HOW-6-INNOVATIVE-BRANDS-USE-CHATBOTS-EFFECTIVELY

How 6 Innovative Brands Use Chatbots Effectively

Chatbots have become a necessity for businesses these days. Not only do chatbots improve customer engagement, but they

Chatbots are computer programs that can conduct a conversation intelligently without the need for human intervention. Businesses make use of chatbots to automate customer service for ensuring quick and consistent replies to their customers. A Gartner report suggests that 85% of all the customer service interactions will be powered by chatbots by 2020. Chatbots are not just for providing customer service, but they can also be used for marketing and after-sales support. Moreover, this new technology is evolving and innovating how businesses interact with their customers. These days, brands are utilizing chatbots in a number of different ways. From ordering food to recommending products, these highly powerful chatbots are capable of automating a number of business processes.

So, which brands are making use of chatbots in the most effective manner?

We look at 6 innovative brands that are using chatbots effectively in this article.

#1 Spotify

Spotify is a service for digital music that aims to provide access to millions of songs. Their chatbot assists the users on how to make a playlist from Facebook directly. The smart robot questions you about some more details of your music preferences, and then it recommends songs for your playlist according to your activities, interests, the genre you like, and your mood.

The Spotify chatbot now enables you to use the Facebook’s ubiquitous messaging app for finding and searching your favourite music. The company has recently launched a chatbot for Facebook Messenger through which people can search and share music. The technology makes use of Facebook chat extensions to provide music suggestions, search tools, and sharing functionality. Users can send 30-second audios to their friends on Messenger via the chatbot as well. You can listen to the audio clip from within the app, or you can open the full song in Spotify’s app.

Furthermore, the chatbot also allows you to search the Spotify’s catalogue. From the catalogue, you can send albums, songs, and playlists to your friends online in your chat. Earlier, the users could paste Spotify links in their Messenger chat which would include an album or song title, or a thumbnail. However, now the new 30-second clip features give a whole different experience.

The chatbot can be launched by clicking on the blue ‘+’ icon on the left side of the Messenger chat. When you tap on Spotify, you will see a new window where you can search for the music you want to send to your friends.

#2 Uber

The Uber chatbot allows its users to sign up for Uber with just a click. Using the Uber chatbot, customers can book a ride on Messenger without downloading the Uber app. The chatbot is powered by Uber’s API. For viewing receipts and updates of rides, you can view a private chat with Uber on Messenger. This feature provides a lot of convenience for tracking payment and ride history. The Uber chatbot on Facebook Messenger includes the following features:

  • The ability to share details of your current Uber trip with your friends on Messenger for tracking.
  • Send a location on Messenger, and your friend can book a ride for that destination just by tapping on the address.
  • Request your Uber in a Messenger group-chat as well. This allows your friends to know when you will reach a particular point.

These features for viewing, requesting, and paying for your Uber ride through Messenger make the entire process of taking a ride as easy as sending a message. Just recently, the chatbot service has been extended to Slack and Telegram as well.

#3 Emirates Vacations

The team of tour operations of Emirates Airlines has recently adopted a new strategy, which is, integrating an AI-powered bot in their online advertisements. The purpose of these ads is to enable users to ask trip and travel queries. These queries are then answered immediately from within the ad itself. According to the company, they can also break down additional frictional points by using artificial intelligence in searches. The chatbot makes efficient use of Emirates Vacations’ inventory, the content on relevant sites, and the questions asked on them to recommend vacations packages and destinations to the users.

For instance, if an ad of Emirates Vacations is shown on an article that talks about Singapore, then the ad will understand that and accordingly provoke the user to think about some vacations in Singapore. Additionally, if Emirates Vacations does not have a hotel in a particular city, then the chatbot will not recommend a hotel in that city to any user.

Along with packages and destinations, the chatbot gives suggestions about hotels, third-party reviews, and areas of interest. If a user wishes to make a booking, they can just click the ad. It will redirect the user directly to the bookings page on the Emirates Vacations website. This explains why their ads read, “Explore the world without leaving the page.”

