According to Statista, by 2024 there will be 8.4 billion digital voice assistants online – that’s more than the world’s entire population. Voicebots are becoming ever more common among consumers and businesses alike.
In today’s article, we’re going to talk about internal voice assistants – what they are and how companies can leverage them in their day-to-day operations. Let’s dive right in!
What is an intranet voice assistant?
An intranet voice assistant is a chabot that supports your employees in their day-to-day work. It listens to specific voice commands and performs actions as requested by the user. Some of the technologies they leverage include NLP, voice recognition, and – in the case of the most advanced tools – artificial intelligence and machine learning.
The benefits of having an AI virtual assistant for your employees
Below we’ve listed some of the most important advantages of implementing internal chatbots for your business.
#1 More time for deep work
We often get distracted at work, either through endless meetings or constant communication, which leaves us very little time for deep work. What’s more, every time we’re disturbed, it takes us around 25 minutes to resume full productivity. That’s a lot of time lost!
This issue can be tackled with a voice assistant, which can handle various employee queries. For instance, let’s imagine that one of your team members is supposed to create a presentation on the results of a recent marketing campaign. However, they cannot find the relevant materials needed to put it together. Instead of contacting their teammates or their leader, they can turn to the AI virtual assistant, who’ll tell them where they can find all the necessary resources.
By using voice assistants, you can reduce the amount of real-time communication , and have more time left for deep work, which takes us to the second point.
#2 Boosting employee productivity
Can you imagine that an average person gets distracted every 40 seconds while working in front of a computer? This is remarkable and it makes me think about how little time we have left to do actual work. Productivity losses cost American businesses as many as $650 billion in lost revenue annually! If we could limit the number of unnecessary communication or interactions, then we could significantly boost employee productivity. The good news is, it’s perfectly possible if you invest in a voice assistant.
#3 An AI voice assistant functions as a single source of truth
Have you ever heard of so-called “single sources of truth”? As the name indicates, they offer employees access to internal resources, project documents, and procedures so that they can easily find answers to their questions. However, in most cases, single sources of truth come only in the form of written assets, such as knowledge bases or Excel spreadsheets. This obviously is a problem once they become large enough.
The good news is that you can fill your internal voice assistant with all the internal know-how. Next time someone in your team is looking for information, they can ask the voice assistant about it and get their answers within seconds.
#4 Accessibility for employees with disabilities and visual impairment
Let us not forget about another incredibly important benefit of internal voice assistants – they make your company more inclusive of employees who might not be able to type or read. There are at least two reasons why it matters.
Firstly, the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that one in four U.S. adults has a form of disability, but it doesn’t mean they don’t work. Secondly, people above the age of 65 will likely “outnumber children by 2030, for the first time in the country’s history”.
Don Norman, who is one of the founding fathers of UX design, also says that “new technologies tend to rely on display screens, often with tiny lettering, with touch-sensitive areas that are exceedingly difficult to hit as eye-hand coordination declines.” By introducing voice assistants, you can take steps to eliminate practices that are discriminatory against an aging workforce. You could also make certain jobs available to those who can’t use keyboards and screens.
#5 You get an immediate response
Have you ever been in a situation where you were blocked from working on a project due to a lack of information? With AI voice assistants, you’ll provide your employees with answers to their questions straight away. As a result, they’ll only scale issues that genuinely need attention from others.
Additionally, an internal voice assistant can also help solve time-sensitive dilemmas. For instance, if your project managers are considering two options or looking at a problem, they can access resources from previous work and quickly learn how similar obstacles were handled.
#6 Reduced number of emails
Email is still the most common communication channel. An average office worker sends 40 emails a day, which translates into 15.5 hours a week spent on email communication. And, given that the pandemic has forced the majority of businesses to switch to remote working, this number is going to rise.
A lot of emails could be eliminated by introducing an internal chatbot that employees could get in touch with when needed. Not only would it be less time-consuming as they’d be able to communicate with it verbally, but they’d also be able to get immediate responses.
#7 An AI voice assistant can act as your onboarding buddy
Voicebots can also help onboard your new hires effectively. It matters because a good onboarding process makes almost 70% of your employees more likely to stay with you for three years.
How do voice assistants help? Firstly, they can act as an onboarding buddy who’s always available to answer your employee’s questions. Secondly, they can be asked the same question countless times, and the new hire doesn’t have to worry about disrupting their work or getting them irritated.
#8 Relieving HR of repetitive work
Voice assistants can relieve a lot of pressure off HR departments. Employees can call the internal bot to inquire not just about office, project, or admin-related issues, but also about their careers. You might be surprised how many people are willing to use bots to ask about the next time they’ll be evaluated for a raise/promotion, or when the next team bonding event is planned. You can even set up the AI virtual assistant to answer any payment inquiries, like “will we get Christmas bonuses this year?” or “when are the next payments for our contractors planned?”.
#9 Improving employee engagement and boosting satisfaction
Knowing that you can always reach out to your voice assistant contributes to a safer, more stable work environment. Look at it this way – your employees don’t have to worry that they’re disturbing their colleagues with questions or that they themselves will get disrupted from deep work. With more work getting done and less interaction fatigue between teams, you can expect employee engagement improvement and see a happier team come into work every day.
#10 Helps with day-to-day admin tasks
Internal chatbots can be a real lifesaver during administrative changes, transition periods, or updates related to employees or workspaces. A great example could be the introduction of GDPR, which required companies to adapt their workflows and policies to abide by the act. As you can imagine, it involved creating new internal processes, forms, and led to a lot of questions. Handling it purely ”by hand” would be very stressful and time-consuming, which is why we recommend investing in an AI virtual assistant instead.
There are multiple reasons why you should consider implementing an AI voice assistant. For starters, if it has access to the data stored in your internal chatbot and other resources, you’ll limit unnecessary peer-to-peer interruptions. Secondly, your team will know that the answers to many of their questions are just a call away. For instance, if your project or CS team are facing a dilemma, they’ll be able to quickly consult the AI voice assistant and see how the company has dealt with similar cases in the past. Just think of the employee engagement improvement this can bring!
Thirdly, voice assistants are the future of work. Given how many of us have shifted into a remote or hybrid setting, they can serve as great onboarding support.
If you’re interested in learning about more ways intranet bots can help your operations, reach out – we offer a free demo!