Major companies are using chatbots online to revolutionize customer service. For one, chatbots allow companies to respond to customer concerns more quickly, with more information, that is tailored to that customer’s needs. In most cases, Bots are not meant to replace their human counter-parts; instead, most developers predict that, as AI continues to develop, Bots will help optimize human interactions.
The current development of chatbots can be sorted into a few camps, those designed as Front-end Bots and those designed to be Co-pilot Bots. The latter will become increasingly popular in 2018 as technology continues to develop.
Front-end chatbots text directly to the customer, whether in a dialogue box that’s embedded in a company website, app, or on a third-party site. For instance, most experts predict that in 2018, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp Messenger will be filled with Business-to-Consumer Chatbots by the hundred-thousands.
These Bots can relay instantaneous information to consumers and send them quick links to help them find the right forms, while collecting information for customer service reps. They are also powerful tools for brand storytelling to increase customer engagement. But they lack the facilities of human empathy and problem solving, so more complicated cases must be directed to a customer service agent.
Experts predict Co-pilot Chatbots that will not have direct contact chat contact with the customer, but will work alongside customer service agents to help them to quickly locate the proper information for answering a query. Rather than replacing conversations with customer service agents, these Bots are meant to improve them.
As you consider that place that a chatbot might have in your company, check out some ways that a few very successful companies are using them.
Starbucks Remote Ordering Chatbot
The Starbucks Chabot lives inside the Starbucks app. With the Starbucks Chatbot, users can easily place an order for a drink or pastry, and the Bot will tell them when your order will be ready and exactly how much it will cost. The Bot recognizes voice commands or text messaging, depending on a user’s preference.
Allstate’s Insurance Chatbot
During a crisis of rising calls into the Allstate call centers in 2016, Allstate developed a chatbot virtual assistant called Allstate Business Insurance expert (ABIe). While this Bot can work directly with customers, its main purpose is to speed along interactions between agents and customers as a Co-pilot Chatbot. It helps to quickly retrieve policy information and sales quotes.
Wholefoods Bot and the Sephora Bot
Users can talk to the Wholefoods Bot via Facebook Messenger. This Bot is programmed to help you search for recipes and meal planning ideas. Users can search for recipes based on emojis, and the Bot allows them to filter recipes based on dietary restrictions.
Similarly the Sephora Bot on Kik will help users find makeup tutorials that they can tailor to their own skin-type and shape.
Bots such as those implemented by Wholefoods and Sephora increase customer engagement by offering them easy, trusted sources for implementing the products that they would then buy from these sources.
Uber has a powerfully sophisticated ride locating app that allows users to find their ride, track it, and pay all in one place. But, to make themselves even more competitive in a market flooded with mobile apps, Uber has also developed a Chatbot on Facebook Messenger, Slack, and Telegram. These Bots allow users to sign up for Uber, order a car, get a price estimate, and find driver info without leaving the messaging platform.
Fandango Facebook Messenger Bot
One of the powerful applications of Chatbots on third party messengers is the ability to use these powerful search-oriented resources without having to leave the messenger. Fandango’s chatbot has the ability to conjure movie trailers, show times at local theaters, and allow users to see what’s trending at any given time. This means that users can converse with the Fandango Bot in Facebook Messenger, while also trying to coordinate movie times with their friends in the same messenger.
Fitmeal and Woebot
Fitmeal is a Chatbot on Facebook Messenger that helps users to track and discuss their diet, including caloric intake. Users simply input what they just ate. The Bot replies with a link to a food report and meal history. Fitmeal can also trigger reminders for users that are likely to forget to input their meals.
A similar health-oriented chatbot is Woebot, which uses Facebook messenger and AI to help treat depression via tracking moods and finding patterns to show users how their moods change. Woebot can also send useful videos and tools to aid depressive users, depending on the needs of their current mood.
Disney’s Zootopia Chatbot
This chatbot was developed to engage the younger generation of cell phone users, with dynamic interactive storytelling and AI conversation that helps increase customer engagement and customer retention. The Bot uses a thematic plot that inspires interaction from the young users that are holding a conversation with it. Interactive storytelling is a surefire way to increase engagement, and as an added bonus, Chatbots can be updated with information and cues, so that the story never has to get too stale.
46% of people prefer using an online messenger to email, and 49% would rather message than have a phone conversation with customer service. Furthermore, the time that users spend on messaging platforms is outpacing the time they spend on social media. With long-tail keywords tailoring the online search experience to the customer’s specific questions and needs, the queries that messenger users and potential customers are making to search engines aren’t far from the kinds of questions these users should be asking your chatbot.
The best chatbots are tailored to the company that uses them, so that the information that they ask the customer and the responses that they are able to give are perfectly branded. Many people like to have fun with chatbots, asking them to tell jokes or explain complex paradoxes. Programming some fun and interesting conversational cues and jokes into your otherwise utilitarian chabot is a great recipe for conversion.