Chatbots within companies – what can they do for you?

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Published on January 8, 2018

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Chatbots are booming, as you can see in their fast entry into the market of companies, government agencies and educational institutions. As Gartner’s research director Revang points out, Chatbots’ broad appeal comes from the efficiency and easy interaction they create for employees, customers and other users. They can therefore have a great influence on the contact that one has with your brand. And although the Chatbot hype is mainly focused on customer contact, the bots can also very well be applied to the internal organization of a company. Chatbots are good at supporting both customers and employees. Would you like to know how? In this article we explain what Chatbots can do for your company.

 

How can a Chatbot help?

Chatbots are diverse and can be integrated in many different ways within a company, depending on the wishes of employees and customers. Gartner gives 4 examples of the use of Chatbots in companies:

 

  • Customer service: Chatbots are perfect for customer service routine tasks such as delivering automated answers, these are the repetitive tasks and questions that often require a standard action or answer. As a result, fewer customer service employees are needed, a smaller customer service team can then focus on more complicated requests that require personal attention.
  • ChatOps approvals: A change in a back-end record triggers an event, sending a message to a business messaging service or workflow environment and notifying an employee to approve or reject it.
  • Diagnostic stock management: When the bot is implemented in conjunction with Internet of Things (IoT) technologies, warehouse staff can be notified when a product is out of stock or when a specific shipment arrives.
  • Planning support: Through artificial intelligence and bot-to-bot communication Chatbots can help with planning. The bots “contact” each other to analyze multiple agendas and find a free moment to schedule a particular appointment. This allows them to schedule events in no time and to inform employees about this.

But these are just a few examples, Chatbots are very diverse and the possibilities are almost infinite. According to Dell Technologies, Chatbots can also support employees in booking business trips, managing todo lists, paying suppliers, sending invoices, organizing databases and answering HR questions.

 

Replacement or enforcement

When you integrate a Chatbot into your company, you can either choose to replace the existing systems or to integrate the bot and further enforce the system. Replacement is often easier because the bots do not have to be integrated into the existing processes, because it is sometimes easier to start from scratch and build a new system. But with reinforcement you can actually improve an existing process by making it more flexible, compliant, more accessible and easier for users. Both options have their advantages, because companies often benefit from solutions that use the current processes that further strengthen the company’s system. On the contrary, it may also be the case that more innovative solutions require a new system for it to be able to actually improve productivity.

 

Developing a Chatbot

There are different types of Chatbots, from simple to advanced. The complexity of the system of the bot therefore determines the price of its development, the prices of Chatbots vary considerably. Easier text-based Q&A bots are often cheaper to implement than an artificial-intelligence system that helps users with bookings. Therefore, developing a good Chatbot is an investment, but in the future you will save on costs because the bot will strengthen customer loyalty and stimulate sales.

However, we also have to be realistic: Chatbots are not perfect. Just as employees fail and make mistakes, this is also the case for a bot. A Chatbot has its limitations and may not meet all expectations, it is therefore good to apply the bot mainly to certain specific tasks for which it is really developed. Because, as Dell Technologies states, “Although technology for understanding natural languages is improving, Chatbots are currently best for structured or scripted interactions, and companies must avoid becoming overambitious with the reach of Chatbot features.”

In short, Chatbots have a great potential that in the coming years will be further developed and enjoyed. It is, however, crucial that a company is aware of the strengths of their bot and the needs of both customers and employees. When they really learn to respond to this, the Chatbot can make a big difference.

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