Tuesday, January 31, 2023

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Flipping the Great Resignation into the Great Support Reform with Cognitive Tech

The world changed irreversibly in many ways since the pandemic, and more so in its perspective on employment. Never before had the world witnessed such widespread shutdowns, quarantines, layoffs, furloughs, and remote work as during the pandemic.

This also led to a widespread phenomenon of people exiting their jobs en masse. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics records that during the twelve months from April 2021 to April 2022, 71.6 million people quit their jobs, that is 3.98 million people resigning from their jobs every month.

This mass-scale quitting was named “The Great Resignation” by Anthony Klotz, an associate professor of management at Texas A&M University.

The Great Resignation is not just an American phenomenon

However, the mass exit from jobs was happening not only in the U.S. but across the world.

According to the International Labour Organization, 26 million people in Latin America and the Caribbean lost their jobs during the pandemic. In Europe, millions of employees quit several industries, including hospitality and meatpacking. In China, younger workers quit manufacturing in significant numbers, Vietnam experienced labor shortages, and India’s IT industry saw an exodus of employees.

Thus, the Great Resignation is a global phenomenon disrupting industries and markets, and impacting all stakeholders.

Yet, even as remote work during the pandemic led employees to rethink jobs and careers, the exodus from jobs actually began about ten years ago. But it did not manifest into an overwhelming problem for employers until the pandemic.

A major casualty of this situation was customer support. The remaining staff was required to handle more work and work longer hours to keep pace with customer requests, which resulted in customer service being slower.

This led employers to consider the predicament of their workforce and re-evaluate outdated practices to lighten the burden and improve their customer support experience.

The Entrance of Cognitive Technology

On the contrary, in an age of Big Data, one of the toughest problems for employees is dealing with an endless tsunami of unstructured raw information.

The unmanageability of data in raw form became apparent when we started generating about 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every day. The incredible speed of adding new content led to a tenfold increase in digital content within a year, from 2019 to 2020.

This is why American billionaire entrepreneur, Mark Cuban, said, “Artificial Intelligence, deep learning, machine learning — whatever you’re doing if you don’t understand it — learn it. Because otherwise you’re going to be a dinosaur within 3 years.”

And so, innovative business leaders tried to find a solution for employees inundated with raw data, mostly due to enterprises having information in different places. This created a new challenge: employees now had to retrieve relevant and accurate information from the data that was provided. While 93% of employees say they store data in more than one place, recent surveys found that 60%-73% of all data within corporations is never analyzed for insights or macro trends.

The answer to resolve this no-win situation came in the form of Cognitive Technology. Enabled by artificial intelligence (AI) and deep machine learning (ML), it has paved the way for companies to:

  • predict what customers want even before they ask
  • get employees excited about their own data
  • solve customer pain points and, in the process, improve customer service interactions.

Thus, this new technology is a key instrument for reducing workloads and working hours while keeping pace with incoming queries.

SearchUnify to the fore in enabling speedy, accurate information search

With technology companies identifying support experience as a primary driver of customer success, Vishal Sharma, lead technical architect at the forward-looking international digital innovator Grazitti Interactive, decided to launch a cognitive-oriented search engine called SearchUnify in 2016. This initiative found a lot of initial traction.

Forrester, a leading global market research company that helps organizations exceed customer demands and excel in technology, in its first-ever evaluation of SearchUnify, in 2019, called it a ‘Contender,” commending it for being the youngest vendor in the mix. Two years later, in 2021, it categorized SearchUnify as a “Strong Performer,” awarding it the maximum score in four criteria considered: analytics, applications, search, and usability.

Forrester commented, “SearchUnify’s sweet spot is for enterprises that wish to quickly implement cognitive search for any number of digital experiences while having easy-to-use tools to customize and tune the results.”

Indeed, SearchUnify is connected to many cloud-based data sources, making combining different data sources easy to achieve.

What makes SearchUnify stand out

The AI-powered applications of SearchUnify are a great boon to customer support staff.

For instance, while new agents need time to get acquainted with different types of tickets created, any customer support fiasco in the interim can be avoided with SearchUnify’s Agent Helper. The application leverages ML to unearth problem-solving information from previous similar cases, enabling new agents to smoothly handle queries.

Furthermore, its Intelligent Chatbots are able to completely take over user functional queries giving employees a much-needed break to pursue more challenging support tickets and find job satisfaction in the process. They can also understand queries and frame a sentiment-aware response, search multiple repositories to find answers to user queries, and connect to a support engineer if it is unable to help.

Further, SearchUnify promotes enhanced collaboration in an organization by enabling unification of siloed data and intelligent swarming.

During the Great Resignation, whereby employees are quitting jobs in search of work-life balance, SearchUnify is viewed as a blessing. It is able to get more work done with fewer human resources, allowing employees to leave work on time and lead more satisfying lives.

SearchUnify also elevates the self-service experience by enabling customers to look at relevant help articles from different integrated knowledge sources. That, along with federated search, gives them the opportunity to solve their own problems, elevate product experience, and reduce the load on your support teams.

As business magnate Jeff Bezos rightfully said, “It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.”

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