If managers give decision-making powers to their employees in customer care, this significantly increases the satisfaction of those involved. If managers also equip their employees with artificial intelligence, companies can tap enormous potential.
According to a new study by Harvard Business Review and ThoughtSpot, there is a connection between the use of artificial intelligence to empower decision-makers to work closely with customers – such as bank advisors – and the added value of companies. The study focused on executives from the United States, Europe and Asia who empower their employees to make relevant decisions at the right time. In reality, however, there are only a few employees who are equipped with the necessary resources.
New Technologies Promote Decision-Making
86 percent of companies said that their salespeople needed better technology with internal information access to make adequate decisions. Employees with customer contact ask for communication and collaboration tools as well as self-service analyzes. Respondents expect the use of cutting edge technologies like AI, Big Data within two years to optimize work quality and productivity through internal transparency.
Pioneers Are Industry-Specific
Only around 20 percent of the organizations equip their employees with modern tools to make important business decisions. These organizations are pioneers who have achieved statistical increases in sales in the past. They are more likely to offer training on digital analysis tools and operate on the basis of large data sets. In contrast, more than twice as many organizations are lagging behind in equipping customer service representatives with digital tools.
While pioneer companies are most commonly represented in the digital technology, telecommunications and financial services sectors, stragglers are in the manufacturing industry, in public institutions such as government and education, and in the pharmaceutical industry. The latter also stated ten times more often than the pioneers that their respective management team did not want to expand decision-making powers.
Sales Autonomy Pays Off
Seen holistically, these efforts also lead to more innovation, sales growth, market position and profitability. – Alex Clemente, Harvard Business Review
Pioneers benefit significantly from building a more digitally networked and empowered workforce. The study shows that the new measures have increased productivity at least relatively in 72 percent of companies. 69 percent stated that the interaction between customers and employees has increased and that satisfaction has been achieved. 67 percent are convinced that they have been able to fundamentally improve the quality of their products and services through the newly gained autonomy of customer service representatives.
Obstacles In Decision Making
To achieve a growth effect, organizations must overcome obstacles that hinder the decision-making process. Effective change management and implementation processes can be used for this. A feared lack of skills to use artificial intelligence appropriately also stands in the way. According to the respondents, the core of the deficit is transferable to the managers who, due to the lack of tools, training and knowledge, are unable to equip their employees with the necessary skills.
Investing In Training Leads To Transformation
The pioneering companies that provide their employees with artificial intelligence could have a decisive spreading effect. Access to the necessary skills can only be freed up by the management level. In particular, the switch to a data-driven culture is crucial for the corporate strategy.
In practice, employers have to invest in digital skills in order to transform customer contact in the long term. To date, less than half of the companies have invested in training programs that teach workers how to use assistive technologies. Specifically, salespeople expect the integration of collaboration tools and self-service analyzes in the next two years.