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Artificial intelligence (AI) is the new tech craze, and everyone wants in. From self-driving vehicles to Alexa, our lives are slowly transforming as a result of constantly changing and improving AI. As foreign as the technology might seem to the nonprofit world, some nonprofits, including Raheem.ai, UNICEF, and charity: water, are already taking advantage of AI in the form of chatbots.
As nonprofits explore chatbots as part of their technology strategy, many reach the same conclusion: chatbots are definitely a game changer in terms of content delivery, customer service, fundraising, and user satisfaction.
Here are the top five reasons why nonprofits should consider implementing chatbots.
With users expecting shorter response times, it can be tough for any organization to keep up. According to Edison Research, 39 percent of users expect a response on social media within an hour. Yes, an hour! Seems daunting, I know.
However, a chatbot implemented on any messaging platform like Facebook Messenger can help nonprofits quickly and efficiently respond to frequently asked questions through automation. In the long run, this may help your organization reduce people's frustration, while also increasing donor and member retention. The faster and better your organization can respond to someone's questions or concerns, the better.
Having a chatbot that can answer a lot of people's questions reduces the time and money spent by your staff doing that. And if your nonprofit grows in size and starts to need a call-center type of function, then a chatbot can help. For example, a lot of Jewish organizations run telefundraisers several times a year as part of their capital campaigns, and chatbots could definitely make them easier to conduct.
In fact, a chatbot is able to do more, and do it faster. More than 30 percent of tasks can be automated through chatbots now, and as AI technology develops, this number will increase. Chatbots can save your nonprofit both time and money, so you — and your staff — can focus on doing what you do best.
It's not just telefundraisers that can benefit from chatbots; your nonprofit can automate and expand the entire process of fundraising with the help of chatbots. Most importantly, this technology makes it possible for an organization to connect with the millions of people who already use messaging platforms like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp.
Your donors and the other people you serve can make requests, complete donations, and keep track of their activity on chatbots quickly and easily. By automating this process, you can make your nonprofit's fundraising efforts hassle-free.
Sometimes, despite our best intentions, our websites can be confusing or not as informative as we would like. With a bot, you have the ability to provide supplementary support to your constituents.
If someone can't find information on your website, the person can turn to your nonprofit's chatbot and quickly be guided to the appropriate information. That could be via a redirect to elsewhere on your website or via human assistance. And based on what questions your chatbot is fielding, you can gain insight on what your site may be missing, what is difficult to navigate to on your site, or what information may be confusing to the user.
User experience research is absolutely vital for any organization that hopes to align its mission with what people need. But most nonprofits simply do not have the time, money, or skills to conduct UX research. Fortunately, chatbots can collect data about potential donors or constituents at a low cost, allowing your nonprofit to analyze the performance of your interface and adjust it based on what users are saying.
Strange though it may seem, artificial intelligence technology can improve your organization on multiple levels. From improving customer satisfaction to saving money, chatbots allow your nonprofit to do more good in the world efficiently, effectively, and economically.
This blog post is the first in a series on how nonprofits exploring chatbots. Check out the second post in the series to learn how nonprofits are successfully using chatbots, and how easy it is to build your own!
Wow, very usefull)
Ugh. I HATE chatbots and robots I have to talk to on phone calls. I always see it as a convenience and cheapening out by the company, and an abandonment of actual real customer service. I know our members would throw fits if we did that!
I agree with Christielee. I have not ever had a satisfying experience with a chatbot. far too often there are unique situations and circumstances that cannot be anticipated or made a part of the program. It is immensely frustrating to be stuck talking to a chatbot that is only able to respond to things that are part of its program. I would rather have a little slower response and talk to a real person who listens and cares.
I agree with christielee as well. We are a church, and need that personal experience. That is, after all, what we are all about.
Great blog! I'm not the Communications crew but I can use this as the techie! For all my PICNIC (about 80%) the chatbot can answer!
Hi everybody, just a note to say that chatbots shouldn't replace customer service. They are a way to help answer FAQs and certainly not mandatory for nonprofits to do. A chatbot is just one more tool in their toolbox, so to speak.
UGH. Chatbots are tools for big, impersonal corporations that want to suck the money out of your pockets without ever looking you in the eye, and do not care what kind of an experience you are having with their product. Would I want that for the nonprofit I work for? no way.
Never been a fan of chatbots. When I deal with a company's online chat or tech support, I can tell when I've been suckered into having an automated conversation with a chatbot. Very annoying. I always want to know that I'm speaking with a real person at the other end.
I read the advertisement and the article. Neither explain what a chatbot is or gave an example. I'm wondering if a chatbox can be used on a website. Can it explain FAQs? Is it a video or just a recording? Finally, if we are interested in pursuing chatbox as a tool we use, where can we go to find out more? Thanks.
One of my friends is a freelance writer who writes about AI. As our grant writer, she's excited to apply her AI knowledge by helping to implement chatbots into our nonprofit organization. Thanks for the information!
Hi PCIA, yes, a chatbot can answer FAQ and can be used on a website. For more information about what a chatbot is, some examples, and some hints on where to go to find out how to implement one, please see our second blog post in this series: forums.techsoup.org/.../how-nonprofits-are-successfully-using-chatbots.aspx
I'm amused by the protests that "my constituency" doesn't like technology and it would be a problem if we used it. What that really means is that they haven't yet considered how best to take advantage of the latest technology in the mix of tools. No slam on members of this forum -- that's just the way it has always been. If our constituents truly rejected technology, we would need to ride over to their home or business on our horse to talk with them directly. No telephone, no email, no typewritten snail mail. Just as there are always early adopters of technology, there are those who are slow to adopt.
We can not hold back the tide of technological "advances", we can only decide if and when and how we will implement them. We usually are at some disadvantage when we delay too long.
I'm not overly fond of chatbots either, but frankly some of the human counterparts aren't very effective either. Often, it is a low-level, minimally-motivated employee with a script of automated responses that is on the other end with not enough experience or wisdom to provide meaningful answers.
I do think there is a place for automating the mundane and trivial and I'd rather a bot be in place to provide those kinds of answers.
Good information but where do I find the appropriate chatbot for what I need within my organization? I'm sorry, I didn't look at all the posts so someone may have asked that question already..I see there is a second post, which I will look at - there are a few interesting elements - online chatbotting but not phone use. That would be too weird.
NO CHAT BOX -
Chat Boxes should only supplement customer service never replace it.
I have learning difficulties. I am so frustrated that I cannot understand what I am supposed to do. I have dyslexic, dysgraphia and ADHD. The increase of these disorders became apparent after a head trauma. I know this is a very common problem with Vets. It’s the greatest form of discrimination.
The stress on top of trying to get support IS JUST PAINFUL.
It seems that an organization would need to understand the reputation risks associated with using a chatbot. I think this technology can and is used effectively by nonprofits to save on labor costs. I'd probably want to learn more if my organization had a hard to manage volume of user engagement. Boiled down, that seems to be the driver.
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