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Interactive Agents;: A value adding service?
Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Business Informatics.
Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Business Informatics.
2008 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Magister), 10 points / 15 hpStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

 “Just as the consumer is becoming more intelligent, the company in parallel should become more intelligent about the customer” (Raisch, 2000, p.4).

Internet has become a huge marketplace and to stay competitive in this growing marketplace, companies must improve the way they interact with their customers (Rayport & Jaworski, 2005). As the amount of information online is rapidly growing, customers are becoming more intelligent. Intelligence that in turn makes them more powerful as they with high knowledge becomes high involvement purchasers, which is the opposite to what companies desire. Moreover customers are no longer satisfied with rewards like “bonus-points” or “take three pay for two” campaigns (Kalkota & Robinson 1999). Today’s customers want to be treated individual, they want to feel special, want to feel that the company really take care for them (Newell 2000).

The aim with this thesis is to explain how Interactive Agents (IA) as a concept can help companies to attract and retain customers. To do so, we first need to describe what that concept consists of.

IA:s can be described as “robots” chatting with the user/customer. They often take graphical form and works with a large knowledgebase that help them deliver the answer a user asks for. The agent is designed to serve customers 24/7 and can, to the opposite of a human, handle more than one case at time. The significant difference between a search-engine and an IA is the technology that allows users to use natural sentences to communicate with the agent instead of only using keywords. 

Our findings, that take ground in a literature study followed by an interview with one of the big developers of AI in Sweden, indicates that IA:s could provide companies with an additional value over money savings, which is the main reason according to developers to invest in IA:s. As we can see, two different types of benefits, technical and commercial, can be generated by implementing an IA in an organization. Technical benefits are generated directly from the technology, i.e. make the access to information less complicated and increased knowledge about customers. Commercial benefits are generated as a result of applying this technology and if experienced to a satisfactory level by its target-group, it can generate some commercial benefits, such as goodwill and brand mediation.

We would like to conclude our findings to say that IA will be able to generate some value for the system-user and the end-user. However, we believe that to create a value of significance, there are still requirements (see conclusions) that need to be carried out, where the most important part would be interaction with other systems.

 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. , 45 p.
Keyword
Relationship marketing, customer relationship management, interactive agents
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-6633OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-6633DiVA: diva2:113740
Presentation
(English)
Uppsok

Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2008-11-07 Created: 2008-10-27 Last updated: 2008-11-07Bibliographically approved

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