How to Measure Training ROI, and Prove It!


Summary of the webinar:

Mobile Coach has worked with hundreds of training departments in organizations all across the globe to implement chatbots for learning and a consistent question that is asked is, “How do we measure ROI?”

Creating a business case for any new technology-based project is a key component for success before, during, and after any strategic initiative. In this webinar, our CEO, Vince Han, will share a formula for putting together an ROI calculation for a chatbot project. While this formula will focus on learning and development use cases, it can be applied to any chatbot project being contemplated within an enterprise.


The Problem with measuring ROI

We’ve heard the following hundreds of times!: “ROI is very important to our organization” or  “What evidence do you have for ROI of this?”. We’ve built a model about how to come up with ROI calculations. You will learn what is behind the question and oftentimes, there is a lot of contexts. 

In other words: 

  • We are asked to make a business case for all dollars spent- for example, if people say “Roi is important to our organization”
  • There are many competing priorities – I need to fight for training dollars
  • Top management are skeptics about training effectiveness
  • We don’t have good ROI data for training and we need it 

Today, in an increasingly quantitative measurable type of analytical world you will have to prove that it is worth it! For the money, for the budget, for the time, for the training audience that you are asking, you’ll have to prove that ROI is “what you get” by spending on training:

  • What is the goal for the chatbot?
  • Is the goal specific and measurable?
  • Is the goal tied to a business objective?

ROI for L&D projects is often elusive

  • Results are undefined or not agreed upon
  • Results are not easily measured
    • Data infrastructure doesn’t exist or is flimsy
    • It’s hard to collect data
    • There isn’t control or comparable data
    • ROI calculation dependent on data sources not accessible to training dept
  • Training departments may not be empowered to execute an optimal training program 

Measuring ROI Formula

To compact these issues, we’ve created the formula below.

Chatbot ROI formula visual representation of 4 steps

Now, let’s break down each of those steps:

1. Success Metrics

  • Common categories
    • Learning retention
    • Behavior tracking
    • Learner engagement
    • Participant perceived value
  • Quantitative is best but sometimes you are left with qualitative
    • Self-report is not an exact science
    • If you get push back, there is another root cause!


2. Data Collection 

  • Chatbots are great mechanisms for data collection 
  • Important that all stakeholders agree in advance on what and how data is collected


3. Compute cost

  • Determine cost of adding a chatbot
  • Identify any reduction or changes in program cost with chatbot

4. Create Business Case

  • Elevator pitch should be easy to memorize
  • Extended version lends credibility and demonstrates rigor
  • Put on your sales hat
  • Be willing to adjust as you receive feedback
  • Force stakeholders to decide on a business case, not on personal opinions about training

You can read more about these steps here. But how do you put these into practice? Here are some ideas to help you start utilizing the formula:

 Examples of measuring training ROI

Leadership Workshop Reinforcement Chatbot

Define Succes Metric: Improve score of the target behavior (e.g. listening) by 10%

Identify Data Collection Plan: Baseline assessment pre-course and then 90 day post-assessment 

Computer Program Cost: Improvement of targeted behavior costs $x per participant

Create a business case:  Senior management has declared target behavior can impact the bottom line by x%. This chatbot will buy that for $y per participant.

New Employee Onboarding Chatbot

Define Succes Metric: Reduce early employee turnover by 8%

Identify Data Collection Plan: Turnover data stored in HRIS system

Computer Program Cost: NEO program costs $x per new hire

Create a business case:  Each lost early employee costs the organization x thousands of dollars.NEO chatbot will reduce turnover by y%. Overall savings will be z dollars.


Compliance Training Chatbot

Define Success Metric: Training will reduce safety violations by x%

Identify Data Collection Plan: Organization stores violation incidents in compliance software

Computer Program Cost: Compliance chatbot costs $x per participant

Create a business case: Each incident costs the organization $x, y% reduction in incidents, saves the company $z chatbot costs $s


Common Program Cost

Chatbot costs: 

  • Chatbot design, configuration, deployment
  • User fees

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