The chatbot for companies: from customer loyalty to online recruitment tool
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 that is written to be able to answer certain questions, or to be able to respond to certain commands. The programmers have come up with 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 and more intelligent. This way they can combine questions and answers.
Chatbots are also becoming increasingly self-learning. This is done using artificial intelligence. The more conversations there are, the more a chatbot learns. For example, the vocabulary of the chatbot can be expanded.
As consumers, we are increasingly dealing 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 chatbots today:
- eBay: Built for the Google Assistant and therefore usable for Google Home or an Android phone. This allows you to ask for a product in a very specific way and you will then receive all options forwarded to your phone.
- Lyft: You can order taxis from Uber's competitor Lyft via Slack, Messenger and Alexa.
- Donald Duck: or more specifically, Uncle Dagobert and Neef Guus Geluk, are on Facebook Messenger. With targeted word assignments you got entertaining answers.
The importance of chatbots for businesses
With new channels, it is always important for companies to keep the focus on the core activity. Being nice and cheerful is not a goal, unless you are the weekly magazine Donald Duck. Business search and purchase is for e-commerce businesses and customer loyalty is for service providers. Another application gives the NOS, which started a trial with a chatbot. Every day at 12:00, the robot sent a message containing the latest news in three lines. An excellent way of customer loyalty: the recipient of the news quickly stays informed and the relevance of the broadcaster became clear once again.
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. We used to call the future employer to ask for additional information about a vacancy. With the advent of the internet, more and more people seem to have developed a fear of bells. Millennials, in particular, prefer to send a message via WhatsApp or Messenger than to call and answer someone. A chatbot, on the other hand, 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 elaborate chatbots can even create a sort of 'scoreboard' of candidates based on 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 features, a chatbot saves recruiters quite a bit of time. It is a work tool for recruiters, a tool that makes work easier. But make no mistake, a chatbot is never intended to replace a human being. However intelligent such a chatbot can become, it does not have the feeling that a person does. In addition, 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 reduced. This is because a lot of preparatory work is done by the chatbot, such as scheduling appointments and assessing qualifications. And also keeping candidates warm, an important task for resource management candidates, can be done by a chatbot.
Applications of a chatbot for online recruitment
Processing many candidates kandidaten
You can expect a lot of traffic from some vacancies. The vacancy is popular and hundreds of candidates apply for the position. Normally within recruitment every candidate is applauded, but in these cases it can quickly become confusing. This is where a chatbot can be a good application. Instead of the recruiter having to invest a lot of time in making a pre-selection, the chatbot does that 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 could ask whether the travel time is not a problem, whether a relocation is possible and whether another vacancy within the company (in another place) is more suitable. And then the robot can immediately point to 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. In addition, the chatbot helps students navigate a website on a mobile phone. The chatbot immediately gives a push in the right direction.
With the advent of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR 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 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 have contact with candidates again. Avoid a boring consent form, but have a nice conversation: “Can I help you further?” and “Which job openings are you interested in?” are good questions.
Apply Chatbot Challenges
Chatting with a robot naturally also presents 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 being. A chatbot can therefore feel somewhat 'robotic'. Add some humor to your robot to make it feel a bit more human. And remember: clients and candidates can give unexpected answers. Your chatbot must be able to respond to this and not crash. The business application of a chatbot is still in its infancy. So focus on your own services and ask yourself: how can we offer a better service via a chatbot?
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