Increasing the RoI of your Intranet with NLI

Traditionally, virtual assistants have typically resided on a company website to help customers find the answers to their queries, but with corporate intranets becoming increasingly complex, more organizations are turning their attention to use VAs to resolve internal queries too.

The corporate intranet has changed considerably from the early days of just publishing information. In the last few years as collaboration technologies have taken hold intranets have become a mine of information not just for employee related issues such as human resources, but with knowledge bases such as wikis too. However, having a large resource of data, doesn’t guarantee that a user can find the answer they are looking for.

In just the same way websites have become overloaded with information, typically with the page you’re looking for page buried deep within its structure, so the corporate intranet is in danger of becoming the same. Search rarely works because too many choices are thrown up and if the employee hasn’t chosen the right search phrase, the right page may never been shown, purely because it hasn’t been indexed that way.

Natural Language Interaction (NLI) overcomes these issues by allowing the user to ask the question in their own words and adding much needed intelligence into the equation. The ability to interpret, reason and react to a user’s query removes the ambiguity of the search and increases the likelihood of the correct answer being given.

In addition, an intelligent online Virtual Assistant is not a static search function. If it needs more information to answer the query correctly, he or she can ask for it. A humanlike Virtual Assistant can also update its understanding as the conversation progresses and reassess its answers, enabling it to give not several choices, but one right answer. This makes the possibility of self help over the intranet a far more likely and attractive proposition.

Employees that don’t find the answers to their questions are just as costly to the business as the customer that can’t find the answer on your website. Eighty-nine percent of customers would possibly buy from a competitor that did provide the answer and whilst it’s highly unlikely that an employee is going to leave their position, they are likely to leave their desk, go up to the HR dept on the top floor and ask a person directly or fire off a time-consuming email! Suddenly you have two employees tied up trying to find an answer to a question that is already on your intranet, if only they could find it.

Employing an online Virtual Assistant on your intranet also has the added advantage that it can integrate into back end systems to locate additional information such as how much holiday an employee has left or links to relevant training activities.

Of course, a successful internet can deliver RoI to a business, but requires the engagement of employees. It has to have up-to-date content, a social aspect and be personalized, but most importantly your users must be able to find the information they need – fast.

Andy, who lives with his family in the UK, is Chief Marketing & Strategy Officer at Artificial Solutions. A regular speaker at industry conferences and events, Andy delivers insight on the rise of AI, the challenges businesses face and the future of intelligent conversational applications.

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