Attracting and developing high-quality talent is getting harder each year. In technology, employers are desperate to fill empty jobs. In fact, the EE Times reported that there are 1.6 million unfilled technology positions in 2019, based on a survey of 700 companies. What does this mean for employees?
There’s less tolerance for slow systems, inefficient processes, and frustrations. To stay ahead of these problems, IT leaders need to improve employee satisfaction. You can improve your workplace culture to retain more staff. Unfortunately, that solution takes years of effort to implement. In the short term, you need other solutions. That’s why we recommend leveraging virtual agents to improve the employee experience.
1. Increase IT Service Hours to Employees
The traditional approach to IT service delivery relies upon a help desk. That’s a good approach to solve complex problems and guide users through new technology. However, it’s tough to provide around-the-clock support with this model. With virtual agents, you can increase service hours to employees and lessen waiting time.
Tip: If your company is expanding internationally or to other time zones, increasing IT support services is critical to maintaining relevance to the business.
2. Increase Service Speed for Employees
How often do your employees wait in phone queues for assistance? Those small waits add up and cause frustration. Take password reset requests as an example. Waiting even 10 minutes for such a reset is no longer acceptable. By using virtual agents to handle routine requests, your employees will receive service in seconds rather than minutes.
Tip: To build a business case for virtual agents, start by tracking your current numbers. Find out how long it takes to fulfill routine IT service tasks right now. With that data in hand, you can compare and contrast the traditional approach with virtual agents.
3. Reduce Audit Preparation Time
In a publicly traded company, internal audits are constant. Auditors need to measure compliance against internal policies. To do their job well, they need to have access to detailed records. That’s where the employee experience sometimes suffers. Responding to auditor requests for information takes time away from a professional’s primary responsibilities. Virtual agents lighten the audit burden by automatically producing and retaining records for audit for all transactions.
4. Optimize Management Time Through Automation
Managers are the unsung heroes of the corporate world. In addition to delivering their own work, they have to manage their people. Asking managers to review and assess every access change isn’t the best strategy. There’s a better way to handle those routine tasks. Assign routine identity management requests to virtual agents instead.
What will your managers do with their additional free time? They might have more capacity to take on new projects. For example, you could study up on container technology and find out how to manage containers in one hour per week.
5. Improve IT Services with Better Data
Delivering a better employee experience in IT services is tough without data. Constantly asking staff to fill in “how are we doing” surveys doesn’t scale. The alternative approach is to collect data on IT service requests. By using virtual agents, you can produce reports on service requests and find out where you need to make changes. You might find out that remote employees have more IT problems by analyzing virtual agent logs. In that case, you can change your approach to better suit remote staff.
6. Demonstrate a Commitment to Technical Innovation
In the technology profession, new challenges and innovation keep employees engaged at work. By implementing virtual agent technology, your staff will have new challenges to work on. You can also help your employees grow by involving them in the business case and project planning needed to implement virtual agents.
7. Enhance IT’s Internal Reputation with Virtual Agents
Professionals want to be proud of their company and the department they work at every day. If the IT department has a reputation for poor service standards, recruitment and retention will become more difficult. Virtual agents can help with this challenge. By transferring routine service requests to virtual agents, you’ll hit your internal service levels more often. Before you know it, morale will improve, and you’ll gain more budget and status.
How to Get Started with Virtual Agents
Now that you know all about the benefits of virtual agents, here’s your next step. Ask one of your employees to study the trend and propose options for your review. At a minimum, ask the employee to identify the most common routine IT service tasks and develop a list of vendors that can help. If the options look reasonable to you, propose a proof of concept project to explore the possibilities in your organization.