Chatbots for Brand Representation in Comparison with Traditional Websites

Johannes Kühnel, Markus Ebner, Martin Ebner

Abstract


Chatbots have gained enormous popularity in recent years. IT giants such as Microsoft, Google and Facebook have taken an interest in automated conversations. Messaging apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger are playing an increasingly important role in smartphone usage and communication in general - perfect conditions for chatbots. This paper provides an introduction of recent chatbot development in general and in customer environments. As part of this work, a chatbot was developed for the Austrian IT company CodeFluegel GmbH. The chatbot, named Theodore, provides information about CodeFluegel via Facebook Messenger and webchat, similar to the existing company website. The design process and implementation of the chatbot as well as architectural considerations are explained throughout this document. In a user study, participants perform typical tasks with the website and the chatbot. The usage of both platforms is evaluated in order to identify advantages and disadvantages as well as differences compared to the other technology and to draw conclusions. Findings to this study indicate promising prospects for chatbots as alternative touchpoints for customers and others and a way to replace and enhance traditional websites.


Keywords


chatbots; messenger; websites; natural language understanding; brand representation

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International Journal of Interactive Mobile Technologies (iJIM) – eISSN: 1865-7923
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