SnatchBot creates a chatbot to help with news about coronavirus (COVID-19)
SnatchBot creates a chatbot to help with information flow about coronavirus (COVID-19)
Overwhelming response to the chatbot
One consequence of the world pandemic taking place with the spread of COVID-19 is a massive desire among millions of people for reliable, up-to-date information. And in the world we live in, not everyone wants to browse websites to get that information. Rather, they use their favourite messaging channel such as Facebook’s Messenger, WhatsApp, Viber, Telegram, etc.
To help with access to coronavirus information and news, we have built a chatbot that draws from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in the USA (CDC), the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at John Hopkins University to provide users with a single conversational experience that allows them to keep abreast of authoritative news.
Because SnatchBot is omnichannel, our one build is easily launched on all the popular channels. You can chat to it on Messenger, for example, at m.me/coronaviruschatbot, on Viber @coronavirus information, on Telegram @coronavirusCOVID19infbot and for those who prefer to use email exchanges, you can email the bot here: firstname.lastname@example.org
The response to the chatbot has been extraordinary. In just seven days it has exchanged a quarter of a million messages and the rate at which people are talking to it is growing exponentially, nearly reaching 100,000 daily messages on 24 March 2020.
Health Organisations Need Free Chatbots to help with COVID19 information
This demand for information is something that we, the chatbot developer community, can help with. Chatbots can take the pressure off people near the frontline of organising to limit the harm done by this outbreak, especially those in healthcare organisations. Here at SnatchBot we’ve reached out to several national health service bodies to offer them our expertise in building chatbots swiftly: for free of course.
We encourage all our platform’s users to do the same. Even a simple FAQ chatbot can save hours for a human who would be better used in a different role than answering the same questions over and over again. Bots can help with triaging symptoms, funnelling only the relevant people through to human assistance and smarter bots can interface with backend databases to automate various essential administrative processes. If you are in a position to help your local health and government services with chatbot building, please consider doing so. Note that SnatchBot has always been compliant with all security standards set by the healthcare industry, e.g. HIPAA, and can supply you with the necessary documentation.
There are thousands of other uses for chatbots in this time
With schools and colleges closed, chatbots that facilitate learning are a valuable tool. For companies struggling to keep an income stream when their stores are closed, online sales are going to be essential and chatbots can help give the customer a conversational, bespoke experience that some companies pride themselves on. Bookshops, for example, can use chatbots to make recommendations according to the customer’s taste. Larger companies are sending staff home, quite rightly, and chatbots can help keep a team organised, e.g. sitting on the Slack channel and managing projects.
Smaller businesses are able to shield their staff by implementing chatbots as virtual receptionists as well as for managing administration.
Already, before this crisis, we were witnessing a strong growth curve for chatbot deployment and now companies are moving with remarkable rapidity to adopt them. While the most important role for chatbots in this crisis is in scaling communication to millions of people and taking the burden off health care staff especially, they have an important secondary role in helping keep businesses active in areas of shutdown.