As the world continues its struggle amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the onus on staying connected with employees in an increasingly remote work environment is the utmost concern for businesses. They realize that ensuring the health and well-being of their employees is critical to improving the stability and productivity of all business functions, especially in times of crisis and isolation. The need to efficiently communicate, collaborate and stay productive has never been more important.
AI technologies like chatbots are playing a critical role in building a collaborative work environment during the world’s biggest remote working experiment. In addition, to the numerous ways chatbots drive business value e.g service desk management, HR automation, sales support etc., they can be life savers in times of crises.
Microsoft customers looking to accelerate their crisis response strategy should look no further and start implementing Power Virtual Agents – Microsoft’s low-code chatbot builder platform. However, before diving into the potential of Microsoft Power Virtual Agents in times of crises, let’s understand the solution itself.
Microsoft Power Virtual Agents simply put is a platform that enables anyone to build chatbots easily without coding or development experience. In fact, according to Techcrunch, “Microsoft Power Virtual Agents make building chatbots almost as easy as writing Word documents”.
Power Virtual Agents’ low-code interface enables anyone – from a regular business user to an experienced developer – to build and implement chatbots, and minimizes the dependence on IT and technical teams. The Power Virtual Agents platform was developed as part of the Dynamics family of products and was primarily built for customer support use-case. However, the chatbots built using it can be deployed for your internal customers or employees as well.
In times of crisis and uncertainty, employees have several doubts about a variety of topics. Businesses receive a humongous amount of messages at an unprecedented rate through multiple channels. Chatbots built with Power Virtual Agents can answer crisis-related FAQ and deliver critical information across multiple channels – social media, email, IVR, web or mobile chat etc. Repetitive questions related to remote work, public health information, companies policies etc. can be answered instantly 24/7.
Chatbots are essential not only because they answer FAQs of employees, but also for their ability to conduct human-like conversations – something very desirable when people are isolated and going through difficult times.
As a Microsoft Gold Partner, we’re helping customers deploy the Crisis FAQ chatbot built using Power Virtual Agents.
As the crisis evolves, your organization might need to modify internal workflows or corporate policies. You might need a new leave management system or modified reporting process or a new cancellation tool. Once you deploy a chatbot using Power Virtual Agents, you can constantly update its skills to facilitate the new workflows. This way you don’t need to have new multiple apps or siloed processes.
It’s important to ensure your workforce is highly productive when they’re working remotely. In the past few weeks, we have seen IT help desks and HR teams in several companies struggling to manage the sudden unprecedented surge in issues and requests. Employees are being kept on hold for hours before their issue is resolved. Just imagine the loss of productivity. Chatbots act as the first line of support agents to address repetitive and low-value requests. They’re available 24*7 and can handle multiple requests simultaneously. If the chatbot is unable to handle a particular query, it can always hand over the conversation to a human agent.
This will allow your IT staff to focus on productive and proactive tasks. In the same way, your employees don’t have to wait for hours to get their issues resolved.
Proactively communicate and update your employees about the changes in your company before they seek information – A chatbot lets you schedule alerts and push notifications with which you can keep employees informed about the state of the business. Thereby, you can build employee trust and let them focus on doing their work without worrying about the situation continuously.
Quick access to information is imperative when employees work remotely. Chatbots built with Power Virtual Agents can be integrated with SharePoint intranets, business intelligence and LOB systems. From there, employees can access the information stored in these systems via natural language conversations with the chatbot. They don’t have to open or switch multiple apps to find information – a chatbot acts as their single point of contact.
A chatbot’s range of applications, scalability, and ease of implementation are some key drivers for its adoption amid this crisis. With Microsoft Power Virtual Agents, organizations can build and deploy custom chatbots within days. The bots’ capabilities can be constantly updated with the changes in internal process and to solve emerging challenges posed by the pandemic.
We’re helping several organizations leverage Power Virtual Agents to deploy chatbots for crisis management, HR and help desk operations, and remote work support.
If you’d like to learn more about this topic, please feel free to get in touch with one of our chatbot experts for a personalized consultation. We’d also be happy to share our success stories and how we can help you implement Power Virtual Agents effectively.