Botégo: Intelligent Virtual Customer Service Agent

By April 06, 2009 5 comments

Botégo is an intelligent virtual assistant for web customer service, a semantic a virtual chat application that helps users navigate a site while interacting with it in the same way they chat in real-time with a customer-service representative. “Intelligent virtual agents are able to interact intelligently with users, reduce support costs, encourage self-service and customer loyalty, and serve as a branding tool for the enterprise," according to a company press release. "They provide a unique, interactive and personal way for users to get answers and assistance on your website, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.” Botégo is intended to replace live customer support service and FAQ pages. It works just like live chat: type in a question and Botégo tries to answer


“Botégo's smart virtual assistants answer questions and navigate the customer through the website as they do so, making information retrieval faster and more convenient.”

The service is monitored by editors, who add new information to the program, based on user questions it was not able to answer, thus creating an ever-expanding database.

Botégo uses semantic technology to interpret and respond to user queries.

“Botégo uses a proprietary 'pattern matching' algorithm entirely developed by our software team,” according to the company’s site.

It “automatically navigates the user to the relevant page on the website, depending on the topic the question is related to.”

If its algorithms are sophisticated enough, Botégo could significantly reduce site-navigating time. Users might appreciate the novelty of interacting with its AI interface, but it’s the speed, efficiency and intelligence of AI chat that will make or break Botégo.

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Mark, thank you for the article! :)

Submitted by Ekim Nazım Kaya (not verified) - on April 06, 2009 at 10:39 pm

It's nice to see a Turkish internet company article here.

Submitted by Murat Buyurgan (not verified) - on April 06, 2009 at 11:45 pm

You are right to say the success of the system relies on the quality of the algorithm. Providing AI-based virtual support by assembling responses on the fly requires a significant effort in identifying and programming for all possible contexts. As a result, most AI-based Virtual Assistants handle only a small set of tasks (like Botégo).  Furthermore, expanding the range of tasks is limited by the availability of specialist programmers and the knowledge that they can develop and codify.

As a Knowledge Management company, we approached the issue in quite a different way.  Our objective was to enable people with no programming skills, who already have the knowledge in their heads, to create task wizards.  In this way the range of tasks that can be converted quickly to wizards is unlimited.

The resulting product, gStepOne, taps into the existing body of “doing” knowledge – the smartest ways to produce the best outcomes, from billions of web pages (via Google) or directly from people in business, government, clubs, community organisations or individuals. See the press release.

People can create wizards to help deliver a service, manage a loan, sell a house, hire staff, conduct an event, adopt a child, take out insurance, apply for a grant – any task where people need an Assistant to help them do things like an expert, without the expert being there.

They do it by drawing a map of the steps in a task by dragging and dropping shapes onto a page, then linking and naming the steps.  gStepOne Googles the web for supporting “How to” information, training, pictures, videos, maps, blogs, etc. for each step and generates a wizard.  The wizard is then available to guide and support others when they need to do the task.

gStepOne is free and available from  Please check it out! Virtual Assistants will certainly come to pass, but AI-based Assistants, though they play a key role, are only part of a bigger picture.

Submitted by Greg Collette (not verified) - on April 07, 2009 at 02:54 pm

Ekim: You're welcome. Interesting app -- good luck!

Murat: I wish it was an article on Turkey itself, which would mean I've been visited Hagia Sophia and Sultanahmet Camii. (Sorry -- big architecture fan.)

Greg: gStepOne sounds interesting. I can't wait to see what AI is like in five years, if it keeps advancing like it is.

Submitted by Mark Alvarez (not verified) - on April 07, 2009 at 03:14 pm

I am just looking around some pages and see your idea in this article is a pretty attractive platform you are using here. I indeed enjoy it because if more helpful info. Thanks for your article in next time.

Submitted by rjeka hotels (not verified) - on August 07, 2010 at 02:50 pm

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