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2018 seems to be a particularly prolific year to write about virtual assistants. I personally read at least 4 articles a week on the subject and I find them almost always very interesting.  Virtual assistant technology, market trends, benefits and features are the main topics dealt with. But when I look for the implementation, I almost always come across articles that talk about customer service and user experience.

But when I’ve analyzed my direct experience, I  found out that very few articles are focused on companies’ internal helpdesk. A great theme in terms of cost and quality of service. Thousands of phone calls and email exchanged among employees working in different divisions. A huge amount of working hours which could be saved in large part thanks to a virtual assistant.

Let’s examine one of the more impressive issue which probably many of you have experienced, contact the HR Division.

Imagine a dialogue like this:

Hello! Hi, I’m Nicola. Listen, but how much can I spend in a business lunch with customers and what kind of receipt the administration need?

“Hi Nicola, have you looked in the server, HR folder? “

“Well, yes quickly and didn’t find much.”

“Ok, I’m emailing you the document where the policy on meals is described. However the receipt must always be an invoice, and on the back, you have to write the names of the people to whom you have offered lunch, also specifies the company. In these cases, the limit is 50 euro per person. “

“Perfect thank you, and sorry for troubling you.”

What kind of remarks can we do about this conversation?

First, pray to find the line free, or if you write an email, hope to receive an answer within the time you need. Many HR divisions have so many requests coming in from their colleagues, that they decided  to process all employees’ request only at certain time slots. For sure the quality of service will not be the best.

Second, the employees’ questions are often trivial and easily traceable in the documentation shared by the HR on the company servers. Answering emails or phone calls costs important figures. Think about a company with 1000 employees and suppose that each of them phones or write to the HR twice a month for repetitive and trivial requests.

We are talking about 2000 requests per month. In terms of working days you can easily calculate how many time the HR must waste for giving an answer to such a requests. If you consider for example 5 minutes as solving time, we are talking of 10.000 minutes which means almost 7 days.

Third. Perhaps it is better for employees in the HR division to devote themselves to more productive activities rather than answering repetitive questions.

How can we figure out all problems above? As mentioned at the beginning of the article, a conversational interface, such as a chatbot, able to process all the HR documents shared in the company’s server it is really a good idea. The virtual assistant will answer to trivial and repetitive questions assuring some positive effects: improving service quality, reducing the response time, achieving significant savings.

The virtual assistant will automatically extract the replies after decoding the employee’s application, all round-the-clock.

Certainly, if the employee’s ticket is particularly complex or there was no information in the knowledge base from which to extract the answer, we should still write or call.  But in the meantime, we would have significantly reduced the workload of the HR division.

From the point of view of those who send a request, they will receive the answer instantly at any time of the day without having to wait for office hours.

Obviously, the more companies are big, the more the adoption of a virtual assistant can be considered an interesting option, but I would not neglect the benefits even for the medium companies.

A virtual assistant for HR, however, improves the quality of everyone’s work with productivity benefits.

I will address other specific cases in this space, focusing on other business divisions.