With some 75% of employees reporting that their organizations have begun or plan to automate select business processes in the coming year, there is little question that the rate of automation in business is accelerating. As such, businesses that have not yet invested in basic automation systems like consumer-facing chatbots must now grapple with whether to invest time and capital into developing such systems.
Chatbots can accelerate organizational goals
Any thriving organization’s success is, in large part, attributable to team members’ collective commitment to shared organizational goals. Once leaders have articulated their organization’s key performance indicators (KPI), they can align artificial intelligence (AI) and sales around these objectives.
The ability to automate some degree of progress toward achieving objectives and key results (OKR) and KPIs are among the foremost advantages of deploying chatbots, resulting in better service hours and lower overhead costs. Since chatbots don’t require lunch breaks or sleep and are always on, they further accelerate the progress toward KPIs’ achievement. A recent survey confirmed that consumers see “24-hour service” as the greatest benefit of chatbots.
Chatbots can go wrong
While chatbot solutions can improve the customer experience to drive sales and as the AI algorithms powering chatbots and other consumer-facing platforms become increasingly capable of evolving per historical data, unfamiliar problems will arise for the businesses employing these systems. It will create a greater need for executives to conduct a thorough cost-benefit analysis of employing bots.
The story of Tay, Microsoft’s chatbot, serves as a testament to the growing need for establishing clarity regarding KPIs when it comes to the use of AI in business, from design and development through to real-life application and performance assessment. Within mere hours of the bot’s launch, the machine learning algorithms that powered it had ingested a wealth of data from Twitter, causing the bot to tailspin into racist, sexist babbling. As a result, Microsoft was forced to take the chatbot offline after less than a day.
Keep chatbots in check with KPIs
The debate surrounding who — or what — should moderate AI systems’ behavior is becoming a widespread issue, with many calling for more stringent industry regulations or even the development of federal or international codes of AI ethics. But whether it is the duty of policymakers, computer scientists, or industry regulators to be accountable for bot behavior becomes less important when businesses make themselves and their teams responsible for their own business culture.
Executives invested in the future must view KPIs as a critical component of any ethical, successful company culture and must cement it as part of their organizational consciousness. KPIs should be defined early on and consistently reaffirmed rather than once at the beginning of the year. It is a mistake for leaders to think of KPIs as inherently punitive or retroactive.
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When employees take responsibility for delivering on KPIs and client expectations ethically and effectively, they avoid relying on chatbots or other technology to do their jobs for them. Instead, they ensure that these systems work with them.
As the corporate landscape at large continues to shift toward higher automation levels, there may be no better time than the present to implement chatbots. The best chatbots provide a minimal maintenance means of engaging potential leads, ushering leads through the sales pipeline’s education stage, and responding to customer service needs.
That said, organizational leaders must remain nimble enough to troubleshoot bot-related issues quickly. If they put in the legwork to establish intuitive KPIs, organizational leaders can feel confident that their chatbots will work in harmony with their enterprise to achieve or even surpass desired business goals.