Digital Employees: The Rising Stars Of India
Over the past few years, many new mediums of conversing with customers have emerged, yet the customer service industry has been unable to meet the expectations of today’s connected, intelligent and demanding consumers. As millennials transition to a virtual environment in various aspects of life, organizations are embracing a new breed of customer service that is becoming definite, disrupting the traditional workforce. Globally, the concept of digital employee – conversational and artificial intelligence (AI) is growing at an astronomical rate. In order to better connect with their customer, organizations are shifting towards a more interactive, quickly responsive and Multichannel customer service.
In India, customer service is witnessing a gradual transition towards the adoption of AI, with chatbots and IVR already being leveraged by the organizations. Digital employees will soon find a foothold in India, with the following factors working towards its growth and proliferation:
a) Advent of millennials: With a median age of 29, India is on track to become the youngest country in the world by 2020. The millennials are leading India towards a complete customer experience makeover. From Government policies to corporates, consumer strategies are being revamped in order to engage with these millennials on the platforms of their preference. 72% of the millennials prefer text to picking up the phone and expect quick and hassle-free service, affirmed an Aspect survey. This is why it is imperative that brands maintain context and continuity of the customer interaction across channels in solving the query.
b) Growing acceptance of the customer service industry: Inception of any technological advancement emerges out of changing consumer preferences and expectations. Most businesses are now realizing the importance of customer interactions and catering to their evolving needs. On the other hand, customers are also on the lookout for brands that provide them the best in class service, for instance, the telecom sector where customers switch to the best service providers in a blink of an eye.
c) Increase in the usage of multi-channel platforms: As the word seamless implies, communication should be without any hindrance and interruptions. The same applies to customer service. With the customers changing their preference of the channel, companies providing customer service should ensure that the conversations conducted on one channel are integrated seamlessly with the next channel. Broken or fragmented conversation between different channels can cause greater customer dissatisfaction than not having that channel live for customers.
d) Government: The other major factor, which has led to the advancement of these interaction technologies in India, is the initiatives undertaken by the government to take India to the digital era. The ‘Digital India’ movement, launched by the Indian government, is opening doors to engage digitally with its citizens. Right from issuing aadhar cards and PAN cards to providing disaster management updates, various government services have taken the digital route.
"Globally, the concept of digital employee - Conversational and artificial intelligence (AI) is growing at an astronomical rate"
A question that will arise in everyone’s mind is - can digital employees and AI help build customer loyalty in a country like India, where customers always believe in personal touch? Indeed, chatbots are the underlying components behind emerging concepts such as digital employees. These bots are capable of conversing over text, and messaging apps as well as voice, offering consumers ease and flexibility. Secondly, India is a back-office hub for many global processes. A digital employee can effectively ease call volume from skilled workforce, whose time can instead be invested in completing productive tasks than the regular mundane tasks. The highly qualified, aspirational, trained workforce can be a part of a more complex decision-making role, which presents them with greater responsibilities, gives them job satisfaction and creates greater value to the enterprise.
This was envisioned by the Indian government and thus, the Skill India initiative was launched. Such initiatives encourage people to develop varied skillsets, enabling them to become a part of the ever-disruptive economic growth where technology plays role of an enabler. The combination of powerful technologies such as digital employees, cloud, AI and so on, along with a large, skilled population, can help increase productivity, improve efficiency and alter how services are delivered thus providing faster growth to the country.
Digital employees cannot just be leveraged for the customers, but can also be utilized by corporations to automate their internal processes. Organizations can adopt a holistic approach and create a digital workspace for their employees, wherein digital employees can offer greater value to the organization, by reducing costs and providing greater productivity and flexibility to its employees.
I feel that India is one of the best markets that can swiftly adopt the emerging digital concepts such as digital employee. The organizations are already on the path to adopting an efficient interaction method between employees and automated systems. This is soon going to be commonplace as employees make resolve complex customer queries and the automation software conducts the remaining menial processes.