5 ways to use coaching chatbots

1. Introduction

Coaching chatbots are software applications, built to simulate human-like coaching conversations. Chatbots enable coaches to scale their coaching, digitize their coaching programs and simplify processes for both client and coach. There is a wide range of usecases for coaching chatbots. One can categorize by distinguishing between:

  • Objective: winning customers, supporting the coaching process, automating client communication, professional development for coaches through self reflection, (continuous) training and supervision

  • Time of use: before, during, after a session, self-coaching, complete coaching processes or nudges

  • Audience: individual client, group, team, professional target groups, different seniorities

  • Coaching topic: solution coaching, analysis and assessment, transfer

2. Objectives - why Coaches should use Coaching Chatbots

a) Winning clients

Within a fast growing coaching industry with new coaches entering the market, only a minority being able to make a living from coaching plus increasing international competition through coaching platforms and digitization, how can you tech (future) clients about what you do, how you work and how you can serve them? A well crafted coaching chatbot can be a first point of contact on a coach website and in social media channels to help prospects discover the specific coaching style and build trust to start a conversation. Coaches can use coaching chatbots to

· qualify leads

· answer questions one would otherwise cover in a first free appointment

· increase coaching session bookings

· sell online courses or digital products

· drive prospects to sign up for webinars or trainings In short: To optimize lead generations with a fresh and intuitive communication channel that can be connected to existing marketing channels. Chatbots can give coaches significantly higher open and clickthrough rates compared to website forms and newsletters. As the number of coaches using chatbots is still relatively small it is also a great differentiator. Here is an example, how basic client pre-qualification chatbot can be integrated in a website:

b) Supporting the Coaching Process

Dr. Nicky Terblanche, researcher at Stellenbosch University, discovered with his goal-achievement chatbot Vici, as part of his study "A Design Framework to Create AI Coaches," that a decision tree chatbot was able to support coachees as successfully as a human coach.

Our research and more than 500 user tests support that this is true for many basic coaching tools and frameworks. More than 90 % of users report (high) satisfaction with the results of their chatbot coaching for topics like solving conflicts, giving feedback or preparing difficult conversations. Though this is possible, coaching chatbots are not there to replace coaches, but rather free them from repetitive and non-value tasks, so they can use the session time for what they do best - masterful coaching. Here are a few examples of topic based modules, that can be used before, between and after sessions:

Coaches can easily digitize their individual worksheets and workbooks and make them more interactive using typical coaching tools like the wheel of life, scaling questions, constellations, mindfulness exercises, etc.

Besides chatbots prompted to work through by the coach, clients can also 24/7 rely on a set of predefined solution focussed modules for immediate selfcoaching. Senior Coaches, trainers and author developing their own coaching tools and frameworks can chatbotize them to scale distribution and use, adding to their expert status.

c) Automating client communication

With little nudging chatbots, coaches and encourage their coachees to follow through on action items and habit change und they can measure goal achievement and client satisfaction directly after the session and in defined intervals. While many coaches many maintain a mailing and send newsletters, only a few use time-stamped communication with existing clients, after a coaching process is finished. They miss the chance to actively generate repeat business from satisfied customers. Coaches can also line up and time live sessions, videos, chatbots and further material in hybrid or digital coaching programs and send invitations to individual clients, groups and teams.

d) Professional development for coaches through self reflection, (continuous) training and supervision

Chatbots can simulate coaching conversations to train coaches ask the right questions and train core competencies. That is beneficial in both initial and continuous coach training. They can transfer common coaching frameworks and tools in the digital sphere and help coaches train and reflect. Chatbots may as well serve as supervision log to help coaches reflect on coaching processes, their professionell self-image and development.

e) Chatbots as coaching skills trainers for leaders

For many leaders, a coaching education would be beneficial but is not feasible in terms of time und budget commitment. Chatbots can train managers coaching skills to be better leaders by exposing them to simulated (critical) conversation with their employees. Using chatbots, leaders can practice coaching situations and get into the coaching jargon.

Coaching with chatbots offers a lot of possibilities to make coaching more intense and sustainable.

If you want to know more about this topic, please habe a look at our website section “For Coaches”.