Chatbots for training: Discover the future of learning.
Every day, more and more companies are seeing the importance of using chatbots for consumer interactions. Experts point to a strong trend in the adoption of these conversational intelligences in online interactions and some surprising numbers.
A survey conducted by Oracle showed that by the end of this year (2020) 80% of businesses intend to implement the use of chatbots. Already Business Insider Intelligence estimates that up to 73% of the administrative tasks in health care will be automated by artificial intelligence (AI) and the bots of adoption can save $ 11 billion a year in healthcare, banks and retail until 2023.
But how can the use of chatbots be implemented in the learning experiences of organizations? And why are they the big bet of innovative companies for the future of T&D? That’s what we’re going to talk about today.
What are chatbots?
The term Chatbot comes from the union of two words: “chatter” and “bot” (an abbreviation for robot). As the name implies, a chatbot is a conversational interface (Conversational Interfaces – CI) capable of imitating the interactions of a human in a conversation, be it by voice or text.
Before delving into the specifics of how chatbots can be used for training, it is important to understand that there are different types of chatbots:
Simple or rule-based bots offer a limited set of functions or questions, and will accept a limited range of responses. This is the most common model of chatbot, where as the user writes or selects an option, the bot understands and interacts based on pre-defined keywords.
Artificial intelligence-based chatbots, or smartbots, develop their knowledge and understanding from previous examples of conversations.
These bots are able to analyze and react to users’ intentions through Natural Language Processing (NLP – Natural Language Processing ) and Natural Language Understanding (NLU).
As the name implies, hybrid or “semi-intelligent” bots bring together some Natural Language Processing capabilities and a standard question and answer flow to define interaction with users.
Different types of bots will handle the information and manipulate the data in different ways. This will directly impact your work and the possibilities of use that arise from this technology.
The power of chatbots in training.
Talking about the benefits of using chatbots for training is not difficult. I can list a number of advantages ranging from high engagement rates to cost savings – things you’ve heard elsewhere. But the real power of bots in corporate learning comes down to two words: individualization and context.
It is common that, at first, we imagine that these conversational interfaces are just a new trend or a different way of delivering content – nothing that has not already appeared several times in the T&D market.
However, what sets chatbots apart from these other trends that have emerged over the years is their ability to connect knowledge to the context and needs of each user , delivering the right content, to the right person, when and how they really need it. But how does it happen?
Individualization and context
A chatbot’s infrastructure alone requires that it be “trained” , or rather, powered by data – and we’re not just talking about keywords or ready-made questions and answers.
These data can include the performance of teams, the performance of each employee, the consumption profile of training and other additional information about users – data that are present on your company’s platforms.
When we aggregate this data in a training solution and feed the chatbots with this information, we create a true learning individualization machine, which understands and reacts to the context of each user and distributes knowledge in a hyper-personalized, automated and scalable way.
We are talking about generating real value with training – for the user and for the company – by eliminating gaps, increasing individual performances, and really contributing to achieving the objectives of employees and organizations.
The future of learning is not about delivering content through a bot, it is about the ability of these interfaces to use data to orchestrate the distribution of knowledge .
In addition to everything we’ve talked about so far, chatbots for training have a special power to reduce barriers, whether they are communication between different organizational levels, technological knowledge or user reach.
When dealing with bots there is no hierarchy of knowledge or power. There is no manager or team that tells you what you need to learn. There is a “little robot” mediating communication and relationships . Users feel free to communicate, interact, address their needs and consume information.
Another important skill of chatbots is their ability to reach users and democratize knowledge . They are available at any time or place, in addition to supporting any type of content.
This allows users to adjust learning to their routines, in addition to having a simple interface that does not require great technical knowledge. This allows your training to reach everyone everywhere, be it a manager in the office, a field salesperson or a worker on the factory floor.
Main uses of learning bots
There are several points along an employee’s learning journey that can be impacted by the use of chatbots. These applications can range from assisting with feedback training operations, to mentoring the learning process.
Have you ever wondered how much time your company spends answering questions that are repeated over and over again? It seems like a simple task, but it impacts the time and productivity of your employees .
A simple chatbot, with a well-defined set of questions and answers, can alleviate the need for support and requests from employees by answering basic questions of their routine.
Bots are great communicators of training and are able to direct the next steps of a learning journey efficiently.
Being programmed with a set of simple variables, chatbots can recommend personalized content according to the characteristics of users and facilitate the access of employees to specific learning journeys for each profile.
Training program tutors
This use of the bot works as a complement to the existing training and encourages the involvement of users.
The tutor’s idea is that learning does not focus on a one-off event, but that it is stimulated before, during and after training. Whether answering questions, asking questions, preparing users before or between training sessions and helping to implement the knowledge obtained.
Target , a retail US network, is a successful example in the use of chatbots tutors. The organization implemented the bot to interact with salespeople after a training program to keep them focused on their individual goals. Three quarters of the students who used the chatbot fulfilled their commitments post-training (Training Industry).
Taking on the role of instructor
Bots can go beyond simply communicating or complementing training and are, in fact, instructors in some learning programs.
Chatbots have a special talent for dealing with training programs based on microlearning and involving less complex concepts (which are not open to interpretations or practical skills).
They are able to interact with users, evaluate performance and develop this knowledge without the need for a dedicated instructor.
At a higher level, chatbots can be used to mentor each employee’s individual journeys , guiding users in the search for problem solving and encouraging the development of critical skills , whether to optimize performance or take a new step in their career development.
The mentoring bots are the most innovative in the use of chatbots for training, especially when it comes to individualization and contextualization of learning .
Evva, Via Varejo’s chatbot, created in partnership with Skore, is a successful example of the use of bots as mentors in the learning process, achieving results and impacts much higher than the market average. The most active users on Via Varejo’s Chatbot had a 10% increase in sales performance.
A thought-provoking challenge
The future of corporate education is not made at the push of a button and waiting for things to happen. The chatbots for training are extremely powerful, but are not a solution you implement and it ends there.
The success of bots depends on a scientific vision of the learning process and the construction of a structure dedicated to tests, the development of strategies, and the continuous optimization of interactions.
The technology and intelligence of bots are halfway there, but the “heart of everything” is on human labor behind the process and this requires a change in the thinking and placement of T&D teams.
If you want to be one step ahead and bring the future of learning to your company, we can help you. Just click here and speak to one of our experts.