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Chatbots as a tool to assist business

During 2016 chatbots have become a new advancing trend.

A great many of companies today consider the use of chatbots for business tasks.

We have tested in Russia a number of solutions from Sberbank and VTB24.

It should be admitted that their chatbots are very primitive and hardly able to solve any business tasks.

The Sberbankbot appeared to be very weak.

The point is that chatbots are treated and designed as tools of command request execution. It means that a chatbot cannot use a normal human language while communicating with you. It expects specific commands from you. This kind of approach to chatbots designing, in our opinion, is a big mistake on the part of developers and companies.

It would be easier to communicate with chatbots using a normal human language instead of sending requests in the form of key words or commands. In every situation it is possible to build the same request in a different way.

Practically all the chatbots we have tested for Telegram react only on specific commands. They are unable to analyze even primitive texts to say nothing of complicated contexts.

(@SberbankBot)

Has a very limited functionality and is too week for such a company as Sberbank. Not to mention a great many of errors and bugs present within the bot itself.

Here is an example: if your computer request contains the word “departments”, the SberbankBot offers you to turn on geolocation. Butnot every laptop has GPS. The latest version of Telegram for Windows doesn’t even have a GPS button.

Actually, this chatbot has neither active nor information functions and is unable to perform any actions. This is rather a demo chatbot than a useful working tool.

A chatbot in a VTB24 personal area

Nanosemantika, a renowned chatbot developing company, created a chatbot for VTB24. But the VTB24 chatbot operates only in the personal area (so strange a limitation) and actually duplicates the online bank information.

The “Tochka” (Точка) bank chatbot

I tried to find the “Tochka” bank chatbot, but Google failed to find it for me.

https://www.google.ru/?gfe_rd=cr&ei=jb86WJvWNPCIyAWd-aXYAw&gws_rd=ssl#newwindow=1&q=%D1%87%D0%B0%D1%82%D0%B1%D0%BE%D1%82+%D0%B2+%D0%B1%D0%B0%D0%BD%D0%BA%D0%B5+%D1%82%D0%BE%D1%87%D0%BA%D0%B0

I found it on Facebook and saw that it could not even say hello in a polite way.

Beginning of the instant messaging

Financial company

14:16

Hi, George! You can communicate here with the Tochka team or play with the Facebookbot. Using the Tochka Facebookbot you can check your accounts, statements, even send your payments. Toget started with the bot enter the «.» character.

Hi

Hi, George! You can communicate here with the Tochka team or play with the Facebookbot. Using the Tochka Facebookbot you can check your accounts, statements, even send your payments. To get started with the bot enter the «.» character.

This bot is quite useless if it cannot answer my simple question:

I’m interested in a business account

.

Information

Where to withdraw money

Where to make a deposit to one’s account

To call to Tochka

Bank

To sign in

Not yet in Tochka

To learn about bot

I’m interested in a business account

I made a specific request and got… silence back instead of an answer.

And it looks rather strange that the chatbot is not polite enough and responds to my hello with a long starting phrase.

Here’s an example of my communication with the @catbuilderbot:

George:

/start

Hi

[6:56:25 PM]@catbuilderbot:

It seems I did not understand you. Shall we try again? How many rooms, how many square meters do you want to have and how much are you willing to pay for the flat of your dream?

// The robot does not understand the word “Hi”.

George:

Don’t know yet

I’m just looking

// A normal reply, isn’t it?

[6:58:59 PM]@catbuilderbot:

Bye! We’ll be happy to see you again!

// The chatbot pulls off

So, what is my impression of the chatbot usefulness?!

Now let’s turn to the Robolekar:

George:

/start

Hi

[6:56:37 PM]Robolekar:

Hello, I’m a robo-doctor! Today I will question you. If you have any health complaints, enter «Complaints». If you are interested in prophylaxis, enter «Prophylaxis». If you know what doctor you need to see or what examination to have, just enter their names. To see a list of doctors, enter «List of doctors.» To see a list of analysis, type «List of analysis» The «STAT» command will show the collected data.

// my question: if I can enter a command, what for do I need Telegram, if I can do everything via the site or by a phone call?

