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Source: Saarbruecker Zeitung as of 06-07-2020

With so-called chatbots, companies can also offer advice to their customers outside of opening hours.
The Germans don’t stop shopping so quickly. Nor does the Corona crisis. However, most people are currently not drawn to the nearest department store, but to the pages of the shops on the Internet, where there is no duty to protect their mouths and no people who do not keep to the minimum distance. But also no sellers who give personal advice. Many companies therefore offer their online customers the opportunity to get advice by phone, e-mail or text chat. According to a survey commissioned by the digital association Bitkom, one in five online shoppers has already used individual advice when shopping on the Internet. Of these, 59 percent chatted with an employee of an online store, and 22 percent with a so-called chatbot. Behind this is a text-based dialogue system that automatically responds to user questions based on artificial intelligence and machine language processing. Chatbots are so sophisticated today that one in seven respondents who used the text chat couldn’t tell afterwards whether a real person or a bot had answered their questions. The use of this technical system has advantages for both the user and the company. Potential buyers can get rid of their questions around the clock; Service employees are relieved during their daily work by the digital helpers, who, among other things, deal with annoying standard questions. Companies use chatbots not only to answer frequently asked questions or handle complaints, but also to help customers find products and recommend products to them.
The chatbot of the cosmetics retailer Sephora, for example, gives users individual tips on makeup and recommends suitable beauty products but only in English. In order to get the information you need, the bot asks the user to take a “quiz” at the beginning of the conversation. The customer is asked about his age, his favorite brands and products that he does not want to do without. In between, the chatbot, which can be downloaded via the rather unknown kik app, sends short videos, in which, for example, a concealer or a mascara is presented. After the quiz, several products are then suggested to the user for purchase. Swedish fashion chain H&M also works with chatbots. For example, if customers want to know if they can exchange a purchase made, where the nearest store is in their area, and whether a particular garment is in stock, they can always use the chat button on the website and type your request into the opening window. If the questions asked deviate from the standard, the bot quickly gets to its limits. If the customer tells the chatbot that he is not satisfied with the answer, he hands over the conversation to a human employee. However, this service is not available 24 hours a day, but only at certain times.
If you get hungry from shopping on the Internet, you can also order your food online. Because not only department stores are currently shunned by many customers, tables also remain in restaurants Free. The order is particularly convenient at the fast food chain Domino’s, because it also works with a chatbot that even has a name: Dom. With his help, customers can assemble their pizza via Facebook Messenger and then track the order online to the front door. But Dom is only available on the main page, “Domino’s Pizza” and not at “Domino’s Germany”. The communication is therefore exclusively in English, works so quickly and uncomplicatedly that the confusion of the 15 percent mentioned above is a little better to understand.
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