Innovation Insights: HOW TO TELL IF AN ORGANIZATION IS READY FOR “CHATBOTS”

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Chatbots are becoming more important and pervasive. Since 2016, there are more than 100,000 chatbots on Facebook Messenger alone – up 233 % from the 30,000 bots on six months after the feature’s launch. Because of the benefits with Chatbots, Enterprise brands are offering conversational interfaces (via voice or text) to customers. Chatbots are an excellent solution for filtering customer service queries for simple answers to improve responsiveness, and for automating internal tasks to better access and organize data.

Chatbots are highly effective whey they can personalize the User Experience. Almost 60% of people say they’re “more likely” to buy from a brand that “recognizes them by name.” Even more become annoyed at any irrelevant content or blasts that isn’t personalized. The obvious strategy, of course, is to ensure user and conversation flows between a customer and a chatbot are highly attuned to personalization: recall of any past purchase history, offers based on purchases and customer success avenues to support your customer in using your product, or engaging in responsive feedback. But there are key determinants to mark prior to moving forward with a chatbot strategy for your business. If you have these fundamentals in place, you’ll have clarity that your customers are ready to engage with your organization’s chatbot:

1. Do You Have a Defined International vs. National Market Engagement ?

Asian consumers are currently much more likely to engage with and enjoy chatbot interactions. In fact, conversations in China average 23 conversations per session for their popular chatbot, Xiaoice. Compare that with the an average of 2 (CPS) normally and it’s an easy tell that market location is a clear indicator for a higher level of engagement.

Strategy : Global brands can employ a regional strategy to test market interactions. Target regional ads, segment social media by location to better personalize both your product benefits and cultural cohesiveness; national and international product pages for Facebook are a normal segmentation for many companies and an excellent way to test chatbot engagement.

For companies that market nationally: understand your customer’s most prevalent patterns of engagement and where chatbot interaction isn’t just a benefit it’s “the” best tool for customer satisfaction.

2. Are You Using the Right Analytics to Determine Customer Patterns of Engagement ?

Currently, any channel your customers use you can provide them with a chatbot experience. That’s both a fantastic opportunity and a recipe for misapplication?—?and missed opportunity. You may have high engagement on one social channel and it may seem like a good starting point to build out and offer a chatbot.

Strategy : Before moving forward, make sure you’ve audited the following:

• Does engagement here equal conversion ? Engagement has steadily increased on Facebook and it remains as the most engaged with social channel. Determine whether lead generation or direct conversion, where your customers direct click through rates to products and services, result in purchases.

• Are your mobile and desktop engagement unique ? User-behavior can vary widely?—?and by demographics. If your market is Millennial and Gen Z, mobile-specific behavior patterns are crucial to understand and to leverage for wider conversion.

• What is the most compelling reason for engagement (on each channel) ? Are you offering regional promotions, responsiveness in customer service answers or appointment scheduling ? Lead generation with lower levels of direct conversion can be indicative that the right chatbot strategy can increase conversions.

• Know and track your KPIs since Most companies (74 %) that weren’t surpassing revenue goals did not know their visitor, lead or sales opportunities ! With metrics being very important for good decision making, track acquisitions channels to reconcile whether engagement equals conversion and where the highest conversion rates exist.

3. Do They Want to Share, Want to Shop, Want to Inquire ?

If your customers are consistently using one or more channels to shop, share or send inquiries, employing a chatbot can create a greater level of customer satisfaction. Of course, this is broad, and most consumers want to do one or all of these. But if there’s a specific pattern to product ordering, or specific orders, sharing or inquiries, a chatbot is the next step.

Sharing product information or brand promotions and news is an easy task within a messaging app and the social share creates increased buy-in for leads and visitors. Likewise, most consumers say they are likely to make purchases via a chatbot offer or exchange, particularly because this experience can be more personalized and easier to locate products and services especially personalized for each customer. Immediate feedback that’s relevant to a customer query is one of the most obvious reasons to start employing a “chatbot experience” within your customer strategy.

Develop a Chatbot Strategy since not all Chatbots are created equally or have the same impact with users. Work with a Business Innovation Facilitator on Chatbot opportunities and strategy as well as experienced developers to customize a solution that offers the highest level of attention to user and conversation flows. The more attention to detail given to functionality the better customer experience your visitors will have based on –

• Be specific about user needs and conversation flows – since the more your Bot leads a customer through the experience, the better the experience.

• Continue to fine-tune these upon launch.

• Track analytics to create conversion goals and user engagement.

On the whole, consumers are very responsive to quick, easy and rewarding experiences. Because of this and the increasing pervasiveness of mobile, there is a huge opportunity for those that can deliver a personalized User Experience – at scale. Because Chatbots can do this is why they are important – both initially as well as over time with increasingly sophisticated Analytics, AI, Machine Learning, VR, etc. capabilities incorporated into Chatbots. And as this evolution occurs, you have more ways to engage with consumers and more options to evolve the Customer relationship. As we all can appreciate this is critical to increasing stickiness with Customers, greater appeal to attract new Customers, to increase relevance and revenue. Since Chatbots facilitate this occurring, please contact CAIL or a Chatbot supplier if there is an interest in learning more.

Oct 17, 2017 – CAIL – Innovation commentary

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