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Alibaba launches customer service chatbot

Anuradha Shukla | April 7, 2017
Aims to help merchants handle growing volumes of consumer enquiries.


Alibaba has launched a smart customer service chatbot called as Dian Xiaomi for retailers.

According to Alizila's report, this application is designed to help merchants efficiently handle growing volumes of consumer enquiries.

Retailers can customise the smart customer service chatbot, powered by artificial intelligence (AI), to suit their individual virtual-storefront operations.

The text-only chatbot was inspired by Ali Xiaomi, an AI-powered chatbot rolled out by Alibaba in 2015 to handle customer enquiries and complaints that are handled by the online retail giant.

"We noticed the pain points suffered by merchants on our platform," said Liu Jianrong, Dian Xiaomi Product Manager, in Alizila's article. "For instance, merchants don't have enough staff to handle enquiries during rush hours in the daytime nor do they have any staff on duty in the evening. When it comes to big promotions like 11.11, they need to hire a large temporary customer-service crew, yet they are still swamped by the overwhelming volume."


Quick to scale

The Dian Xiaomi chatbot can quickly scale to match incoming message volumes. It also has the ability to cut down on training and other call-centre costs in addition to boosting efficiency and the overall customer experience.

This application can be customised by building on its extensive product and customer knowledge base. Merchants can also add information on their own stores, products and promotions.

There are times when Dian Xiaomi will not have all answers to all the questions. When such an instance happens, a dedicated system AI Boost will collect and categorise these questions.

A human "coach" will then intervene by either directing the bot to relevant answers in its knowledge base or by adding appropriate answers to the base.

Dian Xiaomi thus becomes equipped to understand customers' intents and what they want.


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