We’ve all read those fear-mongering headlines – “Robots will take all our jobs by 2030!” Doesn’t sound too comforting, does it? However, we’re confident the human race hasn’t turned obsolete just yet. In fact, we believe humans and robots can work in collaboration.
We want to talk about how to use ChatBots as a 'first response unit' for your business, acting as a first point of contact and providing instant gratification to simple needs. Interested?
Dr. Robot will see you now
In a recent IT Pro article, The Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) dismissed claims that a ChatBot can diagnose medical conditions as accurately as a GP.
Babylon Health’s newly-unveiled ChatBot can communicate with patients via an app and offer health advice. The company claims their creation has achieved medical exam scores of the same level or higher than a human doctor, but this has been disputed by the RCGP.
"No app or algorithm will be able to do what a GP does," argued Professor Martin Marshall, vice chair of the RCGP. He explained that while an app may be able to pass an automated clinical knowledge test, real life clinical scenarios don't always have ‘cut and dry’ answers.
So don’t worry – it seems unlikely we’ll be replacing doctors with ChatBots any time soon.
ChatBots can play a supporting role
"The potential of technology to support doctors to deliver the best possible patient care is fantastic,” Marshall explains.
“But at the end of the day, computers are computers, and GPs are highly-trained medical professionals; the two can't be compared and the former may support but will never replace the latter."
Fair enough, I think. Ali Parsa, Babylon's founder and CEO, also suggested that the results proved AI can play a supporting role in the healthcare sector. Not leading – supporting.
I don’t think anybody expects a ChatBot to cure cancer. However, its potential for booking and confirming oncology appointments, for instance, or sharing hospital directions with patients, could still play an important resource-saving role within a ‘bigger picture’ scenario.
How to use ChatBots to benefit your staff
Consider all those monotonous tasks that are likely to occur every day in a doctor’s surgery - collecting patient information, providing directions to relevant services, informing patients of opening hours and appointment times. Are these tasks vital? Yes. Are they boring and repetitive for time-poor staff? Also yes.
We already know ChatBots can take away some of these burdens within marketing departments. Six & Flow use a ChatBot on our own website, for instance, which can welcome visitors, direct them to pages of particular interest, collect their contact details and even offer them the ability to book in a call.
We’d never expect a lead to convert to a sale exclusively through our ChatBot though. As great as the Flobot is, we know that a human touch is still a very essential part of marketing. Little Flobot just helps to take care of the first step in a lead’s journey with us.
She (yes, I’ve just decided our ChatBot is a girl) is awake at any time, in any timezone, and she’s never unavailable, in a meeting or on lunch. She can talk to multiple people at once, and never gets bored of repeating our address or phone number for the millionth time. As a result, we can offer website visitors a fantastic service without breaking any labour laws. If Flobot was a real person, I imagine she'd look a bit like this...
Give your ChatBot a little respect
So what do you need to know about your new office assistant? Well, just because she’s a bot, our Flobot still gets plenty of love and attention from our human team.
We recently hosted Driftup events in Manchester in London, speaking with our friends from Drift about the benefits, challenges and limitations posed by ChatBots.
One important point we discussed was that a ChatBot shouldn’t be left completely to its own devices. It doesn’t work as an isolated marketing tool. Instead, you should be constantly assessing and analysing its performance, and optimising as needed.
If you hired a receptionist, but never updated them on new company policies, asked them about common customer concerns or offered them further training, you’d be wrong to expect them to do a good job. The same logic applies when you're considering how to use your ChatBot.
Want to know more? Download our helpful guide or get in touch for a chat - we're all ears.