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David Marcus, Facebook VP for messaging products. Photo by Bloomberg.
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Bots and Humans Strain to Get Along on Messenger, Twitter

Photo: David Marcus, Facebook VP for messaging products. Photo by Bloomberg.

When customers started chatting with 1-800-Flowers.com on Facebook Messenger in recent months, they often received two different kinds of responses in the same thread.

One would be an automated response run by a bot company that can serve up flower orders in a few taps. The other response would be from a human agent that signed his or her name, using live chat enterprise software. The two systems created confusion for customers at times. Humans trying to answer questions and bots trying to sell flowers “kept stepping on one another,” said Jon Mandell, vice president of marketing and customer experience for 1-800-Flowers.

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