managers. They want to have a good relationship with their direct supervisor and learn from them so they can move up in the organization.
Autonomy. Along with flexibility, millennials want to have some autonomy and say in how they execute their role. They don’t want a supervisor who micromanages them. Some examples of ways they can get autonomy include, working remotely or flexibility, and having authority over making certain decisions within their scope of practice.
Transparency. Millennials want to know what is going on in the business and how they can contribute to the growth. They want you to be clear about what your business goals and objectives are and to communicate that with them.
Impact. Millennials want to feel like they are contributing to the betterment of the organization. This could be with a special project, by supporting their colleagues, or by serving their customers on the front line. Whatever way they serve your organization, they want to know how their contribution is making an impact in order to feel valuable.
Skills. Millennials are a generation that are very dedicated to continuing their education and learning new skills that make them more marketable. They want to know that you are investing in their future by providing them will skills and development that will make them more marketable and allow them to grow in the organization.
Recognition & rewards. Millennials (and other generations of talent) want to feel like their great work is being acknowledged. Recognition and rewards can come in many forms including non-monetary recognition such as praise and thanks, or monetary rewards and recognition such as bonuses, time off, gift cards, and total recognition points that can be redeemed for merchandise, travel and many other rewards.
For more information on how to support millennials at work read What Millennials Want in the Workplace.read more
With the rise of virtual and remote workers, organizations are paying more and more attention to how they can utilize this great opportunity to offer their employees more flexibility. However, just as important is keeping those same employees motivated and engaged as if they were in the office daily having one on one face time with their colleagues and managers.
As a remote worker myself, I can attest to the fact that the tips below work to keep me motivated and engaged during my workday. I should mention though that not everyone is cut out for remote or virtual work.
When I tell people I work from home, I’ve had countless people tell me “Oh, I couldn’t do that.” I think it’s true that some people are just not cut out for remote work. You do have to be self-motivated and disciplined enough to cut out the distractions. Additionally, it’s important to make sure you allow yourself the time to step away from work to take short breaks — perhaps get outside for a walk – as it will help you to reinvigorate your energy for the rest of your workday. If you just plop down in front of your computer screen for 8+ hours straight you’re going to drain yourself both mentally and physically.
Here are some of the top ways that you can motivate and engage your remote and virtual workers:
1. Establish Your Company Culture.
Be sure to communicate your expectations and company culture up front with your remote workers. You want to make sure that they’re a good fit for your organization and that they will be committed and competent to perform their duties. If you find that an employee isn’t cut out for remote work, give them opportunities to connect in person with their colleagues and leaders. For example, when I first started at GES I would go into the office so I could get to know who I was working with. It was important to establish those in person connections and get to know a little bit more about the company and culture before I began working remotely.
2. Keep in Touch Often.
It is so important to communicate often with your remote workers. Establish a meeting frequency that is best for your team and be sure to touch base on activities, deadlines and updates that they might require in order to perform their job best. Keep in touch daily via email and be sure to communicate very clearly and efficiently what your expectations are for work completion. Establish deadlines together and come up with an action plan on how they will execute their duties.
3. Opportunities to Grow.
Make sure to offer your remote employees the opportunity to learn and grow within your organization. If they stay sedentary for too long and aren’t developing new skills, they are likely to find somewhere else where they will. This can include formal learning opportunities such as eLearning, one on one training and coaching or work related courses/certifications that will teach them new skills. You can also send them to industry conferences where they will have the opportunity to keep their finger on the pulse of the industry and bring back relevant opportunities to implement in your workplace.
4. Give Them Challenging Projects.
Keep your employees motivated by giving them new and challenging projects. It will give them the opportunity to learn new things, and exercise their problem-solving skills in a new way. This will also help them to develop a new set of skills that they may be able to transfer into other parts of their role in your organization.
5. Recognize their Achievements.
It is so important for you to recognize and reward your remote workers for their great work! Recognition can take on many forms such as non-monetary recognition such as a verbal thank you or acknowledgement, or a peer to peer recognition note, etc. You can also recognize them with monetary rewards such as points to redeem in your total reward program, monetary bonuses or paid time off. It is important to recognize your remote workers in a personalized way that is unique to how they want to be recognized. For example, some employees would prefer to have extra vacation time over a bonus, or vice versa. Get to know your employees so you can personalize their recognition experience.
To learn more about what your employees want to keep them motivated and engaged check out the Top Company Perks to Consider for Your Talent.read more