The overlooked advantages of an internal chatbot

You likely know the benefits of chatbots for customer service. It’s a field that the technology is growing comfortable in. But why couldn’t chatbots support your internal communications too?

Effective internal communication is a core cog for your business. It’s what makes sure everyone is collaborating, rather than clashing. It helps create a positive workplace culture and keep things running smoothly. It’s also not that easy to achieve.

Here’s why using an internal chatbot to support your workforce communication is a good idea.


The internal communication conundrum

The problem is, even with modern technology at our disposal, it’s hard to get messages to everyone. Some channels will work better for different employees and different types of message. There are plenty of options out there, but each come with their own set of problems.

You could use emails for your internal communications. But they often get buried in busy inboxes or missed by those away from their desk. Then, getting replies can take hours, days – even weeks.

There are phone calls, but they’re not efficient when it comes to getting a message to a large group. Plus, they’re intrusive, disrupting your team’s work. And nowadays, few of us want to pick up the phone to ask a question to Toby in finance, or to request a rota from Jan in HR.

Social media could work, but it facilitates an ongoing (and distracting) stream of chatting. Everyone gets messages they don’t need. Plus, it’s all too easy to get pulled into a meme war when all you wanted was to know whether Friday is a cake-sale day or not.

Many companies try using an intranet. But intranets aren’t integral to getting the work done. And so, they often wind up forgotten or ignored.

It’s quite the conundrum. So, what about using an internal chatbot?


What is an internal chatbot?

First, let’s define what we mean by ‘internal chatbot’. Rather than a traditional customer-facing bot, we’re talking about a chat-based resource for your employees.

It will still do what a standard chatbot will do – answering FAQ, sharing resources, running through fact-finding flows, and so on. But all pointing internally, for exclusive staff use.

With all the internal communication noise, though, why bother with yet another program?


1. An internal chatbot is a quick, easy touchpoint

No need to write an email and wait to hear back. No need to make small talk over the phone. No need to search through a 100-page company handbook.

An internal chatbot gives your employees a convenient way to fire across a question and get immediate help. Think of it as a company-wide virtual assistant that makes accessing information super-fast, super-efficient.


2. Your team already use chat-based apps

Chat is a popular method of communication. So much so, in fact, that last year, almost three billion people used a messaging app. It’s a communication method that your employees already use.

An internal chatbot, then, resides within a familiar and well-liked communication medium. Incorporating one won’t cause a high amount of friction for your team.


3. They slot into everyone’s schedule

An internal chatbot allows everyone to work according to their own schedule. Bill might work in the New Zealand office, so asking a quick question to the UK-based tech team is often out of limits. Sam might work flexibly in the evenings, when nobody else is available to help with a query on payroll.

Your internal chatbot is available, though. It can help 24/7, directing your workforce to useful literature and trotting off the right answer to all many of company queries.


4. They can help with documentation

Part of your internal communications will likely include forms and files. For example, expenses claim forms, accident reports, maintenance request forms, and so on.

An internal chatbot can not only deliver these forms but make them more efficient to complete. The chatbot can ask the questions needed, and your team can provide the answers in a conversation. Then, the bot can add the information to the forms.


5. A chatbot can support new team members

New employees need time to adjust to their workplace and your processes and systems. It’s only natural that they’ll have a few questions from time to time. Normally, this might mean emailing a supervisor and waiting for a reply, or interrupting a colleague.

Or, they could ask your internal chatbot. Chatbots are great at handling simple queries and pointing to relevant resources. And, if the bot can’t answer, it can take the question to the supervisor for a quick and efficient response.


Internal chatbot, convenient communication

Chatbots aren’t just for communicating with customers. They can also slot into your internal communication and support your employees with their day to day queries. Is it time you considered one?


Useful links

Building a smarter service desk: the benefits of using a chatbot

The rise of the online robo-advisor

The WhosOn bot platform