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Exploring Design Principles for Enterprise Chatbots: An Analytic Hierarchy Process Study

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Abstract

Chatbots have attracted tremendous interest in recent years and are increasingly employed in form of enterprise chatbots (ECBs) (i.e., chatbots used in the explicit context of enterprise systems). Although ECBs substantially differ in their design requirements from, for example, more common and widely deployed customer service chatbots, only few studies exist that specifically investigate and provide guidance for the design of ECBs. To address this emerging gap, we accumulated existing design knowledge from previous studies and created a list of 26 design features (DFs) which we integrated into 6 design principles (DPs). Subsequently, 36 practitioners from an IT consulting company which are experienced in using ECBs evaluated the importance of the DPs and DFs following the Analytic Hierarchy Process method. Our results provide evidence that DPs and DFs promoting usability and flexibility are ranked more important than DPs and DFs promoting socialness and human likeness. These findings provide valuable insights, as they are partially contrary to some existing studies investigating the importance of social cues of chatbots in other domains. Overall, the identified lists of DPs and DFs and their importance rankings provide guidance for the design of ECBs and can serve as a basis for future research projects.

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