The difference between AI colleagues and chatbots

February 7, 2024
Hans de Penning
mins read

AI chatbots have been an integral part of our digital world for some time now. They have become incredibly popular as a customer service tool, helping businesses to automate repetitive tasks, save costs, and increase efficiency. Organizations use chatbots to provide 24/7 customer support, which enhances user engagement and satisfaction. However, despite their popularity, they are not always reliable. Errors can easily slip through, and human oversight is often limited. At some point, a chatbot from an English postal company even wrote a poem about its own failure when asked by a dissatisfied customer. This example, which presumably kept PR colleagues up at night, highlights the vulnerability of these systems.

This raises the question: what is the alternative? Enter digital colleagues. These advanced virtual co-workers use artificial intelligence technologies such as natural language processing, artificial emotional intelligence, machine learning algorithms, and deep learning to autonomously perform tasks. Think of tasks like scheduling appointments, setting reminders, giving directions, making purchases, and controlling smart devices, but also answering various customer queries. They are also able to seamlessly integrate into the work environment and company culture. For this, they undergo training comparable to that of human colleagues, allowing them to understand the ins and outs of their employer and function as real representatives of the company. Moreover, they speak the language of their employer, making their contact with customers and colleagues more authentic.

Human Touch

Thanks to the aforementioned technologies, AI colleagues make conversations more personal. They remember information about users, such as names and contact details, to personalise interactions. They also understand the context of conversations, enabling them to communicate naturally, just like humans do. A crucial difference from chatbots is that AI colleagues are always moderated. This means that human intervention is necessary to ensure the quality of interactions and to prevent errors. Unlike chatbots, where instructions are given and they execute, the relationship with an AI colleague is much more equal. By using elements of collegial behaviour, a sense of trust and enjoyment is provided to the user. Take, for example, Frits, the AI colleague of the football club PSV, who helps manage fan messages. Frits is able to respond quickly and efficiently to queries, but he is always supported by human oversight.

Valuable Insights

What further distinguishes AI colleagues from standard chatbots is their ability to offer tailored, relevant answers. They understand the company culture and anticipate customer needs, making them not only more reliable but also providing a more personalised experience to customers. In addition, they are trained on large datasets, can identify patterns and relationships from data, and generate meaningful feedback. They also improve their responses as they see more data, making them highly effective in handling complex and dynamic user interactions. Moreover, they can analyse customer contact data and information, something a chatbot cannot do, thus offering valuable insights for various company departments to adapt their strategies to.

More Human and Better Experience

In short, the rise of colleague AI represents a significant step forward for companies striving for an authentic approach to customer service and communication. Through the integration of human input and advanced training methods, AI colleagues offer companies the ability to communicate with customers in an effective way and to collect and analyse important data. Additionally, AI colleagues actively contribute to accelerating and improving the quality of work processes. Moreover, they are willing to learn and actively seek advice or feedback. This not only increases productivity but also creates a dynamic learning environment where growth is mutual, resulting in increased customer satisfaction and operational efficiency. With AI colleagues, customer service is transformed into an environment that is more human and provides a better experience for both customers and customer service employees and the company itself. AI colleagues create a user experience where efficiency and enjoyment come together, thanks to a touch of personality and a sense of camaraderie.

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