Superstore and Super Chatbots


I love love love the show Superstore! It’s a lighthearted look into life behind the scenes of a big box store like a Target or Walmart.  I’ll warn you though…If you’re hoping to watch to learn about retail, you have the wrong show. The show itself isn’t so much about the store and the workplace as much as it is about the relationship between the characters.  That works for me, because the characters are where it’s at!


For this week’s podcast, I chose to talk about Glenn, the store manager.  Glenn is an interesting guy in that he is SUPERnice, SUPERreligious, SUPERmodest and SUPERnaive (get the super theme? I’m so clever…) These qualities of Glenn’s are exactly why he needs technology in his life.


In the episode “health fund” we see Glenn struggling to get medical attention for a suspicious mole he has on his (as he calls it) bathing suit area.  His embarrassment over describing the affected region and reluctance to show the mole are causing him great discomfort, but he knows he has to get treatment.  As I was watching this I thought… that guy could really benefit from a chatbot! He could use the anonymous computer bot to describe his symptoms, book an appointment, get some literature to read etc.


Chatbots are gaining popularity in the modern workplace.  They are freeing up human resources that would normally be manning phones.  They can be combined with cognitive and search services to provide accurate information beyond what a human could possibly have memorized. The best thing about chatbots is… they are relatively easy to implement and relatively inexpensive.


I could go on and on about these chatbots, but in the interest of time, I’m just going to point you to a resource to learn how to build them.  This link ( will take you to a class to learn how to build a bot.  The quoted time is 5-6 hours, but you can probably complete the class in 1-2.  Even better than this being an easy process is the fact that you can build these FREE!!!  When you sign up for a free IBM Cloud Lite account, you can use Watson’s conversation service for no charge. IBM will not ask you for a credit card at any point during the sign up process.

Check it out.  Build awesome stuff.  Tweet me with your results. As usual, I can’t wait to see what you build!


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