What bots can do for your business

by Amy Simpson

Bots for business

We've seen how bots are making work more lightweight. Here are five real life ways they can make your job easier.

Bots are emerging as valuable colleagues in the workplace. They’re the digital co-workers who can fix the small problems that sap productivity and cost your business money. And they're the simple solutions that make work tasks a little more magic and your workflows a little less painful. But what are they?

What is a bot?

A bot is a software application designed to imitate the behavior of humans. It can free up employees to focus their time and energy on more creative and meaningful work. The things you actually hired them to do - not the things that get in the way.

Perhaps that's why more than 60% of UK businesses say bots will be important to their organization in the next five years - and why nearly a third plan to introduce them within the next 12 months.

Off the shelf or build your own

Bots within platforms like Workplace can significantly improve workflows. And you can start with a pre-built bot or create your own depending on which solution you need.

With custom integrations, you can build bots that interact directly with people in Workplace groups and Workplace Chat. These bots can automatically post content into groups, respond to questions or like posts. They can also converse with people in real time or handle requests with structured conversation elements like quick replies and persistent menus.

Workplace automation tools can help organizations with a range of tasks. Here are just a few:

Helping organizations onboard new starters

Starting a new job can be overwhelming and involve digesting huge amounts of information. Bots in Workplace can help the HR professional. They can access your organization's central repository of HR information for new starters and drip feed people helpful material to ease people in systematically. Bots can also draw attention to relevant training and automatically schedule sessions for new starters.

HR Bots

Bots for HR

Market research company Critical Mix uses a bot called Aime to provide recruits with all the paperwork they need via Workplace Chat. If they ask for help, she can talk them through the forms.

Easing the pressure on IT help desks

IT departments can often be inundated with requests to solve problems or fix machines. So it can be a great help to offload some of the non-urgent tasks to an automated process.

An IT help desk bot can create a service ticket directly from a Workplace post. The bot will reply with a ticket number and comment back when the status has been updated or job closed. It can also manage basic support tasks such as password resets.

Enabling people to access the right HR information

Whether someone wants to know how much annual leave they’ve got left or what the WiFi password is for the conference room, there are always questions your organization needs to answer.

And although your HR people can’t be there 24/7 to deal with them, automated tools that handle a variety of HR tasks can be. Not only does that improve your employee experience, it also reduces emails and phone calls and simplifies workflows in your organization.

You can input answers to the most commonly asked HR questions into an FAQ database, allowing the bot to provide instant solutions to employees. Bots can also store policies and guidelines for easy reference.

Adding a little magic to mundane tasks

Some of the routine tasks people have to do every day won't ever be the most enjoyable - but they don't always have to be so painful. For example, an automation can make tasks like finding and booking time for meetings and events much more intuitive.

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Bots for productivity

Workplace automation bots can schedule meetings and manage your calendar for you through Workplace Chat. Simply request a new meeting and select attendees and the bot will check everyone's calendars to find slots with the best availability.

The bot will also send reminders or notifications nearer the time so people won’t forget to attend. If meetings are external, bots can provide directions to the event.

Which means less phone calls, better ticket closure rates, and happier stakeholders.

Helping leaders take the pulse of their organization

Bots can also be used to put some fun into the workplace and engage with people. For instance, Surveybot can conduct instant surveys through Workplace Chat and analyse responses in real-time.

Hospitality developer Ennismore has an ‘Ennismore Hero’ bot that allows people to vote for their employee of the month in their location. The votes are then counted and displayed on Google sheets using another integration.

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