It’s been a few months since Facebook introduced Bots for Messenger to make it relatively easy to create a custom chat bot. If you are wondering what an intake chat bot for a law firm might look like, here are two recent examples, from Lawdingo, a lead-generation company, and 1Law, a tech-enabled law firm.
Lawdingo’s Chat Bot
Lawdingo built its own chat bot to capture potential client leads, and it is also working with firms in its referral network to create customized intake chat bots. You can see a demo of one such chat bot in action, but here’s what it looks like:
The obvious question is whether people are really interested in getting legal advice from a law firm Facebook page. Color me dubious. But then, I’m still not convinced law firms should have Facebook pages in the first place.
1Law’s Docubot is now available as a WordPress plugin to handle intake, basic document assembly, and connect potential clients to a lawyer. You can see the plugin in action on 1Law’s TBD Law hackathon demo site, and here’s what the original Docubot looks like on 1Law:
Are Chat Bots Here to Stay?
Chat bots are here. Whether they will stay is a separate question. There’s potential, but at the moment chat bots really aren’t even as capable as, say, Siri on your iPhone when it comes to understanding you. You have to know the right words to get the information you want, which means chat bots sometimes feel more like interacting with a DOS prompt than anything resembling conversation.
But it’s early days. As the technology improves on the back end, the interaction is sure to improve on the front end. Then it remains to be seen whether people will prefer interacting with a bot or a human.