“Before being a part of the BotXO team, I wrote my master thesis about how to strengthen the Customer Relationship with a Chatbot”
The IT-University of Copenhagen really liked my thesis and asked me and nine other selected thesis writers to present our results at Thesis Talks. Curios what it entailed? Read below and watch a video from the presentation.
Missing knowledge within the field
My interest within chatbots started, as I had read a lot of articles saying how amazing the technology was, and I had also read quotes from Satya Nadella and Mark Zuckerberg, whom both believe that the technology is going to revolutionize the way we communicate with businesses.
That really excited me, and I immediately went looking for chatbots to interact with, only to realise that while chatbots sound great on paper, chatbots are kind of annoying within an interaction.
The reason there was a contrast between the hype in the tech industry and my user experience is that the articles I had read were all from companies trying to sell their product – a chatbot – and they would therefore only highlight the positive aspects of chatbots and not necessarily the negative.
I therefore dived into the academic field of chatbots to see if anyone had tried to figure out what a good User Experience with a chatbot is, yet most studies focused on the development of the technology and the business aspect of it.
As a Digital Designer I therefore felt the need to explore the territory of improving the user experience, as I believe that no digital product will sustain the test of time if it does not accommodate the users in any way.
My approach to understanding the users
The thing I, as a Digital Designer, view as most important is to understand the user and their priorities. This also meant that my thesis had a huge disclaimer saying, that I would not bring any business aspects into consideration in the thesis. Some might cringe at the thought of a designer that doesn’t want to tie their knowledge to some sort of restrictions in the form of resources, but the truth is; I did interviews with Nordea and the findings from the interviews had already been covered in the academic field. It was therefore not cutting-edge knowledge, and I didn’t feel the need to repeat someone else’s research.
What I also viewed as key was to not just randomly collect people’s opinions about chatbots but look at it in a context. I therefore chose to focus on Nordea, as they were on the brink of implementing their chatbot Nova to the Danish market. I decided to focus Nordea’s customers from the age of 20-65 years of age, as that also covered their customers at different stages in their lives and therefore also had different needs for their relationship to the bank.
Chatbots and User Experience
My methods were to partly do user tests with Nordea’s customers. I looked at both the interaction that happened within the chat, but I also included the informants body language, as that is really telling of a User Experience. The informants got annoyed by the chatbot quite quickly, and they started to shake their heads, roll their eyes and there was even one who stuck out his tongue to the chatbot. The reason was, that the chatbot couldn’t answer most of their inputs.
The informants got annoyed by the chatbot quite quickly, and they started to shake their heads, roll their eyes and there was even one who stuck out his tongue to the chatbot.
I also did focus group interviews to get an understanding of how they felt about Nordea as a company and how they felt about having a chatbot being a part of their relationship to the bank. Most of them didn’t understand the purpose of the chatbot and really appreciated the human contact they had to the bank. Furthermore, the customers were worried that the chatbot would substitute this human contact. However, almost all the informants were also very optimistic about the technology, as they could see the potential for its development. They therefore wanted to use it, but at that time it didn’t meet their needs.
Four ways to strengthen the Customer Relationship
All the above could be boiled down to four main findings that were important for improving the Customer Relationship with a chatbot:
1. The purpose of the chatbot needs to be clearly communicated.
2. The communication in the chatbot should be guiding the user through the process.
3. The content should be personalized.
4. The chatbot should try to accommodate the existing customer relationship.
You can see a presentation of the four findings in the video below:
Strengthening your Customer Relationship with chatbots – Line Juul Norgaard
Hopefully, you thought this was interesting, and if you want to discuss any of my findings, please feel free to reach out via e-mail email@example.com or LinkedIn.