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AI Communication Facilitation between Stakeholders

by Martha Anderson

Can AI facilitate communication between the organization’s internal and external stakeholders while managing change?

Organizational restructuring is not necessarily new to libraries. However, creating a cohesive team and a unified message while managing change can be difficult. If we consider the additional challenges of the pandemic in our workplaces along with restructuring while hybrid, the solution to accelerate team building and the drive to communicate the value of the new services provided signal a different approach, a request for a unique solution.

How can libraries communicate new services in a way that promotes human-like interactions to users? Reimagining the way we communicate services to internal and external stakeholders can be achieved with bots that facilitate the introduction of the products and services offered in an objective and consistent manner. Embedding a conversational agent to sites other than the digital catalog can produce a more social experience while still maintaining a contactless approach. For external users, the bot can provide the request for services considering the various points of view and voices of those who deliver and/or manage specific departments within the organization. For internal stakeholders, eliminating the discomfort of being unable to communicate to users from the third person’s opinion the services colleagues provide, could increase employee engagement due to a more consistent messaging and a better understanding of coworkers’ contributions.

In times of organizational change, communicating timely and effectively the benefits of the new products and services offered can produce positive experiences for all involved, enhance work relationships, and increase trust in the new organization and its leadership. After all, facilitating access to information and services is at the core of what libraries do.

The new normal has increased the desire for contactless yet active human-like interactions for all involved. During times of change, delivering information in short snippets can be valuable to colleagues and patrons with high anxiety levels due to the ongoing pandemic. Providing small streams of data can diminish the stress levels of those experiencing difficulties with acceptance of new direction, new positions creation, and adoption of new workflows.

Offering additional information could be achieved within the bot by directing users to links with more complex information while disclaiming that more detailed information could be accessed by reviewing supplementary resources. Streaming the consistent flow of information to internal and external users is a must for facilitating team building, increasing trust in adopting new directives, and demonstrating the value of the services and products newly created.

It is interesting that through the adoption of conversational agents, the communication among humans can be facilitated in challenging times by removing the subjectivity and the inconsistency of relating the contributions units within the organization delivers. Honoring the first-person explanation of services of those who manage those units and services can prove expedient in accurately and effectively explaining the value of libraries. Finally, users of library services might perceive the interactions with the conversational agent as one-to-one interactions. Therefore, building trust and engaging users as direct communication is bolstered and third-party opinions removed.