Some say that 2017 will be the year of Artificial Intelligence, a market that could reach $47 Billion by 2020. Although AI and chatbots related topics have mostly been buzzwords. The chatbots are mainly used for simple interaction with the user which makes the user experience (UX) rather poor. But we can’t deny the huge potential of these technologies for the industry.
By far the most chatbots are communicating in English. Probably also Spanish and Chinese are popular and German and Japanese are sometimes supported by the tech giants.
But what about the Dutch talking chatbots and chatbots build by the Dutch:
KLM on Messenger
This is worldwide one of the most known and best rated chatbots
The chat is available on Messenger to answer questions 24/7 in 10 different languages: Dutch, English, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, French, Japanese, Chinese and Korean. KLM also answer in Norwegian and Russian during local office hours so I assume this in these languages it is not a bot.
Unfortunately I was not able to test.
The Dutch energy provider Eneco enables their clients to transmit the meter readings via Facebook Messenger.
It seems to be a very interesting approach but unfortunately I am not able to test the bot.
In Venture Beat the Chat tool is announced as a ChatBot: Booking.com launches a chat tool to connect hotels and travelers
In this post is written:
Users can use the chat service in two ways. First, they can start by asking a question of their host from within their Booking.com account on any device. That includes messaging directly from the desktop, mobile web, or within Booking.com apps on iOS or Android. Users can initiate any kind of conversation they’d like with the accommodation.
Alternatively, a chat can be initiated from the host’s side. A hotel can send a notification to the user’s phone, which pulls the user into a conversation within the Booking.com messaging service.
Sounds very interesting but unfortunately the Booking.com Messenger I find in my Android app is not a ChatBot but a normal chat tool. Also in Messenger, on Booking.com there is no chatbot but only regular chat. As the service should be available in 42 languages, I expect Dutch is also in it.
The Dutch Insurance company Unive announced in a press release in October 2016 to start experimenting with ChatBots in their customer service. The experiment will take 10 weeks and will be available on their website and in Messenger. Unfortunately I can’t find any example anymore so maybe the pilot didn’t fullfill the wishes yet. The press release is in Dutch.
The Dutch webshop van Mediamarkt announced in November 2016 to start a pilot to improve the customer experience (see article in Dutch: Media Markt test chatbot in winkel en online.
Unfortunately I can’t find the bot in their customer service. Also on Messenger it looks like it is a live chat, so not automated.
A ChatBot that helps you to find the right train for the Dutch railroad. I don’t think it is supported by the NS (Dutch Railroad Company) but it works well for the task it should work.
Mr More (Telenet)
In Belgium the chatbot Mr More is developed for Telenet and it will help you to choose a movie or a series. After a short test it looks like it is more a choice menu (luckily with buttons and not numbers) then an interactive chatbot that understands the Dutch language. Anyway it seems to make to nice recommendations and is easy to use in Messenger.
Bookkeeping app: Informer via Messenger
Not possible to test but Informer writes on its website (Dutch) that they are the first bookkeeping program in the Netherlands in which you can chat with your bookkeeping via Messenger and Telegram. You can ask for report data, send invoices and get notifications. On Emerce there is a post in Dutch about the bookkeeping ChatBot.
Bol.com klantenservice (bol.com-bot Billie)
Bol.com has experience with ChatBots since 2008. The bot was called Billie (in Dutch) and launched on Windows Live Messenger. The newest version of Billie is live since beginning of 2016 (in Dutch). Bol.com mentioned that now the bot is only used for client service but in future it also maybe used for commercial activities.
I tested the bot but it has some problems with understanding my questions, as it expects all the time that I was looking for information about a book (in stead of typical client service questions).
From far before the ChatBothype of 2016, Sense launched a chatbot in 2014 for all your questions about Sexually Transmitted Diseases. The idea is quiet nice as probably anonymity is important for the users. However the user experience feels like call menu from a bank. The question is then if a “traditional” website with smart navigation or better question answer search engine would not give a better user experience.
Also this ChatBot was launched just before Facebook created the hype in April 2016. Timing pioneered with a chatbot already in 2007, by using the MSN (for the younger people this was the messenger of Microsoft). The ChatBot on the website is launched January 2016 and has the user experience of a call menu from a bank. On the other side, I can imagine that there are users who prefer this user experience over a heavy navigation menu.
Joboti seems to be very promising for recruitment. The bot promises to creats conversational interfaces for personalised candidate experience and employee engagement. Seems to be a very good idea but also here is not test available and in Messenger there is no reaction, so assume the bot is sleeping at moment.
Summarized Dutch speaking chatbots are coming too but there is some work to do, as most of them are not available yet. Let’s hope in 2017 it will be growing…