Chatbots for business are all the rage. They exist for social media, websites, and even business to business conversations. However, there is a surprising lack of chatbots used for internal communications. This is where snowBOT comes in.
What is snowBOT?
snowBOT is V-Soft Consulting’s ServiceNow chatbot that caters to various departments such as HR, IT, Business Units, CEOs office, and others, assisting them in providing quality customer support, automating business activities, and providing real-time information on demand.
The Problem: HR Departments are Overwhelmed
A sizable chunk of a Human Resources department's hours are spent on answering questions from thousands of employees that could otherwise be answered by using a self-service portal. They will receive hundreds of calls and emails about questions their employees have, which means they will have to dig for the answer and reply back. This can be quite problematic as their response time to these requests will depend on how busy they are at the time. Sometimes even simple questions like, "How can I find out more information about my 401(K)?" may not be able to get a response that day, depending on workload.
Another issue is that there is no proper way to track these requests, so there are no metrics to measure what HR can improve upon. Because of this, decision makers will not be able to determine the effectiveness of the HR department and processes. This limits the visibility into the workload and analyzing the resource requirements, especially for peak seasons.
In order to reduce the workload on HR and to collect better metrics, we need users to create tickets and utilize the self-service portal rather than just sending an email or calling HR directly.
Submitting Tickets for Inquiries: An Employee's Frustration
To push employees to utilize the self-service portal, HR departments are sometimes advised to recommend users to submit tickets for any inquiries they may have. Even if the employee has a simple question, HR asks for a ticket to be created. Once the ticket is created, HR will respond to that ticket and points them to the correct knowledge base article.
This entire process takes even longer and is more inefficient as far as the employee is concerned. Often times they will feel that HR could've sent the link in a quick email instead of being required to go through this process.
This deviation from the simple process of sending an email was frustrating users. The process was cumbersome and took longer than usual. More training was then given on self-service rather than depending on HR to take care of these questions.
Issues With the Self-Service Portal
Confusion in picking the correct catalog item or finding the right knowledge base article can cause even more of a headache. While the portal offered a way to raise tickets and find information easily, users would not always raise tickets by using the correct catalog or catalog item. They would still prefer to use the simple generic issue catalog item. HR would then receive this generic inquiry and have to reassign it to the correct resource for resolution.
Time consuming trainings and support activities would also increase HR's burden. Each time a new functionality was released, such as Expense Tracking, submitting Paid Time Off, or a Travel Request, HR teams would need to coordinate and conduct a training activity for all employees. Post-release would require dedicated resources to support the users as questions were raised or there was confusion on how to follow through the workflow and utilize the new tools.
snowBOT to the Rescue!
V-Soft's Business Solutions team was tasked to come up with a solution where HR departments could capture requests through tickets, but not make it complicated for the end user to utilize. So, dear readers, that's how ServiceNow met AI, and snowBOT was born.
With snowBOT, users are now able to:
- create incidents, service requests, and search knowledge articles.
- Get quick reports and summaries (such as a status of tickets, pending approvals, etc)
- Any other data to/from the ServiceNow backend is now possible, including inquiries like "What is my PTO balance?" or "What are my current benefits?"
This is not all that snowBOT is capable of doing. With a simple and familiar chat interface, there is no learning curve and no need to interact with multiple tools to get your concerns taken care of.
- Time-consuming trainings are a thing of the past. Any new system or tool launch can be seamless with no change in user experience.
- snowBOT can also do things outside of ServiceNow, such as view/book available meeting rooms from a chat window, integrate with Amazon's Alexa, and more.
- snowBOT can understand natural language without having to rely on specific commands or structured text.
- Receive instant replies instead of waiting for emails or getting asked to create tickets, therefore improving support quality and customer satisfaction
- HR can spend time on other important tasks and improve processes rather than focus on trivial questions, which results in an increased ROI of the department
About the Author
Manoj Iragavarapu is the Business Unit Head for ServiceNow & Mobile Solutions at V-Soft Consulting. He's a mobile enthusiast and founder of sports based mobile startup Chauka. Apart from Cricket, developing process flows to build a mobile app churning “factory” is his passion.