Chatbot for gossip control

Zsuzsanna Szvetelszky and Laszlo Mezriczky

Launched 13 years ago, it has evolved with the changes in the Hungarian corporate communication culture, and today it provides support for management decisions with increasingly well-known and recognized expertise – we talked to the CEO and senior partner of Ispiro Consulting Ltd. on the occasion of the strategic cooperation agreement with Talk-a-Bot.

Is 13 a lucky number?

László Mezriczky, CEO – It’s a lucky number. My first state exam was on the 13th and since then I’ve noticed that no flower pot falls on my head on the 13th. 13 years is almost two times 7, so it looks like we may pass the critical 7 years for the second time. 13th also means that Isipro Consulting is now the workplace where I have spent most of the time, whereas until now Digital-Compaq-HP had the first place with 12 years.

Where did the company start and where is it now?

L.M. – The company was registered in December 2007, and the motivation was mainly a feeling that perhaps it was time to take what I had learned in the corporate world and apply it on the other side of the table, i.e. the service side. From the beginning, we were thinking in terms of communication, because that’s what I was doing, that’s what I knew something about, and I was looking for partners for this purpose, too. In the beginning, we had advertising campaigns, PR work and even organised events, but then the crisis of 2008 helped us to choose a new direction, the basis of which was our previous acquaintance with Zsuzsa Szvetelszky. We started to work with her on the internal information structures of companies, to analyse and study their formal and informal relationships, and this slowly developed into a direction that we still follow today, which I would briefly summarise as follows: corporate communication as a field of organisational cooperation.

Zsuzsa is a social psychologist and gossip researcher. Am I right in thinking that gossip is a key issue in your cooperation?

Zsuzsa Szvetelszky, senior partner – Indeed, gossip is important, but not exclusively so. Ispiro has provided an excellent framework for understanding the information gathered from the market and the challenges and problems that have been formulated there, and also for realising what an incredibly exciting and largely undeveloped field the corporate internal information relations system is. Laci has a background in corporate management, and my main area of expertise is research, so our conversations and long drives in the countryside eventually led to the development of solutions that really improve the operational efficiency of organisations.

Let’s get back to cooperation with businesses. Why do you focus your solutions on this?

L.M. – We believe that the business formula of one plus one equals more than two. What this means, first and foremost, is that a company is created with the aim of creating value through the collaboration of its employees. This cooperation is embodied in their communication: they exchange information, they help each other, they build on each other’s processes and tasks, where data, information, news, events, feedback are the raw materials. Surprisingly for us too, very few places plan and organise this system consciously. The well-known lean thinking, i.e. the desire to reduce losses, also applies to communication. If communication is unobstructed, fragmentation is eliminated, referrals are eliminated, work communication is kept in channels, there are no misunderstandings, no information is lost, and therefore one less source of loss. And that is a monetary benefit. Not to mention the fact that colleagues are more willing to work in a well-functioning organisation.

Communication tools play an important role in this all.

L.M. – Indeed, and this is where we can make sense of our cooperation with Talk-a-Bot. We understand communication in a triple structure: content, competence, channel. The content is the information to be conveyed, the competence is the understanding of what the target group needs, and the channel is the toolkit, such as your development, CHEQ. The conversations we had with you were also inspired by the realisation that it is difficult to reach employees today without digitalisation, without technology. It also became clear that we can support customers with complete functionality and a quick return on investment if we can implement the chatbot after exploring and analysing the entire communication process and support its use in a sustainable way.