How Walter, an AI Chatbot, Helps Busy Executives Learn
Walter: Do your customers shout at you?
Walter: Do you feel like shouting back?
Walter: It can be frustrating handling angry and hostile customers. But I can help you with that.
Walter: Well, there are 7 steps for handling angry customers….
For a second, anyone would have thought that the above was a normal conversation between two humans. In reality, Julie is a human customer service agent and Walter is an AI chatbot she is chatting to on her mobile phone.
A majority of employees and companies faces these training woes:
No time to send employees for training
Employees does not see the relevance of the training to their work
Employees are not able to engage with training content
How can these challenges be overcome? One such solution is to harness the use of artificial intelligence in corporate training.
Businesses are adapting to consumers’ needs and demands by utilizing efficient technology solutions such as chatbots to connect with customers and deliver better user experiences to their products. If the same technology can be used to assist employees and empower employees, particularly in the field of training, they will help your business grow and remain competitive.
In Julie’s scenario, she is learning how to handle angry customers with the help of Walter, a learning chatbot. Chatbots are programs that are built to automatically engage with received messages. They chat with people and learn as they go. One huge advantage of learning through chatbots is that Julie can learn anytime, anywhere with a mobile device. She does not have to take a day off work to attend training elsewhere. Neither does she need to sit through 8 hours of lecture to gain the relevant skills she need. More importantly, chatbots offer the opportunity to learn the information required at the point of need. This means that Julie is able to learn and apply the knowledge to her work, increasing the transfer of learning.
Chatbots are simple messaging tools which engages learners. Not only do they chat and respond with relevant content for the learner, they are able to provide learners with active learning experiences Rather than listening passively to a lecturer or speaker, Walter could push podcasts, videos or games for Julie to better understand concepts. It is akin to an online mentor and is always available 24/7 to help you with your learning needs. Rather than wait around for other colleagues or consult with a time-crunched senior staff, Julie could find the information she needs by chatting to Walter.
Chatbots such as Walter can also be used for sales training, on-boarding training, soft skills training and so on. While it takes time to train Walter in terms of skills and knowledge, it will be less tedious as compared to coordinating the roles of different personnel and work schedules to get ready for a full day face to face workshop. Imagine Walter as a one stop service where employees get to learn, practise their skills and ultimately be assessed. Learners will also be able to personalise their learning and learn at their own pace. Flexibility is the key here. Using chatbots in learning could mean a significant amount of savings in training for companies. For instance, consider the savings by eliminating the need for travel, venue rental and trainer’s fees. Multiple users will be accessing a single training source at the convenience of their mobile device and learn on the go. They could start and stop the learning at any point and go back to it once they have spare time in their daily routines. Learning can happen while waiting for a meeting to start, during lunchtime or during commuting.
Companies invest in training not just to help employees learn, but to solve business problems. Chatbots will be a new tool that helps to achieve quicker outcomes. Walter helps to break down abstract skills and competencies into practical and applicable techniques and tools for learners. It focuses on the learners’ needs and recommends the appropriate content at the right time. We live in an information age and we have access to this information instantly. Chatbots looks set to support us on our quick-fix solutions to workplace issues. Just like how Jarvis (a highly advanced computer artificial intelligence) aids Tony Stark while fighting villains, Walter will be the new workplace hero to help us do our work better and faster in the digital age.