A chatbot or conversational bot is powered by a set of individual rules and Artificial Intelligence that allows users to communicate in real time via a chat interface. With seamless integration into existing platforms such as Facebook Messenger and Skype, chatbots are leading the charge when it comes to customer interactions helping people do anything from sending money or ordering food to answering customer enquiries.
The Rise and Rise of chatbots
A recent report from Orange Silicon Valley shows that 89% of consumers want to engage in conversation with virtual assistants to quickly find information instead of searching through Web pages or a mobile app. Their popularity can be put down to the simple convenience and immediacy of retrieval of relevant information. We are so thirsty for immediate answers and chatbots fill that void.
Unlike certain social media channels, age is no barrier to the uptake of chatbots with baby boomers aged 55-77 ranking the benefits even higher than Millennials aged 18-34.
Research showed chatbots were preferred over online chat, telephone, social media, apps, web forms or email for answering quick queries. As highlighted in Chatbots Magazine messaging apps have taken the lead from social media in the way we communicate with one another.
“People are now spending more time in messaging apps than in social media and that is a huge turning point. Messaging apps are the platforms of the future and bots will be how their users access all sorts of services.” — Peter Rojas, Entrepreneur in Residence at Betaworks
So for those businesses looking to capitalise on where their consumers are spending their time, new technologies like chatbots are the current big thing. David Marcus, Facebook’s vice president of messaging products said chatbots today offer a more comprehensive user experience, giving us more detail and access to information:
“Chatbots today are a complex and refined experience which has not only conversational elements, but has buttons, images, videos, leveraged from machine learning and AI.”
The Benefits speak for themselves…
It goes without saying that our desire for instant gratification leads the benefits tally for chatbots. Our desire for immediate information overrides the traditional desires for a good customer experience with the common themes of instant service, speed and convenience dominating customer service oriented benefits. This is not to say a good customer experience isn’t valued and required, just that this is provided naturally through quick and efficient, automated service.
So when looking to build your chatbot, what are the 3 key things you need to consider before you embark on your first AI experience?
1. What problem are you trying to solve?
This is the vital first question you need to answer before you even think about designing your bot. What do you actually want your bot to achieve? Is it to assist in purchasing a product or is it to answer a customer service enquiry or complaint or to advise people of the weather outside? Whatever your business goals are will determine the type of bot you are going to build.
2. What do your customers want?
As noted by Facebook, “Bots make it possible for you to be more personal, more proactive, and more streamlined in the way that you interact with people.” However it is important to note that the key to ensuring repeat visitation and engagement with your consumers is to create intuitive and seamless bot interactions. This will mean the investment of time into researching, analysing, crafting and testing your bot responses based upon the most common online enquiries your business receives.
Utilising A/B testing techniques with your bot responses will give you good standards to compare to ensure your bot is performing the functions your end users desire.
3. What does success look like to you and your users?
The success of your bot depends on what your users initiated the bot communication for. If your bot is an online sales assistant and a sale was made – then it was successful. If your bot is designed to give individual information, then a positive user feedback translates to success. Bots are designed to give immediate feedback to the bot owner which allows you to evaluate the effectiveness of your bot and the end user experience.
Chatbots in action….
With bots on the rise, here are some great bots already making waves…
- MyKai is a banking bot by Kasisto that works with banks across the world, designed to help users manage their finances.
- Trabble is a free 24/7 travel app that provides an online personal concierge service to users, giving recommendations for their travel based on their own individual preferences. Currently operating in Singapore with Tokyo on the way.
- U Report allows anyone from anywhere in the world to respond to polls, report issues, support child rights and work as positive agents of change on behalf of people in their country.
With the application of the technology still in its infancy there are many opportunities for utilising chatbots to enhance the customer journey. Contact our team to find out how Adrenalin can help you to develop your next bot.