Artificial intelligence and AI-powered chatbots are becoming integral to providing the competitive advantages many companies need. One Intercom survey found that chatbots increased sales in 67% of businesses and saved companies $300,000 a year on average. However, to harness this technology effectively, it’s essential to prioritize training human employees on how to use AI at work.
What does AI training for employees look like? How should companies begin to equip their teams with the skills and knowledge of AI? This article investigates AI training for businesses, particularly on using AI chatbots. It focuses on how organizations can optimize employees’ use of AI in the workplace and align this powerful technology with job roles and responsibilities.
Why Employees Must Evolve to Work Alongside AI-Powered Chatbots
In 2022, Gartner predicted that by 2027, chatbots will be the main customer service channel for about 25% of all businesses. It also found that more than half of survey respondents were already using some form of chatbot or conversational AI in customer-facing applications.
Advances in AI and the release of ChatGPT and other generative AI tools could compound these numbers.
That’s because AI can now automate basic and repetitive tasks, and chatbots can adequately answer simple customer inquiries for most organizations.
With these advances, AI in the workplace will become more commonplace, requiring human employees to evolve their ways of working.
How Roles Will Shift
Here are just a few ways the role of workers will likely shift to maximize the benefits of AI:
- Customer service roles are shifting focus. Humans will handle more nuanced, sensitive, and complex issues that require empathy and a personal touch beyond AI’s scope.
- AI oversight is becoming a pivotal task, where humans monitor, train, and refine chatbot interactions to ensure quality and accuracy.
- Human employees are transitioning to roles that require complex decision-making skills while using AI chatbot data to inform strategic business choices.
- Collaborative roles are emerging. Humans and AI will work in tandem to combine the speed and efficiency of AI with the creativity, problem-solving capabilities, and adaptability of human employees.
- Continuous AI training for employees will be critical to equip them for their new, more complex roles. AI training for business is essential for leaders to manage this shift and stay ahead of AI trends to integrate new technologies successfully.
Critical Considerations for the Effective Use of Chatbots
As with any digital transformation, embracing new technologies begins with accurately assessing their benefits and aligning features and advantages with business objectives before communicating, implementing, and managing deployment. Technology leaders must seek the answers to the following questions to ensure their teams can use AI in the workplace, especially chatbots:
- What specific tasks or problems will an AI chatbot solve? How does this align with business objectives?
- How will a chatbot create value? What is the estimated ROI?
- Can a chatbot integrate easily with existing systems and workflows?
- How will AI change the roles of existing employees?
- What new human responsibilities will be created?
- What level of customization is available to ensure a chatbot meets the unique needs of the business?
- What are the privacy and security measures required for data processed by AI?
- How does a chatbot handle complex queries beyond programmed responses?
- How is a chatbot’s performance measured? What metrics will there be for effectiveness?
- Is the chatbot interface user-friendly for employees and end users?
- Is the business ready for digital transformation? How will this change be managed?
The Risks of Chatbot Implementation
AI-powered chatbot implementation is not without risk. Failure to deploy an appropriately calibrated chatbot with the proper oversight from human employees could result in a loss of credibility, brand reputation, and customers.
AI chatbot deployment must be treated as a strategic implementation rather than a simple technology purchase.
A substantial part of this strategy will be communication followed by robust AI training with employees. It also includes continuous development to move employees to their new responsibilities and ensure future success.
Bridging the Gap: 4 Steps to Align AI and Employee Workflows
How can organizations bridge the gap and provide robust training and support so employees can work alongside AI?
1. Communicate the Change
Many employees are fearful of AI replacing them. The potential of AI to augment customer service roles makes it all the more important to understand and answer employee concerns and effectively communicate a strategic AI adoption.
If employees understand that using AI will make their roles easier and less repetitive and open up opportunities for their development and even progression, human alignment with AI will go more smoothly.
2. Implement Upskilling Programs
Organizations can implement upskilling programs tailored to their workforce’s needs, including online courses, workshops, and hands-on projects involving AI applications relevant to their roles. Employees can be empowered with the skills to combine AI with their roles, work in tandem with AI, and use AI’s data.
3. Leverage Partnerships
AI solution providers will likely offer AI and workforce training. This may include specialized training sessions that help employees calibrate and use tools and platforms. Taking advantage of onboarding programs and ongoing AI training initiatives will ensure competence and confidence.
4. Establish Mentorship Programs and a Continuous Learning Culture
Initiatives such as creating AI ambassadors or technology mentors combined with a continuous learning culture will encourage regular knowledge-sharing and collaborative problem-solving. Employees will be able to learn from AI experts, adapt to integration, and be motivated to achieve more with their new tools.
The Bottom Line: Effective AI Training for Employees Is Essential
To embrace and harness AI, and in this case, AI-powered chatbots, a strategy that begins with answering key questions and communicating the transition before focusing on an ongoing culture of learning and development is vital. Training for employees on AI will help overcome anxieties and introduce workers to their new responsibilities.
AI chatbots will change how employees work — especially in customer service roles — with human agents becoming problem solvers and overseers.
AI can improve customer experiences and offer substantial savings to organizations, but only if human employees are confidently working to optimize these results.