Experiences that Work
EX to the Power of AI: How Leaders are Transforming Employee Experience with GenAI
Stellar Elements Generative AI Series (Article 5 of 5)
Generative AI (GenAI) can be a game-changer for customer experience (CX) leaders, with some killer applications across CX which we explored in our previous article.
Now, as we conclude our GenAI series, we explore the significant ways this technology can enhance the employee experience (EX).
Here are the GenAI applications that should be on every EX leaders’ roadmap:
Improving teamwork and making processes more efficient across different departments
Engaging and empowering employees with cutting-edge onboarding and training solutions
Saying goodbye to the world of mundane customer support
The Stellar Take
Customers can only be as happy as the employees that serve them. The reality is today's workforce feels overworked and undervalued. In fact, in some industries such as Quick Service Restaurants (QSR), turnover has hit a jaw-dropping 150%—higher than any other industry and costing an average of $150,000 per year per restaurant.
Here's the silver lining: GenAI is set to change the EX game. It can turn your disenfranchised employees into engaged and committed business and brand ambassadors. It can transform the way you connect, engage with and support your employees, and in the process, help your business grow as a thriving, customer-centric one. Take note: companies that invest in great EX outperform the S&P 500 by 122%. Let's explore how.
GenAI in Business Collaboration & Workflows
Use Case: Transforming Departmental Collaboration & Workflows
Too many organizations are still operating in silos —39% have more than 50 distinct data silos to manage. This inhibits knowledge sharing, collaboration, and creativity.
Now, more than ever, is the time to break down these silos so organizations can move with agility and respond to dynamic markets and demanding customers.
GenAI will feed this new era of collaboration—surfacing cross-departmental knowledge to expedite decision-making and tear down communication barriers.
In fact, GenAI has the potential to add $2.6 to $4.4 trillion in productivity value across industries. Most of that value rests in four key functions: customer ops, marketing and sales, software engineering, and product R&D.
How Big Brands Are Enhancing Cross-Department Collaboration with GenAI
Leading organizations are racing to embed GenAI tools across the enterprise to improve productivity and collaboration.
Adobe, for instance, has introduced GenAI-powered Adobe Sensei and Adobe Firefly tools to optimize digital workflows. IBM is using tools like Watson and Watson Studio to streamline customer support, enhance data analysis, and foster better collaboration. And, General Electric is optimizing areas like manufacturing, predictive maintenance, and energy management with its Predix and Brilliant Factor tools.
Nestlé has integrated GenAI into its product development. In one example, they are using the power of AI to comb through social media posts and suggest new product lines, improving collaboration between sales, marketing, and production teams. They are also using GenAI to optimize supply chain operations, improving inventory management, reducing stockouts, and enhancing customer service.
And in one particularly cool example, AT&T recently rolled out its own generative AI tool for corporate employees, Ask AT&T. Coders and software developers across the company are using it to collaborate and become more productive. It’s also being used to translate customer and employee documentation from English to other languages. The company has plans to extend its use across other departments including customer care, IT, and HR. They also promise to fundamentally change the way employees work by reducing time spent in meetings, thanks to automated summaries and action items generated by Ask AT&T.
The Stellar Take: The Practical Way to use GenAI to Boost Collaboration
GenAI’s impact on your knowledge management and cross-departmental collaboration can be big. Forrester predicts that GenAI will boost productivity and creative problem-solving by 50% in the coming year.
Wondering where to start?
“Identifying where AI can make a significant impact on your business starts with recognizing some key signs,” suggests Nick Vrana, Global Director of Telco Technology & AI Platforms.
For example, GenAI can enhance customer service with quick data analysis for agent support and chatbot assistance, inform marketing campaigns through sales and customer data analysis, and aid product innovation and sales teams by providing insights and performance improvement.
Enhancing Employee Engagement with GenAI
Use Case: Enriching & Engaging Employees with Generative AI Tools
You could argue that we have an employee engagement crisis on our hands. The latest readings from an August 2023 Gallup poll show that only one-third of U.S. employees are engaged; 16% are actively disengaged.
GenAI can be used for employee onboarding, training, and on-the-job assistance to make employee engagement a whole lot more meaningful.
Onboarding self-service chatbots can surface the right information and documentation at the right time, and can serve as virtual coaches to deliver critical information and knowledge. They can also be used to intelligently search internal knowledge bases—for example, HR systems, to answer specific employee questions around benefits or benefit eligibility.
GenAI can assist with employee training by pinpointing areas where employees could use a bit more training or development. It can predict where employees might stumble and provide the support they need to stay on track. Consider this example: A recent study found that software engineers upskilled quicker and completed coding tasks twice as fast when using GenAI.
But it doesn't stop there. It can also create personalized training programs on the fly or act as virtual mentors and assistants, which can help employees be 14% more productive. This increases employee commitment at work and reduces churn—which means a more productive staff and trickles down to better customer service.
