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Can Bots Help My Business?

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Jason Bott
ByPor Jason Bott

Jason has been working as a consultant and project manager with enterprises of all sizes for over 20 years. His expertise lies in utilizing technology to solve problems that reduce costs and increase profits. He has been instrumental in implementing successful software projects for Shell, NOV, C&J, Nabors, Total, Halliburton, Baker Hughes, Noble, American Tower, AIG, NASA, Nike as well as many smaller firms.

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The quick answer to this question is a resounding “Yes!” As bots have increased in an ever wider range of industries, they have been shown to allow a wide variety of creative solutions for a  business, either big and small, to be implemented. With a healthy dose of analysis, foresight, and innovation, bots can add value to your company by providing new tools to boost productivity and to manage the demands of a data-driven world.

Another question to consider is how bots can help improve the various processes and workflows that relate to your specific industry. Where are your pain points? Where are you drowning in data or where could you benefit from more data? A good analysis of workflows will show the areas in which bots can profoundly help your company’s efficiency and productivity.

For example, does your business require a lot of customer service? Perhaps a chatbot designed to answer simple-but-frequently-asked questions can take some of the pressure off your sales team while also satisfying your customers’ needs with a personalized experience. Indeed, 2016 has been declared the possible “Year of the Chatbot” with major companies applying new programs to manage their online customer service.

Does your industry require large amounts of research? The sheer quantity of information available at one’s fingertips is too much to even imagine, but a well-designed bot can free up important time for your writers and researchers by capturing the information they need to get their jobs done quickly in an ever competitive environment.

In the medical industry, bots have been utilized for analyzing patient x-rays for issues and problems. The potential for other applications in the medical industry are limitless. While it is impossible to replace the keen eye of a doctor or nurse, it may be possible to use bots to scan huge numbers of patient files for patterns that they might otherwise not catch.

In education, bots are being used to reinforce learning and even for encouraging motivation in students. Educational institutions are often driven by the need to capture data and report on large amounts of students. Rather than burden our teaching professionals or administrators with the task of parsing huge data sets, we could use bots in various ways to help filter through the data.

Bots have developed a bad reputation among the uninitiated because of the ways that they can be used to both pilfer personal information and disrupt a website’s functionality. It has also led to political anxiety that has spurred the creation of watchdog groups intent on making sure political opinion isn’t shaped unduly by social media bots. The anxiety about the use of bots, however, only speaks to the potential that bots can have for a business that uses them responsibly.

Ultimately, the answer to whether bots can be helpful for your business really lies with your imagination. Can you think of something in your business that can be improved? Can you think of a mundane task that bogs down your employees? If you answered “yes” to either of those questions, then it’s possible that a bot could be your best solution.