Technically speaking, chatbots have been around since 1966. However, they didn’t really start to take off until 2016.
It’s now easier than ever to create a chatbot, and approximately 5 to 10% of companies actively use them.
The most common use case of chatbots is customer communications and support. In fact, the best CRMs come with chatbots built in. However, chatbots have many features and talents that are underutilized and can be used to help a company internally.
In this brief article, we’ll look at the top ways chatbots improve team productivity and communication.
1. Automating Routine Tasks & Freeing Talent
Employees in a company always have plenty of questions to ask. While there’s no such thing as a stupid question, there is such a thing as a simple question. Chatbots can be used to take care of routine tasks such as booking appointments, answering frequently asked questions, requesting tools and materials, and so on.
Furthermore, this isn’t limited to internal staff, but also external users. In fact, you’ve probably already booked an appointment using a chatbot or had some basic questions answered by one.
Thereby, using a chatbot allows you to free up time from all levels of employees, improving team productivity and hopefully profit.
2. Eliminating Time-Consuming Searches for Information
Most companies have thousands of files taking up terabytes of space, and there is nothing wrong with this. Unfortunately, most search utilities are slow, and finding the required files can be time-consuming and even problematic, especially if a deep-search is required.
A chatbot can be used to create a directory of the company’s IT systems. This way, if someone is looking for a specific file they will be able to ask the chatbot where they find this file. This is also useful if the employee doesn’t know the file naming convention for the type of file they are looking for.
3. Create a Consistent Experience Between Departments
In large companies, there are always distinct differences between different departments. Especially if you manage different shifts of your workforce, it’s a good idea to use various employee scheduling software to make sure all of your employees know about their schedule changes or get shift reminders.
Often, you’ll find that a manufacturing team has a completely different feeling than a PR team. Now, this is, of course, to be expected as they use completely different tools, software, and serve different purposes. Often, information gets lost or left behind “in transit”.
With advancements in technology and artificial intelligence, it’s now easier than ever to create a working chatbot that can learn and pull everything into a single unified system. While it would take a long time to set up a system such as this, the performance and communications improvements would be well worth it in a large company.
A centralized chatbot with access to all key data across the whole company will give employees instant access to information when necessary. For instance, managers and A-level executives will be able to access operations, production, and sales data in their as well as other branches by simply asking the chatbot. It can seriously improve and speed up strategic decision making. Similarly, chatbots can be used to send updates and messages to all the employees, specific teams, or individual staff.
Here at Fleep, we’ve created a tool that combines team communication, file sharing, and tasks. Thereby if you use Fleep you’ll be able to immediately get rid of some of the tools that you’re already using and move towards a more unified system.
However, data accuracy and consistency at a company helps managers and executives get a clearer picture of what’s happening and therefore make more informed decisions more quickly and more efficiently.
If workflow and productivity is one of your biggest pain points, then you should look into ways of improving your productivity using technology.
4. Improving Training/Onboarding
We’ve all been the new kid at a company, and truth be told it’s not exactly an exciting experience. There are endless meetings, introduction talks, software and hardware orientation, and so on.
However, did you know that you could use a chatbot to automate a lot of an employee onboarding process? This way you would free up employee time and if done right you’ll also make the onboarding process more exciting for the newbie.
Before I continue, let me state that a chatbot shouldn’t be used to automate everything. The whole task of onboarding is to get a new employee integrated into the company. If you were to remove all social interaction from this process not only would they end up disliking your company, they probably wouldn’t want to work there for long either.
Chatbots improve team productivity by helping new employees set up their accounts, quickly access learning materials,, or schedule meeting times with different employees. It can also help them get introduced and acquainted with the systems and processes used within the company. On the whole, this should save your HR team plenty of time, without sacrificing important human interaction.
5. Providing Access to Ongoing HR Support
In most companies, it’s impossible to give individual attention to every single employee on a regular basis. However, all employees will need constant support and help. This is where a chatbot can step in. It will be able to regularly check in on a person, gather feedback, and if required get human interaction going.
Additionally, as discussed above, it will be able to help with any commonly asked questions such as “what if I’m ill” or “policy in case of pregnancy”, etc. This way your HR team will be more productive, effective, and able to provide attention to the employees who really need it.
6. Serving as an Instant Knowledge Base
Knowledge bases can boost team productivity. They can be an internal or external pool important documents and files.
It may come as a surprise, but a chatbot can also be used to create an instant knowledge base for sales and support calls.
Let’s say an employee is on a support call and they get an unusual question. If you use an interactive voice response (IVR), you can redirect your employees to the right customer support representatives. But if you want to save time, they can also use an internal chatbot system which should be able to answer the question.
Understandably, this system can be built up over time as more and more questions get asked by users. The advantage of such a system is that with some minor changes it can also be used as a support chatbot on the company website if that’s what they wish to use instead of calling a support member.
For sales members, a similar system can be used. While sales members will have an in-depth knowledge of the product they are selling, unfortunately, they won’t always have all the answers a possible client may ask. An internal chatbot system will help them answer unfamiliar questions. This means that your sales team will have a higher success rate and thereby provide you with a larger profit.
The above two combined will mean a significantly higher customer lifetime value which, of course, is the aim of any company.
Conclusion: Chatbots Improve Team Productivity & Communication
So there you have it. Just some of the ways that chatbots can improve team productivity and communication within your company.
Of course, these are just some ideas, and if you let your mind flow we’re sure you’ll be able to come up with plenty more creative ideas on how you can use a chatbot to benefit your company.