Public Mobile updates its chatbot

A design change to the SIMon platform aims to make it a more effective customer service tool.

Public Mobile has tweaked SIMon, the telco’s customer service chatbot, to be a more efficient information source for customers.

As part of a design update announced this week, the chatbot interface now includes dozens of new buttons meant to help users find the information and answers they are looking for more quickly. This eliminates the need for customers to manually type out their questions and risk asking something SIMon doesn’t understand or can’t answer (although manual typing remains an option). The brand has also added more questions to SIMon to create a more comprehensive database.

By leaning more heavily on a menu-style interface, Public is going in a different direction from what many leaders in AI development – such as Google and Amazon – are doing to make chatbots and personal assistants better at understanding natural language. Those companies have instead been investing heavily in natural language processing and other features that make interacting with AI assistants more conversational and in-tune with the nuances and contexts in which people speak.

As the “phone company without a phone number” – one of many costs the carrier talked about cutting in a 2017 brand campaign – the SIMon chatbot has become one of the main touchpoints for Public customers looking for help and support.