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WaterAid has developed a chatbot to help bring its supporters closer to the people they are helping

Overview

WaterAid, the international development charity, worked with The Bot Platform to create the tool, which is accessed through Facebook. Users sign in to link up with Sellu, a farmer and fisherman from the remote village of Tombohuaun in Sierra Leone.

Users are introduced to Sellu – as well as members of the wider community – and, once they have subscribed, are taken on a journey to the heart of village life in Tombohuaun, which is the focus community for Untapped, the charity’s winter fundraising appeal.

Through messages, photos and video content, users are introduced to Sellu, who takes users on a guided tour of his home, introduces them to his wife Fatu and daughter Nancy, and even takes them for a trip on his motorcycle, complete with bumpy footage.

"The ability to continuously interact with large cohorts of engaged digital users makes the chatbot a powerful tool for awareness, activation and retention all in one"

Dan Gray

WaterAid’s digital engagement manager

Challenge

WaterAid needed a technology partner they could rely on. The platform had to be flexible enough to handle even the most complex flows, and be able to guide a supporter through some good old fashioned storytelling as well as encourage donations.

They also need a super easy to use and reliable platform for them to send ongoing communications with their supporters.

WaterAid needed a technology partner they could rely on. They needed a super easy to use and reliable platform for them to send ongoing communications with their supporters..

Solution

With The Bot Platform’s SLA, WaterAid knew they would be in good hands. The Bot Platform enabled rapid creation as well as flexibility to allow even the most complex user flows to be developed.

With The Bot Platform’s outbound messaging tools, WaterAid could not only broadcast messages out to their supporters but also schedule outbound messages to re-engage their supporters back into the story.

Dan Gray, WaterAid’s digital engagement manager, said the chatbot was a "powerful tool for awareness" that could encourage donations.

"At the moment, the predominant use of chatbots is for service handling, with bots trained to learn answers to basic FAQs, or use machine learning to comb the internet for content," Gray said. "We decided to take a different approach and work within the limitations of the technology to create some good, old-fashioned storytelling, immersing our digital audiences in the life of Sellu.

"The ability to continuously interact with large cohorts of engaged digital users makes the chatbot a powerful tool for awareness, activation and retention all in one, and we hope people will be encouraged to donate to our winter fundraising appeal, Untapped."

"You've been awesome at all steps, from planning to delivery, and provide a really cost-effective service."

Dan Gray

WaterAid’s digital engagement manager

Benefits

By partnering with The Bot Platform, WaterAid were able to rapidly and successfully create a new direct engagement channel with their supporters.

Dan Gray, WaterAid’s digital engagement manager, said the chatbot was a "powerful tool for awareness" that could encourage donations.

"The ability to continuously interact with large cohorts of engaged digital users makes the chatbot a powerful tool for awareness, activation and retention all in one, and we hope people will be encouraged to donate to our winter fundraising appeal, Untapped."

"The chatbot is a powerful tool for awareness"

Dan Gray

WaterAid’s digital engagement manager

Try it out

Try the bot for yourself right here or scan the code using the Messenger app.

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