Based on a talk of:
Dennis Peeters (Master Botmaker @ Botbakery, House of Marketing)
Maarten Verschuere (Founder & CEO @ Clever)
Chatbots have been a hot topic with marketing initially focused on applications of it in customer service. The main goal or wish was to replace people with chatbots that would help solve issues and answer questions from customers. For instance, the chatbot for BD-MyShopi helped customers to find the right Valentines gift for their partner. However, despite the MyShopi chatbot being a relative success, customer service chatbots in general were failing: They couldn’t deliver the same service as human interaction could. Consequently, marketers took a step back and thought about their core business as marketeers: Increasing the customer experience throughout the entire customer cycle, from awareness to trial, loyalty and advocacy of the brand. Customers need and expect a positive and impactful experience in every stage and this both on- and offline. At the moment however, only 20% of marketers believe their company offers a seamless on- and offline customer experience.
To help create and uplift this experience, chatbots come into play and can help many brands succeed in what they are currently failing at: Offering their customers a true and seamless experience. For example, Ontex created an anonymous chatbot that would answer potential customers’ questions about their product to help with urine loss. A very sensitive topic to discuss with a real person, but chatbots proved to be a perfect solution! Chatbots have also been applied in the HR sector for Vacature. Imagine searching for a job on their website. In doing so, you are immediately required to add jobs that might interest you, based on key words that you yourself have to define upfront. However, many people have no idea what job would suit them, or are open for change. Machine learning can define and determine other jobs that you might find interesting, but did not think of yourself. These other jobs were presented to them by means of a chatbot. Visitors on the website trusted this chatbot enough to even upload their resume to it!
Chatbots can also be a solution to further uplift the mobile experience and increase conversion rate of actually purchasing on a website with a smartphone. If is often wrongly assumed that a mobile user has the same expectations as a desktop/laptop user with respect to how a website should look like. This assumption has been proven wrong: Mobile users are more accustomed to a chatting/texting context and this is also what they implicitly expect when visiting a website on their mobile.
By including a chatbot trying to convince a visitor to purchase on the website, marketers are directly targeting potential customers in a way that is more natural for them when using their smartphone. A chatbot is very similar to texting, which research has proven is what people are doing half of the time in one way or another when on their phone. In addition, keeping consumers on the same platform appears to be vital: Do not lead them away from the initial website they chose, but make it instead possible to perform all actions on this initial platform, from purchase to actual payment. As long as focus remains on the customer experience, the customer will keep on rewarding brands and companies!
Extending and uplifting the customer experience should also be one of the aspirations of market research. There are several core points that will determine whether the application of AI and bots in research will fail or succeed. It is important to realize that market researchers will not be replaced by bots or artificial intelligence anytime soon. However, in an era where more and more participants are filling in the survey on their smartphone, the mobile experience needs to be top notch. Hence, market researchers need to reduce the length of their survey using AI to define the relevant items that need to be asked and exclude all the rest. Research has also shown that using a chatbot that asks the questions leads to a higher completion rate! Again, it is essential to keep participants on the same platform, for instance when they need to evaluate a website. By using a chatbot survey, participants are kept in their initial comfortable environment. Additionally, using natural language processing can help to code open answers automatically with both a higher speed and a higher quality.
Not only participants that are surveyed in market research can benefit from using chatbots, also the customer experience of the end clients for who the research is done can be uplifted by using chatbots. Replacing Powerpoint reports with chatbots is already done. For example, Galvin is a chatbot from Insites that puts consumer insights right in your end client’s pocket by allowing every employee within an organization to chat with a bot that can answer all their consumer questions.
What do you think of Artificial Intelligence and chatbots? Are they here to stay or will they be reduced to merely a hype? The visitors of the Cube launch event at least think that chatbot surveys will become the new standard! You can find the presentations here & here.