Are chatbots one-trick ponies?

Yes, yes there are.

And that is exactly how they should be.

When we talk about optimising a web page the discussion includes things like focus the content on one topic, remove distractions, and have a single call to action. Web pages are one-trick ponies and that is exactly how they should be.

A chatbot is simply a conventional interface for surfacing organisational knowledge, in much the same way a web page does in more of a static document form. Chatbots work particularly well when the user’s question or job to be done is too complex to be answered by the content on a web page as chatbots are able to guide the user towards the answer and check understanding in a way that web pages can’t. The more focused a chatbot is on helping the user answer their question, the better service it is providing.

To criticise a chatbot for being too focused misses this point.