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HR

Chatbot Rescues HR From out of Hours Pressure

Our client is a UK-based highway maintenance provider, delivering specialist services across over 50,000 kms of the UK’s highways.

As you can imagine, the majority of of our client's workforce are site-based, without easy access to Sharepoint or an employee portal. This meant whenever an employee needed to find HR documentation, ask a quick question, or double-check something, they needed to ring or email HR.

Our client saw their HR department fall into a common and inefficient workflow. HR were regularly copy-pasting responses and manually searching through 1000’s of files to help their workforce. While vital work, this was work that could be easily automated.

To top it all off, a good number of staff enquiries came in outside of working hours. Their HR team was met with a flooded shared services inbox before they’d even had their morning cup of coffee.

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Optimising automation for site-based staff

A heavily site-based workforce has two major requirements of any software their business provides:

  1. The technology they use needs to work on phones and tablets.
  2. The technology they use needs to be user-friendly and efficient.

When working late into the night and on a busy construction site, it’s not practical to be scrolling through a clunky employee portal. The staff need a central source of knowledge that requires little to no navigation.

To emphasise the challenge, many staff didn’t have Sharepoint credentials, burdening HR with a stream of ‘can you forward me the file about…’ questions. These questions ate up HR’s resources and slowed down their employees.

Our client needed a tool employees could open, ask a question, get an instant response, and use at any time, anywhere.

Additionally, our client required suggestions and feedback to be stored for easy review.

After all, their HR team isn't on-site every day. They needed a reliable, easy to navigate way for employees to offer insights, insights HR could use to improve the employee experience.

Solution: An HR chatbot with a streamlined feedback area

To solve their challenges, our client needed an HR chatbot that:

  • Could be used without Sharepoint credentials, but not be out in the open for anyone to find.
  • Was optimised for accessibility, available on phones and tablets.
  • Was able to share PDFs and other documentation.
  • Enabled employees to submit feedback through the chatbot, which was then stored in an easy-to-use location for HR to review at a later date.

Breathing new life into existing documentation

As you may imagine, the challenges our client faced are a chatbot’s bread and butter.

Using ubisend, they quickly created imported pre-existing files and PDFs from their Sharepoint. Chatbot conversations were fleshed out with a wealth of knowledge.

Rather than requiring staff to contact them directly, staff could now whip out their phone, type a quick question, and get what they needed.

For the site-based employees, it became as easy as googling the answer. For the HR team, they got their time back.

Of course, security was a priority for this chatbot. As employees didn’t need to log in to access the chatbot, it needed to be away from prying eyes. The chatbot was deployed on a bespoke URL, only accessible via work phones and tablets.

The ubisend platform provided the perfect solution: a 24/7 chatbot tailored for on-site employees and only accessible by approved equipment (something all our client's employees have).

Keeping a pulse on employee feedback

Using ubisend’s advanced feedback section, our client provided a clear avenue for employees to share their thoughts.

HR chatbot gathers employee feedback

An employee can speak to the chatbot, type their thoughts in a quick message, and hit send. It takes an employee seconds, with the chatbot gathering all necessary information.

Most importantly, feedback can be reviewed, exported, and deleted at any time within the platform, making it easier for our client to extract insights and improve the employee experience.

Employee feedback area within ubisend

Gone were the days of emails and phone calls getting lost or forgotten.

Saying goodbye to an overflowing 9am inbox

The HR chatbot proved to be a huge success, providing staff with the answers they required and HR with some much-needed respite.

The access anytime, anywhere nature of the chatbot was perfect for the site-based workforce.

A whopping 48% of messages coming to the chatbot are out of hours.

Out of hours messages were a huge challenge for our client's HR department. They didn’t have the resources for a 24/7 HR team but they needed to support their staff.

Thanks to their HR chatbot, this challenge is now solved.

Building upon their success

But our client’s story doesn’t end there. With such fantastic results from iteration one of their HR chatbot, they’re excited to expand its functionality. Our client is looking to add further power and functionality to their chatbot with an in-depth Sharepoint integration.

This integration will enable users to search 1000’s of documents directly within Sharepoint, all via the chatbot.

For a team that used to manually dig through 1000’s of documents daily, automating this with a chatbot is a huge boost to overall efficiency.

Of course, it’s not just site-based employees that can use the chatbot.

If any employee, site- or office-based, has a question, the answer’s only a few keyboard clicks away.


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Chris Amos, project manager at Archant Limited