With version 1 of my Interniser bot deployed to live for the ATBA-UK, I decided to build version 2 to answer my questions about using bots to help with productivity.
For my MVP Productivity Bot I integrated with ToDoIst, Trello and Freshdesk. I use ToDoIst for task management, Trello for managing the progress and status of projects, and Freshdesk for customer service enquiries so being able to interact with them over Messenger showed me that a bot could be used as a single interface for all of these different systems.
As this was a quick MVP I only built the integration to add to these systems, but the API between the chatbot and ToDoIst, Trello and Freshdesk allows for much more control.
The next bot I’m thinking of (Version 3) will be a helper bot and test how bots can be a bit more human and have a long term conversation.
I received an email from my bank. It’s the same email I get every month. That’s the only reason I know it isn’t spam, because looking at it, it sure looks a lot like spam.
“Dear Customer”! What do you mean,” Dear Customer”? Don’t you even know my name? When it comes to email personalisation, that’s day one stuff. You have so much data about me that could be used to personalise the emails I receive and yet you’re not even capable of putting my name in an email.
“Your latest statement is ready for you online now” – But if I want to see it I’m going to have to open a browser, search for your website, click on the result to load your website, navigate to login page, then find this month’s statement, when all you had to do to make it easier for me was to include a link. It’s almost like you don’t want me to look at my statement.
“It will be ready to download as a pdf two days after the statement date” – Does it really take two days to generate a pdf? And what makes you think I even want a pdf, you haven’t asked me? What if I want a .csv? What if I want to connect my account with Google Drive or an Expenses Tracking system and have my statement exported to either of them? It’s the twenty first century. This is not complicated stuff.
“Log in to Online Banking to see more information on your account.” – I could probably do that a little bit more easily if you bothered to include a link to the login page on your website. If you are trying to encourage your customers to use Online Banking rather than high street branches, why make it difficult for them?
“Remember,within Online Banking” – When I went to school commas had spaces after them. A major high street bank sending emails to hundreds of thousands of customers with grammatical errors like this doesn’t exactly inspire confidence that they’ll be correct and accurate with my money.
I like bots. I like the automation that can be achieved with bots. It appeals to my desire for short cuts and optimised productivity.
And recently I’ve started using Trello more for maintaining an up-to-date status for all of my projects.
Cue Butler Bot for Trello. A very cool bot that automates tasks you might perform regularly like assigning members or labels to a card, and making changes to a card when you move it from one list to another. Check out the ButlerBot Trello board for examples of how to use.
I overheard a group of IT guys talking about their frustrations with how their department ran, why they had to produce documents no one was going to read, how much of a struggle it was to get anything done. What they all had in common was that they were all fairly new to the organisation. I just listened, because I knew that what I wanted to say to them would have fallen on deaf ears, but it could have gone something like this.
I get it. Sometimes it feels like you have to fight the organisation to get it to let you do the job it hired you to do. I felt the same in my earlier days. You think you’re the expert and that the organisation should listen to you. What you need to understand is that you are nobody to the organisation. You are unproven. You haven’t yet demonstrated the value you can bring.
Succeeding in an organisation requires more than just being good at your job. It requires being able to collaborate and cooperate, influence and communicate, lead through inspiration. It requires that you be humble, accept that you don’t know all the intricacies of what is going on, and look for opportunities to learn. Your job, your purpose, is to deliver value to the organisation, not just to manage projects or architect the infrastructure or keep the systems secure.
It is a struggle, and it may not be what you think you are paid to do, but in figuring out that struggle you can not only make your role successful you can also provide additional benefits to the organisation that come from everyone working together to achieve the same aim. And the organisation needs that.