CityBank without a chatbot?

With an easy way to fill a loan application through Telegram, Citibank still continues to advertise a loan application through its own website.

Obvious resume

We believe that chatbots should interact with customers using an habitual everyday language, written or oral.

It is important that with the help of a chatbot a customer could perform active operations, such as: make a deposit, renew an insurance or buy a flight.

Many chatbots today serve as an information source. It considerably reduces their appeal to potential customers and makes it difficult to assess the actual effectiveness of their work.

They bear very little added value.

By the way, chatbots could be used to hold raffles, various special promotions and encourage customers to use the chatbot of this or that company, for which, as we know, no additional application installation is needed.

Lesson 1. Chatbots should communicate with us using a normal human language.

The main task, as we see it, is to give customers an opportunity to communicate with chatbots using their own everyday language orally or in a written form, without resorting to commands.

So, if you want to take out a loan, a chatbot must understand the difference between “take out a loan / pay back a loan / transfer a loan from another bank”.

This is not very complicated. Many platforms for chatbot creation easily allow storing the context and, most important, lay a great variety of branches to conduct numerous dialogues.

Now many chatbots are able to recognize just only one key word and then send you to the site or a pricing plan.

Lesson 2. Chatbots are new channels of communication with customers and new channels of sales.

Chatbots should be embedded in regular channels of communication: Facebook, Email, Slack, Twitter, Telegram, so that customers did not have to additionally download applications, make phone calls or visit corresponding sites of the organizations they are interested in.

Lesson 3. Chatbots should offer active operations.

Chatbots should offer not just information but also doing. For instance, if I want to renew an insurance, the chatbot should offer a way to do so. If I want to check the balance on the credit card limit, it should give me an option how to increase the limit, if required.

Lesson 4. Chatbots should give us as much information as we need, helping us, not spamming.

Visiting bank sites, particularly for the first time, we usually spend much time studying deposit rates, though actually we need to know only one deposit rate or two, at most, and not to waste time viewing the matrix of all the rates on all foreign currency deposits for all periods of time at a run.

Besides, when visiting a new site you waste sometimes a lot of time trying to grasp the structure of the interface.

Chatbots will become a kind of standard where in return to your request you will get an answer and possibility perform a particular action.

All this should increase the customers’ satisfaction with the service quality and make the process of service buying easier.

For example, every Friday I order sushi in «Yakitori». To make an order, I need to use a phone call or a certain application. With the help of a chatbot I could do it much faster, simply by writing: «Repeat the last order. I’ll pick it up in 40 minutes. «

Evidently, there will be a lot of problems and difficulties with the chatbot integration into the existing IT infrastructure of business.

At the same time it opens up tremendous additional opportunities to support customers and improve the service quality.

Such banks as RaiffeisenBank, for example, are constantly spamming their customers with sms-mailing offering loans.

Using the modern SMS communication channel, they at the same time offer to apply for a loan at a bank branch or do it by a phone call. However, it is unclear why not to offer this option through Telegram, Facebook, Twitter …

We believe that automation of the customer support is advantageous and effective. We will be happy to share our knowledge with you in this field.

We have already created a chatbot, which:

  • Communicates with customers
  • Answers questions concerning lasers and engravers
  • Answers complicated questions, incl. such as: what is a top quark? Actually, it knows quantum mechanics.

Here’s an example of

my written question and the bot’s answer:

«

Thanks, good.

If you want to know about our lasers visit our site Endurancelasers.com

Yes, our lasers can engrave and cut plywood, acrylic, leather, wood, MDF, chipboard, PVC, plastic, cardboard. Fill in the form on the site and we’ll draw an invoice.

«

> Hi
>
How are you

> I’d like to buy a laser
> and tell what laser is better to cut plywood

One and the same chatbot can operate on the site, on social networks and respond to emails.

http://Old.EnduranceRobots.com

And on Telegram: @Endurance_chatbot

It answers emails georgerobots@gmail.com

It’s too early to speak about the artificial intelligence, but we’ll see the future of the chatbot world and enjoy the advantages of its application.