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A chatbot.... and his name is Paddy Power!

Thursday, Jun 1, 2017 13:59

Chatbots have been on the rise for numerous years. In essence, a chatbot is a computer program that conducts a conversation with people. Paddy Power may be the first within the gambling industry to introduce chatbots, but the company is only leading the way within its industry. Fashion companies have been experimenting with the technology for numerous years and have managed to successfully automate customer service.

Hello Computer, can you help me?


There are many ways in which chatbots can be useful to customers. When it comes to fashion, chatbots can take orders, initiate returns or provide advice. To get chatting to Paddy Power's chatbot, customers need to be on Facebook (and who isn't these days?!).

Once they are connected to Facebook, they can open messenger and compose a message to the Paddy Power chatbot. Customers can check their balances, they can place wagers and even receive personalised sporting updates.

“Nearly all of Paddy Power’s customers are on Facebook, and now they can actually place a bet through the Facebook Messenger app with ease. Our customers will be able to request odds and receive push notifications tailored to their own betting interests, plus enjoy a daily serving of Paddy Power mischief and entertainment," commented Michael Healy, Product Director at Paddy Power.

Trust the Computer


In light of recent hack attacks throughout the world, some readers may be less than convinced of the Paddy Power chatbot. However, this chatbot couldn't be any safer.

Most notably, the chatbot is hosted on Facebook which is a highly secure site. Furthermore, Paddy Power - in spite of its technology expertise - has teamed up with an industry expert; namely, Onionsack .

Onionsack is an Irish software company that has provided SMS text betting and other technology solutions for gaming and betting operators. As technology messaging leader within the global sports betting industry, it was only a matter of time before the company expanded into chatbot solutions.
“Our innovative transactional bot allows exactly that, providing punters with an even easier way of betting through instant messaging. We expect more bookmakers to launch their chatbots in the near future, as it provides a simple and more personalised way of betting," commented Jonathan Power, CEO of Onionsack.

Room for growth


As usual, Paddy Power is ahead of the curve. However, as Jonathan Power pointed out, we can expect that many bookmakers will follow suit and introduce their own messaging solutions.

Some observers are concerned that chatbot technology will result in fewer customer service jobs. This is a somewhat skewed analysis; it is likely that in the future, different skills will be required. With every technological advancement, just as many new jobs are created as old jobs made redundant. What was once, a single shop assistant in a Paddy Power outlet on Henry Street is now hundreds of software developers, technology support staff, facilities managers and other office workers. In fact, the Paddy Power workforce has grown with technological advancement.