Written by: Ryan Lyk, Vice President of Client Services
Smart campaigns are successful campaigns, and technology plays a huge role in political success. From Franklin D. Roosevelt’s use of radio for his “Fireside Chats” in 1932 to Barack Obama’s social media storm during the 2008 elections, it’s clear that candidates who take advantage of the latest technology have an edge over their competitors.
New to chatbots? A chatbot uses artificial intelligence software to engage humans in conversation. Up to now, chatbots have predominantly been used for customer service and e-commerce. However, political campaigns have jumped on the “chatbot train” and have enjoyed incredible success as a result.
Five advantages of using a chatbot:
1. Personalized Experience
Hearing a pre-recorded message when you’re trying to get in touch with a real person is a pet peeve for most people. Chatbots are different because they let you guide the conversation based on what information they are looking for, meaning they respond with more than a simple “yes” or “no.” For example, social media users can pose policy questions and receive personalized responses within seconds.
2. Faster Replies
There are two types of people in the world: those who read their emails daily, and those who have hundreds of unread emails sitting in their inbox every time they log in. If you identify with the former, try to imagine sorting through hundreds of requests each day with a limited budget and strict deadline. If you fall into the latter category, like most millennials, you will understand the difficulty of trying to answer voters’ questions in a timely fashion, while also running a campaign. This is where a chatbot can step in to ease the burden. Chatbots have the ability to respond instantaneously, and operate on a 24 hour basis, so you never have to compromise on customer service.
3. Multiple Platforms
Chatbots can be integrated into multiple platforms – from social media to websites – and vary in style depending on which experience you want to share with your audience. For example, if you know that your target audience is primarily between the ages of 25-34, Facebook is probably a good place to locate your bot. If your campaign is pushing people to your website to read more about your stance on the issues, it is better to maximize on that traffic by placing a chatbot on the site. The good news is that you don’t have to choose one or the other. Utilize chatbots across multiple platforms to ensure you are reaching all voters.
We recommend personalizing your chatbot design based on the platform. A bot that interacts with voters through Facebook Messenger or Twitter should differ from one on a website. Visitors to a website are generally seeking more information than someone on social media, where information is usually brief and concise.
4. No Human Error
Setting up a chatbot can be time-consuming, but it’s worth it to know that your voters are receiving correct information at all times. No more incorrect links or PR scandals to distract you from the main goal – winning. No more inconsistent policy answers from staffers and volunteers; your voters get clear, quick, and accurate answers to the questions that matter.
5. Vital Feedback
Want to know how your campaign is going before the official polls are released? Chatbots offer a unique way of gaining important insights from your voters. After receiving comprehensive customer support, users can opt to provide feedback on their experience. This feature could be expanded to include questions based on the entire campaign performance or a comment box for users to write freely.
Performance analytics are critical to a campaign because they allow candidates to adjust their strategy to account for trends or changes in their target audience. Chatbot feedback lets you make sure that your pre-set answers are satisfactory to voters, and provide more detail if necessary. Happy voters mean successful candidates on Election Day, so it is worth the extra steps to improve your campaign.
Ultimately, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a reason not to use chatbots. They are an easy way to improve your campaign communication efforts while saving time and resources.