New technology investments and process improvements often seem clear cut from a leadership perspective. But putting those new investments into practice is unpredictable and difficult if employees aren’t ready to adjust. This is especially true of new technologies — in this case, chatbots — that might be unfamiliar or disruptive to internal processes and tasks with which they’ve become accustomed.
In 2019, 69% of global data and analytics decision-makers committed to adopting automation solutions claimed that they had implemented or planned to implement chatbots in the next 12 months: “Yet most businesses struggle to scale past proofs of concept and pilot deployments and get to the promised land of reduced contacts and optimized costs,” Forrester reports. Fortunately, there are clear steps company decision-makers can take to ensure the success of their chatbot investments in these areas.
In this article, we identify the five ways company and team leadership can boost chatbot adoption among employees and increase opportunities for the success of those investments. Consider how the following five steps can guide you from making your initial investment decision to achieving broad adoption and enjoying the success of these technologies.
Business leaders need to invest in more than chatbot technology — they need strategies for generating internal interest in their new chatbot projects to ensure they take hold. “Successful companies know that bots are only as effective as the humans who create, implement, maintain, and manage them,” McKinsey describes.
In addition to building a team responsible for the implementation of the technology itself, develop a transition team that will help communicate with affected employees about the value of chatbots in their work processes. Start with employees affected by your first use case, helping them visualize their future success.
Employees are more likely to rally around a new technology if you can show some meaningful evidence it will help them. That’s why even if you intend to scale your chatbot solution to multiple parts of your organization, you should start with a single instance that will be successful in the near term.
Identify processes that are well-positioned for automation, easy to automate, and likely to deliver value to employees once that automation is put into effect. Success with a single application will allow you to build interest and momentum internally as you apply chatbot solutions to more business use cases.
Success with your first chatbot instance is as much about business value as it is about “selling” your chatbot investment internally. Communicating its success to employees who must adopt subsequent chatbot instances is critical to their success.
In terms of initial adoption, employees will be less interested in the company ROI, cost savings, and revenue benefits your chatbot investment is designed to provide. Rather, they will want to visualize in their own roles the benefits your initial chatbot instance provided affected employees. As Gartner describes, chatbots must supplement faster, better and more efficient collaboration in the workplace,” saving employees time and effort when executing previously complex or tedious tasks.
Using a tiered strategy, begin implementing chatbot instances in other key areas of business. Focus on near-term value and visible results that employees will recognize and value themselves, even if that means holding off on large-scale investments.
For example, you may find applying knowledge management (KM) chatbot solutions in customer service settings yields more positive near-term results than implementing customer-facing chatbots in those same environments. Customer service teams are more likely to realize the benefits of a KM application that directly contributes to the success of their work, rather than a customer-facing chatbot that may take time to configure correctly and drive desirable outcomes for customers.
As you rack up successes in multiple areas of business, employees will grow more receptive and even enthusiastic about chatbot applications. This will give you the momentum you need to implement more complex chatbot solutions for large-scale business challenges.
Ensuring employee adoption of chatbots takes root means investing in their continued success. As employees, customers, and even business leaders adapt to these new technologies, you must ensure they have options for additional support if they encounter problems.
Create a system of reporting to ensure you can document all issues associated with your new chatbot investments. This prevents employee or customer frustration and ensures you consistently troubleshoot and improve your chatbot solutions. It also signals that you always have employees’ and customers’ interests in mind.
All company cultures and IT infrastructures are different, so there is no single “right way” to ensure your chatbot investment succeeds. However, one thing is certain — building an understanding of your company beyond the technical process alone is essential.
Botpress is a true partner to companies ready to commit to chatbot solutions that will carry them to success in this new decade. Our experts help guide strategic and IT leaders toward effective implementation and employee adoption, ensuring the long-term success of their technology investments, their company, and their employees. To learn more or begin your journey, contact a chatbot implementation expert today.