7 Secrets to ‘Keeping it Human’ in an Increasingly AI-Driven World
We are surrounded by Artificial Intelligence (AI) everywhere we turn. We see our clients retrofitting it into all aspects of their business and becoming increasingly dependent on AI assistants like Siri and Alexa. As we run our coaching practices, we are bombarded by companies using AI technologies to sell us on their lead generation service or a new shiny toy that we just can’t live without.
For all its pros and cons, AI is here to stay. According to a 2017 report from Deloitte on Global Human Capital Trends, 41% of companies reported they have fully implemented or have made significant progress in adopting cognitive AI technologies. Another 34% were in pilots and 17% were ready to manage people, robots and AI systems working side-byside.
According to a recent Forbes Article, Chatbot sales have increased by 67% but 87% of consumers still prefer to deal with humans. Coaches from all disciplines are an example of one place where human to human interaction should be the highest priority; yet we all want to benefit from technological advances.
So how do you balance the efficiency gains of AI and still maintain the human touch?
Here are 7 things you should consider:
Working Faster and Smarter Isn’t Always Better
Maintaining a personal connection with every prospect, client and affiliate can be time consuming; but that connection is often your biggest differentiator. Coaches should step away from the machine and focus on that human touch by nurturing and deepening their relationships.
While our world is becoming increasingly accepting of AI, there is also a growing mistrust when AI feels too familiar. Don’t compromise the trust your clients have in you by overusing automation.
Never Pretend AI is Real
In a world full of Autoresponders and Chatbots, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to tell who (or what) you’re interacting with. Don’t leave your people guessing.
When you try and pretend your website chat feature, Facebook messenger bot or automated LinkedIn response is a live person, you immediately lose trust and credibility.
Treat your chat and messenger Bots like you would a call routing service giving them an opportunity to easily get to a live person.
Balance the Personal Touch with On-Demand
You can really stand out from the pack when you master the ability to balance your personal touch with the on-demand services people are looking for.
If you are a Business Coach, your automation funnel could ask a few questions and decide if they need a coaching program or if they should be directed to your library of ‘Do This –Not That’ scripts and job aids instead.
As a Health and Nutrition Coach, you could steer them to your 90- day lifestyle coaching plan or a membership program that gives them access to ‘Done for You’ menus.
They get the level of help they need and you’re spending your time delivering high ticket services.
Treat the Customer Experience and Customer Service Differently
Instead, add fun language acknowledging your autoresponder.
While it’s common practice to use AI in all customer interactions, coaches should think differently.
In the sales funnel, AI can improve the customer experience by targeting their interests, evaluating engagement and presenting content that’s meaningful to them. You get the insights you need and the prospect feels understood. Today, 45% of customer service requests are handled by AI software. While this is a major time saver, coaches need to support their clients personally to address their needs, maintain trust and strengthen their relationship.
An excellent way to get more ‘human’ is to free up time so you can grow your business. The opportunity for companies of all sizes to leverage AI and streamline their operations is exploding.
You can quickly perfect your communications by using natural language processing, use predictive analytics from your competitors to forecast sales, or gain new insights by using sentiment analysis to gauge public opinion about your new service offering before you even start development.
With all these efficiencies, you’ll free up the time you need to make a bigger impact for your clients and make better decisions for your company.
Coach with AI in Mind
Your clients are facing new challenges that are changing the way businesses operate and how they live their dayto-day lives. Business Coaches need to help leaders who are tasked with driving the integration of human, robotic and AI resources. Make sure you have a basic understanding of AI, the impact it has and the adjustments leaders need to make in order to succeed.
Career Coaches need to stay on top of the latest AI trends in recruiting, onboarding and training so they can help clients build resumes that don’t get rejected by automated resume screening systems and prepare for video interviews that record biometrics like pupil dilation and facial expression.
Life and Wellness Coaches need to help their clients find balance in their increasingly on-demand world where they are constantly dealing with AI assistants, countless notifications from smart phone apps and non-stop targeted advertising on social media.
People become jaded by all the AI they get bombarded with. If you want to create clients for life, do exactly what everyone else is not doing. Personally answer someone who replied to your latest newsletter, pick up the phone instead of using email, and if you really want to surprise your audience, do your next webinar live and see how powerful two-way interactions can be, especially when your audience least expects it.
AI is here to stay for coaches and their clients. It’s important for us to get this right and the rewards for doing so are great. A thriving coaching practice needs to respond to the changing world our clients are navigating. And for our own practices, we need to leverage the efficiency of AI, meet the on-demand expectations of our clients and always respond to the enduring need to keep things human.
CEO and Founder Coral Consulting Group, Executive Coaching Solutions
Tammy is a renowned business transformation expert and a catalyst for leaders to achieve breakthrough performance. She served as a financial services executive on Wall Street for 15 years and brings a unique perspective that helps business professionals become the leader people choose to follow.
The firm’s global coaching practice delivers high impact development experiences that deliver bottom line results. Tammy is an inspirational coach, a results-oriented trainer, and lectures on various leadership topics at Cornell University. She holds a BA Degree in International Business Administration from American Intercontinental University and serves her clients from her Stamford, CT headquarters and her satellite office in San Pedro, Belize.
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