Here’s how a chatbot can make an impact

Elliot TG
2 min readMay 22, 2017

Are you wondering how you can use chat applications to connect more easily with your audiences? Do you think automating messages could help? If you haven’t thought about using a chatbot, it might be time to look into it. If you have thought about it, read on to see some examples of chatbots that have a real impact.

By now you’ve used Facebook for communications. It’s also likely that you have great mix of communications tools to increase awareness, engage donors, or organize supporters. Maybe you take requests from your Facebook business page and using the Messenger app. Or you’ve got WhatsApp groups to send alerts and keep in touch with key individuals.

But have you ever stopped to think, “how can I use these tools to meet mission goals? How can messaging apps be used for more than communications or development?”

Messaging apps like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp have more power than just chatting. They can be used for immediate, trackable, 2-way communication with workers or constituents in the field. With a little more effort, NGOs can create their own Chatbots. Chatbots, interactive AI that respond through messages, can be used in creative ways to collect data and educate the public. They can be used on existinging messengers like Kik, Telegram, Slack, and WeChat. Or they can be a unique app.

What are they talking about?

Recently, a variety of chatbots have been released that help users get useful information. For large businesses, bots are being used for customer support. In the UK, a new chatbot will help Britons get medical advice. The end result could help reduce load on the NHS phone systems and get patients connected with doctors more quickly. There are a few that give helpful information about bullying, depression, and other mental health issues. One tool is helping refugees seek asylum by assisting in determining eligibility then using the information to auto-fill the appropriate applications. The basis for this application originally helped commuters avoid paying parking tickets.

Chatbots are being heralded as the future of apps because of their comfortable human/machine interaction. They offer a range of capabilities, which means they can fit different budgets. They can be simple: the bot doesn’t need to pretend to be human, it can be clear that it is a machine responding. If the bot doesn’t know how to respond, it can alert a human expert. At a larger scale, it could handle complex inputs and respond with natural language generation (NLG). Today, chatbots can help solve a variety of problems by automating text-based responses. Soon, they can use voice input and response.

Do you have a problem that could be solved by chatbot? Share it!

Originally published on May 22, 2017.



Elliot TG

Recommendations for public interest technology, digital products, and home cooking.