The chatbot is on the rise. More and more companies are using a robot to serve their customers online. Consider a KLM from which you receive an automatic chat message when you can check in, or a mail order company that informs you of the status of your order. Chatbots offer all kinds of interesting opportunities for companies. We look at how a chatbot works, opportunities for companies and provide specific applications for e-commerce, customer loyalty and online recruitment.
What is a chatbot?
The word chatbot is a combination of 'chat' and 'robot'. It is a computer program written to be able to answer certain questions or respond to certain commands. The programmers have devised the questions and answers. In the past a chat conversation was very staccato (the chatbot could only respond to complete sentences), but nowadays chatbots are becoming more intelligent. That way they can combine questions and answers.
Chatbots are also becoming more self-learning. This is done on the basis of artificial intelligence. The more conversations there are, the more a chatbot learns. For example, the vocabulary of the chatbot can be expanded.
As a consumer, we increasingly have to deal with chatbots. We want to wait less and be helped immediately. 24/7 customer service via a chatbot cleverly responds to this. Three examples of today's chatbots:
- eBay: built for the Google Assistant and can therefore be used for Google Home or an Android phone. With this you can ask for a product in a very focused way and you will then be sent all options to your phone.
- Lyft: You can order the taxis of Uber's competitor Lyft via Slack, Messenger and Alexa.
- Donald Duck: or more specifically, his uncle Dagobert and Cousin Guus Geluk, on Facebook Messenger. With targeted word assignments you received entertaining answers.
The importance of chatbots for companies
With new channels, it is always important for companies to keep the focus on the core activity. Doing fun and cheerful is not an objective unless you are the weekly Donald Duck. Searching and buying companies is for e-commerce companies and customer loyalty for service providers. Another application gives the NOS that a chatbot trial began. Every day at noon the robot sent a message containing the latest news in three lines. An excellent way of customer loyalty: the receiver of the news is quickly informed and the relevance of the broadcaster once again became clear.
Applying a chatbot for online recruitment is another application. This reverses the use of a chatbot: instead of helping a customer, the entrepreneur himself is helped.
The chatbot as an online recruitment tool
Applying is exciting. In the past we used to call the future employer to request additional information about a vacancy. With the advent of the internet, more and more people seem to have developed a bubble fear. Millennials in particular prefer to send a message via WhatsApp or Messenger rather than calling someone and talking to them. Conversely, a chatbot is more comfortable to talk to. It is not a real person and it gives exact answers to your questions.
A chatbot also helps recruiters with administrative tasks. For example, a chatbot can collect information about candidates, such as a resume and contact information. In addition, the chatbot can already screen candidates by asking questions about experience, knowledge and skills. More extensive chatbots can even make a sort of 'scoreboard' of candidates on the basis of qualifications, engagement and activity. In addition, the robot can also answer questions about the vacancy and it is possible to schedule a meeting with a human recruiter.
Thanks to all these functions, a chatbot saves recruiters a lot of time. It is a work tool for recruiters, a tool that makes work easier. But make no mistake, a chatbot is never meant to replace a person. No matter how intelligent such a chatbot can become, it doesn't feel like a person does. Moreover, it is possible that the respondent and the chatbot misunderstand each other.
With a chatbot for online recruitment, the costs for Human Resource Management are also falling. That is because much of the preparatory work is done by the chatbot, such as scheduling appointments and assessing qualifications. And also 'keeping warm' candidates, an important task for resource management candidates, can be done by a chatbot.
Applications of a chatbot for online recruitment
Many candidates process
You can expect a lot of traffic from some vacancies. The vacancy is popular and hundreds of candidates apply for the position. Normally every candidate is welcomed within recruitment, but in these cases it can quickly become confused. This is where a chatbot can be a good application. Instead of the recruiter having to invest a lot of time in making a preselection, the chatbot does so by asking a few specific questions.
An example: you have a vacancy for a position in Amsterdam, but the chatbot detects that the candidate lives in Limburg. The chatbot might ask if the travel time is not a problem, whether a relocation is possible and whether another vacancy within the company (in a different place) is more suitable. And then the robot can also immediately point out the newsletter.
Applying via a chatbot is something that will certainly appeal to a younger audience. It is therefore a great opportunity to reach students, for example. For example, the robot asks about their specific situation and background: has the student ever studied abroad? Does the student still live at home? Does the student commute a lot? It gives you a good estimate of the candidate. Moreover, the chatbot helps students navigate on a website on a mobile phone. The chatbot immediately gives a boost in the right direction.
With the advent of the General Data Protection Regulation (AVG or GDPR) the recruitment sector can count on a lot of extra work. Recruiters and companies have the data of thousands of candidates in their database. It is then impossible to ask for permission to keep the data. The chatbot can do that; it sends the question with permission to hundreds of candidates at the same time.
A GDPR check offers you a chance to get in touch with candidates again. Avoid a boring consent form, but set up a nice conversation: "Can I help you further?" And "What vacancies are you interested in?" Are good questions.
Apply chatbot challenges
Chat with a robot naturally also gives new challenges. For example, people all talk differently. One candidate neatly writes General Civilized Dutch, while the other uses abbreviations, words from the dialect and emojis. The chatbot cannot understand everything.
In addition, a robot remains a computer program and never becomes a human. A chatbot can therefore feel a bit 'robotic'. Add some humor to your robot so that it looks more human. And remember: customers and candidates can give unexpected answers. Your chatbot must be able to respond to it and not crash. The business application of a chatbot is still in its infancy. Therefore, focus on your own services and ask yourself: how can we offer better services via a chatbot?
Getting started with online recruitment?
Download the free e-book directly Found it! 43 online recruitment tips for website, content and social media. Leave your telephone number if you are interested in our service.