Having a great team to work on the development of your chatbot will be crucial to its success. You might be wondering if you need to hire someone or whether a team is better than an individual. These are common questions for many of our partners. The chart below gives a brief overview of the ideal team structure for most partners, but keep reading to learn more!
Point of Contact / Project Manager
The bulk of responsibilities for setting up and maintaining your chatbot center around creating the content that contacts receive. Content includes proactive messaging, also known as campaigns, as well as the automated responses to questions. We recommend assigning a point of contact (POC) with experience in communications so they can lead the content development process. Creating a “voice” for your chatbot that resonates with your contact population and builds trust with them will be key to your chatbot’s success. If your point of contact will also be your main writer, having some experience in social media can be helpful, as the short, conversational style of social media content is similar to the content style recommended for your chatbot.
The point of contact should have the authority to make final content decisions, as campaign drafting and scheduling is a rapidly iterative process and any lags on content approval can disrupt the student experience.
Finally, your POC will likely need to facilitate coordination with various stakeholders and/or departments, such as IT, financial aid, or housing. It is helpful for your POC to have knowledge of your institution’s various departments and to be able to bring together different collaborators as needed.
We estimate that the POC will need to invest 5-20 hours per week during the implementation process. Post-launch, your POC should expect to spend 5-10 hours per week to maintain your chatbot active and continually learning.
Other team members
In addition to your POC, there are some additional members that will be helpful in setting up and maintaining your chatbot.
To get started, you will need to identify a group of 5 to 10 trainers who can assist with your chatbot’s learning process during implementation. Their role will be to send in questions via text to guide the knowledge development. Trainers should have a deep understanding of the most commonly asked questions and concerns of your target contacts. It is recommended that your training group be comprised of student workers and members of your team.
During onboarding, your staff knowledge reviewers will be responsible for reviewing your initial set of Knowledge Base answers. These can vary from 500 to 2,000 answers around a variety of topic areas from admissions to housing. In order to complete this review process in a reasonable timeframe, your POC will likely need assistance from some knowledge holders in the university who can help review answers for accuracy and tone. The time commitment will depend on the number of answers assigned to each person for review, but it typically is a few hours per person.
Aside from content review, your POC will need to identify and access the contact data that will be helpful in tailoring campaigns and/or providing the right answers. Some of this data will also need to be shared with Mainstay, so your POC may need assistance with defining the right data fields and the right method for sharing it with Mainstay. Someone on your IT team or a database administrator may need to be a part of some meetings during the initial implementation phase and post-implementation if anything changes with your data setup (e.g. data fields are modified, upgrade to CRM integration, etc.)
After launch, your chatbot will need assistance with answering new or difficult questions from time to time. These questions will be escalated via email to key staff members. Each office is different in how they choose to involve these staff members, and Mainstay will help your POC identify the structure that is best for your team. The time commitment for these staff members is usually a few minutes per week.
A few months after launch, Mainstay will transfer responsibility for your chatbot’s training to your staff. This responsibility consists of teaching your chatbot the correct response when it is incorrect or does not yet know an answer and providing the right response to the student. This is a role that can be fulfilled by student workers who are knowledgeable about your institution and its resources. The time commitment is expected to be between 5 to 20 hours per week total, depending on the amount of messaging traffic your chatbot is expected to receive. To prepare for this transition, your Mainstay Partner Success Strategist will be able to give you more guidance on the estimated number of hours you can expect based on the amount of activity.
If you have any questions about who you should include on your team, please reach out to your Partner Success Manager.
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