Technology

Daily Buzz: Are You There, Chatbot?

By / Aug 16, 2019 (Yulia_Malinovskaya/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Sometimes technology fails, and chatbots are no exception. The bots should work in tandem with humans to ensure success. Also: Use data to boost the member experience.

You click on a website, and immediately a box pops up in the corner of the screen: “Hello! How can I help you today?” It’s a chatbot, a type of artificial intelligence technology meant to guide you and other visitors to their end goal.

For many organizations, chatbots are a great tool to initiate customer service communication. But technology can fail, and relying wholly on bots to solve issues—and therefore removing the human element—can cause member frustrations.

“A common mistake today is that companies still view chatbots as an alternative to human-to-human communication channels when the reality is companies need both,” said Morgan Molnar, senior product marketing manager at SurveyMonkey, in an interview with CMSWire. “It’s no longer a matter of ‘bots vs. humans.’ Instead, the goal of modern businesses should be to make it as easy as possible for people to start conversations and buy on their terms, in real time, when it’s most convenient for them.”

So, for a successful chatbot experience, make sure members know that the chatbot is, indeed, a bot—and that they can reach a human on the other end if they prefer.

And don’t forget to test the tech before deployment. AI is supposed to be intelligent—if it isn’t answering questions or providing support, then it won’t be useful to members.

Use Data to Meet Member Goals

Member data can tell you a lot, including who they are, how they engage with your association, preferences, dislikes, and so on. But many organizations aren’t taking advantage, says Katherine Matthews on Association Success.

“Much of the general conversation around data is about how it can be used to shape or shift the subject’s behavior,” she says. “I would argue that we should be expending as much, if not more, effort in interpreting the data and using it to shift and shape our behavior to better meet the needs of our members and customers.”

This shift, Matthews says, can help associations better understand their data while also improving the member experience.

“We can start with solving common challenges faced by our members and customers and build towards tackling challenges for the industries they represent,” she says. “In the data lake, a rising tide lifts all boats.”

Other Links of Note

Rebranding? Fast Company shares three nonprofit redesigns that amplified their missions.

Booking a celebrity speaker for your annual conference is no easy feat. Meetings Today offers five tips to bring in the star power.

If your brand uses Twitter’s Direct Message feature to talk with members, heads up that the social platform is testing a new filtering option for users you don’t follow, says Social Media Today.

Sophia Conforti

Sophia Conforti is a contributor to Associations Now. More »

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