Small talk with a bot

Small talk with a bot

The business world has opened to artificial intelligence. On the one hand, it’s fascinating to look at how quickly applications simulating conversations with real people develop, on the other, questions and speculations about where the rapid development of AI will lead humankind seem to have no end. However, more and more companies decide to make friends with a virtual assistant and gain a lot from this relationship.

  • Ewa Guzek
  • 17.04.2020
  • 4 minutes

Chatbots operate in a messenger environment and are used in applications such as Facebook Messenger, Slack, WhatsApp, Skype or WeChat Messenger. They are also more and more common on websites as additions to traditional chat. Voicebots, that is, voice assistants, have been gaining in popularity since Siri and Google Now were introduced. Voicebots have also started commonly be used in helplines of many brands as a way to automate and optimize customer service costs.

From zero to hero

In order for the bot to work efficiently and be a tool that will not only affect the level of communication with the customer, but also increase sales, it is worth planning to implement it as part of a multi-stage, well-thought-out process.
First of all, you should start by preparing a communication strategy. You need to first ask yourself what content you want to convey with the help of a virtual assistant. Be it a piece of advice on the assortment, links to useful articles uploaded on a website, survey or competition management, the possibilities offered by bots are near endless. However, remember that the speed of providing information is key, therefore define the main goal of your chatbot and design it so that the user doesn’t have to make an effort to reach it.

green chat icon on a yellow filed

Photo by Volodymyr Hryshchenko, Unsplash

Next, design the bot’s personality. It must be consistent with the language of communication of your brand. For example, if you run a clothing brand targeted at generation Z, keep your tone light, introduce some fun content and teen slang. Young people like to provoke bots, so the more creative and brilliant their responses are, the higher the brand will be rated.
The next step is to create a database of possible conversation scenarios with clients. Consumer insights and consultations with the customer service department, which is the first line of direct contact with the brand recipient, will be useful. First of all, in addition to knowledge about your products or services, the bot should assimilate information from a database regarding the natural way of conducting interpersonal conversations. This way, it will be able to give a natural response to a greeting, a farewell or a thank you, and even crack a joke. It has been proven that a user who received a solution to the provided problem during a conversation with a bot, and at the same time had a great time and liked the bot of a given brand, was considerably more inclined to return to it.

a chat on a screen

Photo by Austin Distel, Unsplash

How to promote a bot?

Apart from a website and application, a traditional chatbot or voicebot is another channel used to reach clients. Users make use of various types of messengers, therefore brands who want to employ a new point of contact with the recipient of products and services, decide to implement a virtual assistant. Unfortunately, they often make a basic mistake – they forget to inform their customers about it. From the marketing point of view, in order to monetize the chatbot implemented in the project, e.g. from the e-commerce industry, it is worth organizing at least a small campaign that will explain the new functionalities created under the brand. A good example can be Booking.com, which, after the introduction of the virtual assistant, also launched a video campaign, informing users how to use the bot and what features it offers.

a white robot

Photo by Alex Knight on Unsplash

Although the use of artificial intelligence in sales is gaining popularity, it’s worth remembering that the effectiveness of the bot will also depend on your creativity regarding its use in this area. Customer requirements are constantly growing, and if you add to this the development of technology in the field of AI, you have at your disposal a huge potential that is worth making use of earlier than your competitors.