How Big Brands are Changing the Training Game
Many big brands are integrating generative AI into their learning platforms. These systems analyze data and provide targeted training and development to employees. This level of personalization results in higher participation rates, improved skills development, and increased employee satisfaction.
Let’s look at how skincare giant Kiehl's is using it.
Kiehl's has embraced the power of GenAI to transform employee training through the creation of its Kiehl's Academy. With a strong focus on delivering expert-level knowledge and training to its Skin Pros, Kiehl's built a globally accessible educational platform that is highly personalized. Through AI-driven recommendations, every course is tailored in a manner reminiscent of Kiehl's customized skin care recommendations for customers. Learners get customized training content that automatically adjusts on the fly to align with their individual needs. There are now over 300 customized courses in over 45 countries, and the company boasts a 100% completion rate for critical metrics like training completion and educator adoption.
GenAI doesn't just enhance employee experiences; it amplifies them.
The Stellar Take: The Practical Way to Harness GenAI for Employee Onboarding, Engagement & Training
GenAI can act as an always-on coach who mines data across internal databases to onboard each employee based on their unique needs. It can provide personalized training, and flex to engage each employee across various initiatives and activities.
It's also a bit of a career matchmaker. By analyzing data, it can map out potential career paths for employees, considering their skills, experiences, aspirations, and what the company needs. It’s all about crafting a fulfilling employee journey, which in the end supports a better customer experience. In fact, there is a strong correlation between employee engagement and customer loyalty.
Reza Safari, Senior Full Stack Engineer, reminds us: “The real opportunity is streamlining and finding efficiencies unique to your employee experience. GenAI can read the metrics on where a team is going and know which actions should be next, prioritize critical needs, and pick up tedious tasks that are holding back an agile process.”
GenAI Transforming Customer Support
Use Case: Automating & Optimizing Customer Support
The impact of AI in customer service is undeniable. It liberates human support staff from the burden of time-consuming, repetitive tasks so they can focus on what they do best—engaging and helping customers.
A resounding 83% of customer service professionals acknowledge that AI empowers them to assist more people effectively and 60% agree that AI is a time-saving miracle. McKinsey research shows that GenAI could automate up to 70% of business activities across almost all occupations between now and 2030. And, according to Forrester Research, organizations merging AI with human agents report a 69% success rate in boosting agent satisfaction.
How Big Brands are Changing the Customer Service Game
Take, for example, the results that this Fortune 500 software firm experienced after deploying a custom-built GenAI tool: Agents resolved more customer queries per hour, seeing an impressive 14% boost in productivity.
Retail giant Walmart introduced My Assistant, a generative AI tool designed to free corporate workers from monotonous and repetitive tasks, ensuring more time is carved out for enhancing the customer experience.
Salesforce introduced Einstein GPT, a generative AI CRM tool that creates AI-generated content such as customer emails and personalized responses for customer service representatives.
To tackle frequently asked questions that were consuming valuable agent time, Canadian Blood Services adopted an AI-based chatbot. Over 70% of live chat queries were instantly directed to the chatbot, with 68% of them being resolved without any human intervention.
The Stellar Take: Using GenAI to Unburden Customer Services Agents
While GenAI undoubtedly streamlines processes, the key is to identify the right areas where it will make a meaningful impact—and not just automate for the sake of it.
AI-powered chatbots that serve as virtual customer service assistants is one key area.
The key is to identify the right areas where it will make a meaningful impact—and not just automate for the sake of it.
As Jacob Menke, Senior Back-End Engineer, reiterates: “If part of your business is dealing with customers who want to quickly get information, then generative AI is really important. The Helpdesk staff’s workloads can be reduced if you have some type of AI agent on the front end. Humans can then be the escalation point.”
Enriching both employee and customer experiences, GenAI-powered chatbots can offer immediate answers, route customers to the right resources, reduce hold times, unclog phone lines, and prevent unnecessary support tickets—lightening the load by handling routine tasks that can be easily automated.
GenAI: From Hype to Ownable, Connected CX & EX
GenAI is not just another buzzword or fad, and it’s far more than mere technology. It is a potent platform for CX and EX transformation. It supports the journey of becoming a brand with loyal customers and a devoted employee base. It's about being grounded in intelligence and propelled by innovation. It’s about elevating your brand beyond the ordinary and giving it staying power.
Intrigue and investment in GenAI, CX, and EX show no sign of slowing down:
GenAI spending is set to make up 28.1% of overall AI spending, reaching a whopping $143 billion by 2027.
The global CX market is on track to grow by over $35 billion by 2030.
On the flip side, EX investment, though small by comparison, is growing rapidly. The global employee engagement market is growing at an annual rate of 9.1%, expected to cross $3.8 billion by 2032.
Ready to transform your business with GenAI? Explore the entire CX series from the beginning for practical insights and guidance tailored for EX leaders. Unlock the potential of AI in your enterprise—enhance your employee experience and captivate your customers like never before.
Next up on Insights
Subscribe to Stellar Elements Insights for more deep dives into engineering better experiences. Our GenAI eBook will be hitting your inbox soon.