Are chatbots the new thing in technical documentation?

Across industries, Chatbots are sprouting from corporate websites like daisies in spring. But are they really helping to engage customers? Or are they merely a source of frustration or even ridicule?

Text by Ekaterina Mitova


Image: © BraunS/

Chatbot development has occupied many industry publications and events. Our documentation team at SAP recently decided to give it a try and develop a chatbot as part of our software documentation. The aim was to test how users would react to a chatbot in our documentation, find out if they would use it at all, and see if it would make sense to create a more complex documentation digital assistant. What would be the value of having a chatbot? Would it be difficult to build and maintain?

Contrary to the common perception, it is not necessary to use Artificial Intelligence (AI) in your chatbot, at least not at the beginning. Building a prototype chatbot requires coding skills in English and a lot of manual work. Most probably, AI will become inevitable further down the road, but this is a long way off, and it’s better to start with something simpler and easier to test.

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