Country-wide HR Chatbot Delivers Location Specific Experiences
As ubisend's client base continues to grow so does our commitment to a variety of non-disclosure agreements. Though we cannot disclose our client's name, we hope this case study still inspires you.
Our client is a global pharmaceutical company with over 5,700 employees situated across over 30 countries. Organising an effective human resources department may already present challenges in just one location but trying to co-ordinate across several different sites can create additional issues.
An HR department must be capable of delivering quality service to employees across all sites. However, due to their time being split across multiple sites, the HR team was often inundated with enquiries, many of which were being answered by copy/pasting responses. The client’s head of HR realised that something needed to be done. While these difficulties could be fixed by creating a dedicated HR team for each location, it wouldn’t be a cost-effective solution with so many new employees needed to fill each team.
At first, we were in competition with the client’s IT systems provider (who already supplied their intranet and website) to present a viable chatbot solution. Thanks to our specialist knowledge, demonstrated over several meetings and site visits, they decided to have their HR chatbot developed by ubisend -- success!
The challenges of servicing multiple sites
Our client's HR team handles enquiries from employees across every location. Though some required location-specific answers, most questions can be handled by copy/pasting answers straight from the HR handbook. HR reps’ time being spent responding to employee enquiries with information they could’ve found themselves is wasting a valuable resource. However, those employees may not have known where they could find the information themselves.
Employee satisfaction is an important aspect of HR. If employees are struggling to find out useful information and failing to receive that information from a swamped HR team in a timely manner, satisfaction levels may start dropping.
We realised that the challenge presented to us required a comprehensive solution in order to make sure each location’s needs were met.
Keeping it simple
Our first order of business was to break down the project into smaller pieces with distinct milestones, to ensure fast iteration and quick learning. Realistic, short-term targets would help the client benefit from the solution sooner, as well as identifying areas for potential improvement over time.
Catering to multiple locations would be fine if each location needed a totally unique chatbot. It would be time consuming but creating a brand new chatbot for each site would get the job done.
However, many of the client’s FAQs were relevant to every location, only requiring a small proportion of unique FAQs at each site. We therefore wanted to give our client the means of adding FAQs which were relevant to everyone, as well as those individual FAQs on a site-by-site basis.
Solution: A '4-in-1' HR chatbot
Our plan quickly coalesced into an actionable solution; why not create one chatbot interface which could recognise each location and answer enquiries accordingly? Not only could this help us deliver sooner, but it would also make managing the chatbot a much simpler process.
Multiple chatbots within one content management system would allow company-wide oversight and implementation, as well as variation from site to site. FAQs could be duplicated to cover each location or be copied and tweaked to fit any differences that location required. For example, sites with different holiday allocations would be able to ask identical questions and receive an answer relevant to them. The chatbot’s personality would remain identical regardless of where an employee was accessing from, maintaining company voice across the board.
Although there could have been issues expanding the chatbot’s natural language processing powers to cover every location, we successfully adapted and overcame this problem. Chatbot training can be managed universally or per location, maximising the chatbot’s opportunities to provide relevant information regardless of which site it was being accessed from. This helped achieve the short-term goal of prioritising chatbot accuracy before adding more functions in the future.
Successful concept, future applications
The initial concept of creating multiple chatbots within a single CMS proved highly successful. Initially launching the chatbot at three sites, a fourth was added post-launch to capitalise on the ability to simply replicate a chatbot for more new locations. Being able to add more locations to the chatbot makes it an incredibly valuable tool for our client. They can continue deploying it across their entire workforce one site at a time, and even add new sites should the company expand. A long-term goal has also been established to integrate the chatbot with the client’s HR software provider, Workday.
Another perk of site-specific chatbots is the possibility of incorporating non-English language sites through the same tool. All the client needs are translations of their FAQs and they’re good to go. Digital solutions should be able to continue providing value beyond their initial use, we believe that this chatbot will deliver as the client continues rolling it out across their company.
The client’s chatbot is still at an early stage in its development. However, the concept has been proven and makes a strong case to their senior management that it does the job required. We’ve even received positive feedback for our consultancy, especially around the issues which arose in the proof of concept stage.
Each of the initial sites now has its own HR chatbot which can effectively communicate with employees who have vastly different needs, without ignoring the circumstances of their location.