Chatbots disruptive technology in a business model
In our last post we showed how simply implementing disruptive technology in a business model is not enough to get most benefits out of it. There has to happen a change in processes to really get the competitive advantage. As with any disruptive technology, implementing chatbots also require to rethink and redesign how the business (that segment) operates. Creativity and organization redesigns being crucial to investments in digital technology.
Erik Brynjolfsson and Lorin M. Hitt in Computing Productivity: Firm-Level Evidence have explored the effect of computerization on productivity and output growth. The findings can be summarized in one simple sentence: “Companies with the biggest IT investments typically made the biggest organizational changes”. Now we are not going to go deep in the details of the paper, however all those investments were made with a lag of five to seven years. Not surprisingly the lags reflected the time that it took for the managers and workers to figure out new ways on how to best use the technology.
How is this relevant for chatbots? Like with any automatization you should not “just” substitute human work with some automated process. You need to restructure the process.
Chatbots for restaurants
Let us consider a simple example of a Chabot that will take bookings for a restaurant. Traditionally you book a table by calling the reservation number and picking the best available timeslot for you.
Now let’s imagine the process of booking a table using a Chabot for restaurants. Do you just request the available time slot from the user and automatically make the reservation? Is there more to it to fully take advantage of the Chatbot technology for the restaurant? We believe there is.
You can use the chatbot to show the available menu to the person, and even let them pre-order certain items. Did you run out of items on the menu? Let your customer know beforehand with a simple automated message. Recent studies show that people check more often their messenger app rather than email.
Use your chatbot to continue keeping in touch with the person that made the reservation (assuming you got the consent beforehand). You can send him latest changes and news from your restaurant.
You can also use your restaurant chatbot to suggest items based on previous reservations. Actually take it to the next level. Use some advance NLP that would have a conversation with you customer, suggesting the item that suits best his needs from the menu.
Did we mention the increasing usage of mobile payments? Well a chatbot can do all that.
The example above is just a very basic interpretation of what benefits a chatbot can bring to a very basic process of booking a table. However, notice that it will not only benefit your business by automation of a reservation, it will allow your business to consider completely new dimensions, all you need is creativity and organization redesigns.