12 Ways Calendar Sync and Chatbots Can Work Together
Author: Kristina Proffitt
21st November 2017
Chatbots are on the rise. In fact, Oracle estimates that 80% of companies will use chatbots for customer interactions by 2020. Like it or not, chatbots are here to stay.
There are lots of use cases for chatbots, from the aforementioned customer services, to helping answer internal queries, to fun and games.
Chatbots can be designed to serve a variety of roles such as taking payments or even booking appointments in real-time.
Just imagine: your clients don’t need to call you – they can just visit your website and book their next appointment automatically. Wouldn’t that make their life – and yours – so much easier? Here are some of the ways that could be used.
Chatbots for HR Tech
Interview scheduling is a time-consuming process. In our recent survey, a third of respondents – all of them HR professionals – said that it takes them over 2 days to schedule interviews, one person even said that it took them over two weeks! This lengthy interview scheduling process can damage your employer brand. It could also mean that you miss out on the best candidates because they get tired of waiting and accept a job with your competition instead.
Using a chatbot that’s calendar synced, candidates can book their interview through the chatbot. With Calendar sync it can access the calendars of the interview panel members. Which means that the interviews will be booked based on their real-time availability. This prevent double-bookings or having to reschedule because not everyone was free at the agreed time.
A chatbot can also be used to answer any questions the candidate may have about the role, saving the hiring manager from answering the same question from multiple candidates. Any questions the chatbot doesn’t have an answer to can be logged and forwarded to the hiring manager. New replies can then added to the chatbot’s list of responses for future hiring rounds.
Organize meetings when starting a new job
Starting a new job is a stressful time. There are processes to learn, a new location to navigate, and dozens of meetings to organize to meet new colleagues and induction sessions to book.
One way this process can be made easier is by letting employees book meetings with an internal chatbot. When the chatbots is synced with the calendars of the organization it prevents any double-bookings, avoids phone calls or email chains, and means that new starters have a less things to worry about.
Book paid time off
Calendar synced chatbots such as MHR’s PeopleFirst can be set up to make it easier for employees to book paid time off. All they need to do is tell the chatbot what day(s) they want off, then the chatbot can send it to their line manager for approval. When it’s been approved or denied, they can receive a notification from the chatbot with the response and, if required, a reason why.
Stay on top of deadlines
When there’s lots going on, it’s easy to forget about looming deadlines. Chatbots can help with this by sending you reminders, or informing you of when the next report is due. This means important deadlines are less likely to be forgotten, and anyone who wants to book paid time off during this period can keep it in mind before they submit their request.
Chatbots and Edtech
Calendar synced chatbots aren’t just useful in HR. They can be a useful tool for people working within the education sector, too.
Answer student questions
Lecturers can’t be expected to check their emails 24/7. That means students have to wait for a reply to what may be a basic query. If they send an email over the summer, they may have to wait even longer. Chatbots can be a great way to fill this void. They can answer basic questions about timetables, assignment due dates, and more, meaning that students aren’t left waiting and lecturers don’t have a barrage of emails to reply to on their return.
Meetings are an important part of a teacher’s life. Chatbots can be set up to allow parents or students to book meetings at a mutually convenient time. Only times the teacher has listed as available are suggested, meaning that there’s no risk of meetings overlapping with classes or any other appointments.
Apply for substitute work
Applying for substitute work isn’t always a seamless process. It often involves the agency calling around the teachers on their file to see if they’re able to cover. Using a chatbot, agencies can save time by getting substitute teachers to find openings themselves. As soon as an opening becomes available, those in the right area can get a notification to inform them. They can then either accept or decline the vacancy based on their availability.
Chatbots and FinTech
It’s not always easy to book a meeting with an advisor at your local bank. Many banks only allow you to do this by visiting in person. If your bank isn’t nearby, you have to travel twice for one appointment. This isn’t ideal. Chatbots can be set up and synced with the calendars of advisors so that customers can book appointments based on their schedules. A Smart Invite can then be generated, which allows customers to add the invite to their calendar and get any changes synced across in real-time.
Transaction notifications and reminders
Managing your finances is an important part of life. Chatbots can be used to help users to set up recurring transactions, such as putting money into a savings account each month, one-off transactions, or adding calendar notifications so that they know what money is going in and out, and when.
Purchasing a house can be a stressful time. It’s a long-winded process, and the more drawn out it becomes, the more stressful it gets. A chatbot could be used by customers to track the process of their mortgage application. If there are any issues, it could then book an appointment with an advisor to resolve them.
Other use cases for Chatbots
Flight schedules and corporate travel management
Keeping track of flight schedules can be a pain. Chatbots can be used to inform travellers of any delays, or keep friends and family updated of any changes.
Chatbots can also be used to book flights, trains, and other forms of transport. Should any issues arise, the chatbot can reschedule or cancel the booking. The chatbot can sync the booking to the user’s calendar to ensure they always have the latest information in an easy-to-find location.
Book a taxi
Booking a taxi in advance guarantees that there’ll be one waiting for you when it’s time to leave. During busy periods such as New Year’s Eve, this guarantees that you’ve got a way to get home. However, calling to book a taxi is a cumbersome process, and in the twenty first century, it’s really not necessary.
Using a chatbot, a customer could book a taxi for their required day and time. The chatbot would have instant access to the taxi drivers’ calendars, so it would know who is available and when. Once the taxi is booked, it can push the appointment to the driver’s calendar so that they don’t get double-booked.
Chatbots are your new best friend
Ok, maybe not, but there’s no denying that they’ll soon be ubiquitous. Whatever industry you work in, there’s a high chance that your company will be considering the benefits of a chatbot. Even if the company you work for isn’t considering it, you’ll inevitably find yourself using chatbots more and more over the coming years.