Chatbots against Corona - Getting the right information as easy as possible

The pandemic around the Corona virus (COVID-19) is taking many people with it. For some time now, new measures have been published almost daily by the federal government. Most people find it difficult to keep an overview of the current situation. People ask themselves questions like: What is still allowed? When will fines be imposed? Is there enough toilet paper? Such questions are the result of uncertainty and information overload in some media. However, this can be counteracted with a clear and reliable delivery of information. If the population has the possibility to always be informed about the current situation in a direct way, both hoarding could be prevented and more security could be created.

Virtual helpers and their potential in times of crisis

This is where the great potential of virtual helpers such as chatbots or voice assistants becomes particularly apparent. At the moment, there are many service teams in companies, but also crisis teams in organisations, that have to deal with numerous requests via email or telephone and are heavily overloaded. The use of chatbots or voice assistants can relieve the teams and at the same time guarantee continuous accessibility.

The city of Würzburg relies on the new technology Chatbots

The crisis teams of the City of Würzburg, IHK Würzburg-Schweinfurt and Region Mainfranken GmbH have recognised the great enrichment and can now enjoy a Corona info service. This virtual helper runs on the websites in the first step and answers questions 24/7 about the effects of the Corona virus.

Questions like:

  • "Can I still visit my parents at the nursing home?" 
  • "Is the DM still open?" 
  • "Is the garbage still being picked up?" 

are answered quickly and reliably.

On the Conversational Middleware Platform BOTfriends X this project was developed within a few days. The big advantage is that the experts have the possibility to independently adapt the content of the chatbot and keep the information up to date. This is essential considering the fast-moving decisions that are made by the government and the associated impact on our daily lives. In the next step, the chatbot will also be integrated on messaging platforms such as Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp to enable even more people to get information efficiently. There are also plans to integrate this bot into a telephone solution in order to provide automated answers via a hotline to the population without direct access to the Internet.

Learn more about how Conversational AI can be used in crisis communications in our webinar:

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