Leveraging artificial intelligence to empower your franchise in the education sector

Artificial intelligence (AI) is here to stay. Its rapidly evolving capabilities have been placed at the forefront of discussions for businesses around the world

Leveraging artificial intelligence to empower your franchise in the education sector

Artificial intelligence (AI) is here to stay. Its rapidly evolving capabilities have been placed at the forefront of discussions for businesses around the world, and it’s becoming increasingly crucial for them to embrace AI to drive efficiencies and help their workers do their jobs more effectively. It’s no surprise then that the heavily regulated education sector is bracing itself for some big changes. 

AI is augmenting how humans work by automating repetitive tasks without replacing those which require the human touch. Many franchises therefore are already on their way to incorporating AI into their operations to increase productivity, save time and support their franchisees. Frank Milner, Global President of Tutor Doctor, discusses how AI can be used to streamline, assist and support business operations in the education franchise sector, and why there is no real danger of ChatGPT, the new AI chatbot, replacing human educators anytime soon.

As the world becomes more connected, franchisees are looking for innovative ways to automate, rationalise processes and improve their service or product offerings to customers. AI, with its many applications, stands at the forefront of this transformation. From predictive analytics to customer service, AI’s untapped potential to benefit business operations cannot be overstated. ChatGPT, the artificial intelligence language model designed to answer questions, provide information and generally make your life easier, has taken the world by storm. Since its inception, it has been at the forefront of discussions around how to use AI in franchising, with many on the fence about whether it should be used at all. 

There is no doubt that if used correctly, ChatGPT can be extraordinarily helpful. It can be a franchisee’s best friend as a supplementary tool, but its negative connotations and the worry around AI replacing our jobs is understandably putting many people on edge. The implementation of AI in your franchise can bring with it a wealth of benefits, providing there are robust policies in place for its use.

A group of 38 tutors and 12 franchisees from Tutor Doctor were surveyed to determine how they were using ChatGPT to enhance their tutoring, save time or streamline efficiencies in their business. The responses demonstrated the wide range of applications AI can have, with many of the franchisees saying that they found ChatGPT particularly useful as a jumping-off point for brainstorming sessions and used it as a tool to stimulate creativity and add to the discussion rather than replacing it entirely. In lots of cases, ChatGPT was used to simplify communication with parents and clients and to provide a professional template for tutors to easily engage with their customer reviews. 

All franchisees and tutors mentioned ChatGPT’s ability to adjust tone to make written content more approachable, and that it helped in personalising profiles for staff and students. In resource identification, tutors felt it was a timesaver, compiling useful learning materials for students. In a similar way, AI was also frequently used as a self-education tool, enabling tutors to access swift definitions and devise creative lesson plans. Tutors also used ChatGPT to improve student engagement and simplify instructions or tasks to suit varying age groups, as well as generating study questions to help students to prepare for upcoming exams.

AI’s role in personalising the customer experience is immeasurable. It provides actionable insights into individual consumer behaviour and preferences, enabling franchisees to offer tailor-made solutions. In the context of education, AI can aid in understanding each student’s learning style, enabling tutors to customise their approach to maximise learning outcomes. For example, while tutors at Tutor Doctor have always personalised their approach to tutoring for each student, AI can help to speed the process along, or to generate ideas for each student based on their own individual needs. AI-driven personalised learning not only enriches the students’ learning experience but also drives customer retention and loyalty, crucial factors for franchise growth. It can also allow educators more time for lesson planning, more availability for one-on-one sessions with students, and it can free up educators’ schedules for their own professional development. Though 

However, integrating AI into franchise operations is not without challenges. Concerns over data privacy, complex integration and upskilling of staff are significant hurdles, along with dependence on connectivity, potential for high initial costs and the loss of the human element in work. These are all potential challenges, not guaranteed issues, and they serve as areas to be aware of and prepare for when considering integrating AI into your business operations. There are many ways each of these possible drawbacks can be mitigated or avoided. With careful planning, transparent practices, and ongoing evaluation, none of the problems associated with AI use are insurmountable.

For instance, to tackle initial costs, complex integration and upskilling of staff, it is important to start small and scale up. Companies such as Tutor Doctor have taken part in small-scale AI pilots in their organisation, to ensure the technology really benefits them before committing fully. Trialling also allows staff to get to grips with the systems on their most basic level before fully implementing them across the organisation on a much larger scale. Tutor Doctor also run weekly team-wide huddles to discuss and learn about how each person is using ChatGPT and AI tools within their roles, which allows them to share valuable knowledge and ensure no one is left behind the curve with new technologies. To combat the loss of personal touch to aspects of the business, ensure AI is combined with human touchpoints to provide a balanced customer experience. For data privacy concerns, ensure you have robust and thorough data privacy and management policies. 

“For simple yet time-consuming tasks, AI is a great way to save time and maximise productivity and efficiency,” says Frank. “For example, it is a great tool to get the initial structure of an email or blog so you are not having to write from scratch and can adjust and tweak the wording for your brand and relevant information. It also works as a quick tool to be able to explain instructions in more simple terms by taking advanced marketing techniques and breaking them down into digestible content that wouldn’t come naturally to an advanced marketing expert.”

“With AI being a newly introduced and rapidly changing tool there is some work to be done to avoid duplication or similar thoughts. It’s a great starting point to tweak content. We also had several brainstorming sessions in which we input a common business problem into ChatGPT to add to our solutions and chatted about the outputs. Chat GPT brought a new perspective to the conversation, and the humans were able to continue the further discussion.”

As AI continues to evolve and its applications expand, the franchisees that adapt and harness its potential will stay ahead of the curve. AI is not a future concept; it’s a present reality and it’s imperative that franchisors step up and navigate this digital transformation effectively. Remember, adopting AI is not a one-time action but an ongoing process. Continual learning, adaptation, and investment can help you navigate the challenges and fully capitalise on the opportunities that AI presents.

If you are interested in learning more about joining Tutor Doctor, or would like any further information, visit www.tutordoctorfranchise.com 

Frank Milner
Frank Milner