New technology investments to catalyze business processes are often clear-cut decisions from a leadership perspective. However, putting the new investments into practice can be difficult. Change is never a popular concept among employees, no matter how far-fetching the business benefits of the implementation might be. While a chatbots is a disruptive automation technology that can benefit the organization and its employees immensely, it still needs to be successfully deployed and widely accepted by employees for organizations to reap its true benefits.
The chatbot market is ripe for growth, with a MordorIntelligence survey projecting the market to reach $102.29 billion by 2026, up from $17.17 billion in 2020. Despite its growing popularity, Forrester found that upon implementation, “most businesses struggle to scale past proofs of concept and pilot deployments and get to the promised land of better support and optimized costs.” If you are looking for support on how to drive the adoption of AI-powered chatbots after successful implementation – here are six tips to ensure your chatbot implementation is a roaring success.
1: Prepare Your Employees
According to Gartner, “IT leaders need to create a conversational platform strategy that ensures an effective solution for employees, key partners and customers.” Indeed, leadership needs to invest time and energy in creating strategies for generating internal interest in the AI chatbot. To attain success with the new technology implementation, the organization needs a well-defined advocacy plan wherein the employees are well aware of how the chabot will help them improve productivity, stay efficient and focus on more challenging tasks that carry career growth opportunities. Additionally, leadership must create a team responsible for transitioning the affected employees to the new way of work and help communicate the value of chatbots in their work processes.
2: Target Specific Use Cases
Employees are more likely to adopt an AI chatbot if the leadership can provide some meaningful evidence on how it will enhance the way they work. That is exactly why organizations should start small. Even when the intention is to automate multiple processes spanning across various departments, the trick is to start with a single instance that has a high probability of success in the near term. The organization needs to identify processes that are best positioned to be automated and are likely to deliver significant value to employees once the chatbot is brought into the mix. Success with a single process will enable the leadership to build interest and momentum internally.
3: Build Excitement
It is important to create an internal buzz around the initial chatbot success. Communicating how the chatbot implementation proved to be a gamechanger for affected employees would be a great catalyst for its subsequent adoption among other processes and departments versus organization’s ROI, cost savings and revenue benefits that the chatbot investment is designed to provide. Therefore, make the conversation about the employees and how the chatbot can impact their roles and the benefits affected employees have derived from the initial chatbot instance. Consequently, all internal promotions should focus on how the chatbot adoption will save time and effort for the employees when executing previously complex or tedious tasks.
4: Benefits-Oriented Approach
Utilize a phased approach to implementing chatbot instances across other key business areas. Focus on aspects that will drive near-term value and visible results for employees, even if that means deviating from the norm. As an example, organizations might want to prioritize Knowledge Management (KM) chatbot solutions in a customer service setting, rather than the customer-facing chatbot. The customer service employees are more likely to realize the benefits of a KM chatbot that contributes directly to the successful completion of their tasks, rather than a customer-facing chatbot that may take time to yield desirable outcomes. As the employees witness successes in multiple business areas, they will grow more enthusiastic about the chatbot.
5: Deliver Personalized Support
To ensure high employee adoption of the chatbot solution, the organization must invest in its continued success. As employees adapt to the new technology, they must have options for additional support when they encounter problems. It is important to create a system wherein all the unique support requirements are logged and the chatbot solution is constantly improved to deliver a better user experience. Having such a system in place also signals that the organization always has employees’ interests in mind.
6: Measure Adoption and Effectiveness
Organizations need to constantly monitor user adoption of the chatbot and analyze the user experience through real-time analytics. The effectiveness of chatbots can be monitored through comprehensive dashboards to improve the chatbot’s accuracy, enhance user experience and optimize overall performance. However, before analyzing the numbers it is essential to have a well-defined set of chatbot success metrics. The metrics should align with the business goals and IT strategies and display the success/failure of the chatbot investment.
Every organization has a different culture and IT infrastructure, so there is no silver bullet to ensure that your chatbot gets high user adoption and your new technology investment succeeds. However, one thing is certain, the approach to chatbot adoption should be centered around employees. It should tread beyond the realms of processes and business benefits.
By: Ajay Kaul, managing partner at AgreeYa Solutions