Bots aren’t the enemy: 12 bots to streamline your workflow
Bots are all the rage right now. Although they’ve existed for a while (think: fake Twitter accounts), the latest generation of bots are being built exponentially smarter. They can manage basic communication and automate processes that would take humans hours. One professor even built a TA bot that his students thought was a real person the entire semester. That said, bots won’t take over our jobs – as some fear. Yes, they can automate the work we do, but they’ll never have the empathy or emotional intelligence it takes to solve complex problems or build the interpersonal relationships necessary in business. (Although, AI developers continue to name their bots after females to simulate a sense of empathy.)
They will, however, make our lives and jobs easier by eliminating redundancies and automating our workflows. Sounds pretty great, right? That’s why we put together this list of 10 bots that will save you time so you can focus on solving those problems and building those relationships. Big thanks to CloudPeeps client Sandi MacPherson at Quibb for posting this question to the tech community who shared many of these awesome bots.
1) Meekan for scheduling team meetings
Were you a Sunrise user? Are you also still mourning the loss of everyone’s favorite calendar app? Not to worry, the Meekan bot for Slack and Hipchat will schedule your meetings and manage your calendar. With Meekan, you can pinpoint the best times to meet, schedule a service, reserve a hotel or book a flight. When scheduling meetings, it matches everyone’s calendars (on your Slack or Hipchat team), and quickly finds common free times.
2) Amy or 3) Clara for your personal assistant
Are you tired od the never-ending email stream that comes with scheduling a meeting? The constant back and forth – trying to find a time that works with you and the person you’re scheduling with. Well, bots like Amy (from x.ai) and Clara act as your personal assistant to do all of the scheduling for you. You simply copy them on your initial email with the other party, and Amy or Clara will take care of the rest – including getting the date, time, location and contact information on your calendar.
4) Ava for scheduling meetings, flights and Ubers
Zoom.ai (also known as Ava) will schedule meetings, remind you of them, tell you about your contacts behavior and interests, share a weather forecast, book flights and schedule your Uber for the future. How? By integrating with your favorite tools and securely analyzing your data to learn your preferences. Like most bots, it integrates with Slack.
5) Workato for automating your workflow
Depending on how many tools you manage, you’re likely inundated with a sea of notification emails and pop-ups. Every time a new lead comes through Salesforce, a support ticket through Helpscout, a developer makes a change in GitHub, etc. The Workato bot lets you communicate with your apps and automate your workflows – all in Slack. Need to create an invoice in Quickbooks? Simply do it with a Workato command. Imagine the time you can save without having to wade through emails or open and log into each tool every time.
6) Standup Bot for automating team updates
Peep Krystal Douglas’ team built Standup Bot for automated standups in any group or channel within Slack. Standup Bot prompts your team to answer three questions. It’s fully automated, can be scheduled to auto-start at any time and is timezone friendly. It asks: What did you do yesterday? What are you doing today? and Is there anything standing in your way? These simple questions hold a team accountable, keep everyone on the same page and help remove roadblocks so everyone can get to work.
7) Pez.ai for analyzing metrics
If you’re a marketer, product person, or designer – metrics matter. Sometimes sorting through the sea of numbers in Google Analytics can be a pain. Although it’s an incredibly powerful tool, GA certainly isn’t the most intuitive. The Pez.ai bot will save you time by answering your questions about your website traffic and trends in plain English. It’s also integrated with Slack so you can get quick answers without interrupting your workflow. It’s currently in beta, but free to join!
8) Ada for automating your customer service
The founders of Volley (now shut down) have created a new bot called Ada for streamlining customer service communications. A reduce customer support tickets by 30%, providing instant answers to your customers’ common questions.
9) Snips for remembering things
Snips is an AI on your phone that will remember your reservations, contacts, calendars and location and make them accessible all in one place. It creates a knowledge graph by connecting your email, contacts and calendar to understand what you’re looking for and help retrieve information hidden deep in your phone – from a lost phone number to a hotel reservation.
10) Digit for automating your savings
Did you ever save your change when you’d break a dollar? It really adds up! But who uses cash anymore? I doubt anyone wants to roll coins either. Digit, in a way, follows a similar concept. Every few days, Digit checks your spending habits and saves a few dollars from your checking account if you can afford it. It saves money for you so you don’t have to think about it. It’s available on iPhones and Apple Watches and is free!
11) Birdy for managing your expenses
Birdy’s expense management bot, Bill will manage your expenses and keep a running total in a spreadsheet in Google Drive. Bill acts as a team member in Slack. You just send him private messages with amounts and uscans of receipts in image or PDF form and he’ll save it all for you till you need it.
12) Massively for creating your own bot
If none of the bots on this list meet your automation needs, then create your own! Massively allows you to create your own bot without any programming. Massively’s bots are instantly scalable for one-to-one engagement at a massive scale. Their DIY bots can deploy anywhere messaging is sent or received.
The future is a place where we spend less time on admin work and more time doing the work that we care about (and get paid for). Now that you have all this new time available, you can take on more clients! Check out the current jobs on the CloudPeeps platform.
Have a bot that’s helped streamline your workflow? Leave it in the comments below!
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