The ads are shown in digital publications that target travellers in multiple markets. These markets currently include Chicago, Seattle, New York, and Los Angeles. However, we will likely see this list grow in the future.

Emirates Vacations also conducted a 30-day test in 2017 for the ad. The test results showed that the engagement of customers who saw the chatbot ad increased by up to 87%.

The company views this as an extension of their website. This is because users are able to search for their products while reading travel articles/blogs, without really going on their site.

#4 Nike

The Nike chatbot will always have something for you on Facebook Messenger. Whether it is a new gear for your office or a new workout gear for your next summer trip. Nike’s bold new chatbot, Stylebot, is designed to help users style outfits or create magic. Users have the choice to either create a custom sneaker or choose from available styles. There are shoes available for the sporty girl, the working girl, and many more styles for each genre. You can read more about any outfit you like on Nike’s website. If you do not like one, you can always browse through others. Designed to specifically target women, the style option makes it very easy and quick to browse through Nike’s collection.

However, the custom-sneaker-creation remains the most interesting feature of the bot. It requires you to only upload an image of your choice of sneakers and choose a corresponding colour theme from the NIKEiD 24-color spectrum. This feature feels more unisex to the users as compared to the style one. The chatbot gives you an Air Max 90 to match whether it’s a painting, landscape, or any other picture. This option in the Nike chatbot is a perfect example of product personalization according to customer preferences. The customers try out different options on their own to see what they like. After this, they can finally place an order for the shoes.

#5 Kiehl’s

Kiehl’s is a 116-year-old cosmetics brand that has just recently launched its first bot on the Facebook messenger app. The bot offers its users access to a variety of services such as a recommendation engine, searching organized according to product type and skin concerns, and customer services and more. After selecting their desired products, users can purchase the products they have selected on spot.

Similar to other bots, the personalization aspect of the bot is crucial especially when it comes to the cosmetics industry particularly skin care. Kiehl’s boasts a wide variety of products choosing from which can be a daunting task for most inexperienced consumers. The bot simplifies the selection process and makes the experience a lot more welcoming. One rather interesting thing to note is that the bot allows its users to identify their gender as “other” rather than traditional gender identities. Brands that are as old as Kiehl’s rarely adopt this sort of consideration.

The chatbot is a sign of relief for customers that don’t want to drive all the way out to their nearest mall and find a Kiehl’s store. The only major concern is of the more traditional-minded customers that prefer being in the store physically to have their sensitive concerns addressed. Kiehl’s Marketing VP explains that the company targets younger audiences using the chatbot. It is an effort by Kiehl’s to increase their customer base. Kiehl’s bot is particularly for the younger audience that is on the Messenger app and just does not have enough time to drive to the store.

The bot has a friendly voice that has an eagerness to please its users. The company also has a quick service menu that allows disgruntled customers to get human help, check orders and request assistance that is a bit more hands on.

#6 McDonald’s

McDonald’s, established in 1940 in America, is a chain of fast food restaurants. The brand has always been a leader in setting trends for the fast food industry. Consequently, it was one of the first in the industry to adopt the new chatbot technology. Facebook Messenger is the platform that McDonald’s has used for its chatbot.

You can start conversing with the chatbot by simply typing ‘Get Started’. The chatbot then automatically responds back with the latest deals and offers. From there you can ask the chatbot for the menu or place an order. The chatbot is quite user-friendly, and it guides you through the order process seamlessly. From within the chatbot, you can place an order, change an order already in place, or view your cart to find out the items that you have already added. Furthermore, you can ask the chatbot for the status of your order as well for further convenience.

Though it does not have a recommendation system, the McDonald’s chatbot is still competent. It streamlines the process of placing an order. This makes it very easy and convenient for customers to interact with the brand. Customers do not have to manually place the order through the website or wait for long queues on telephone calls to place their order.

McDonald's-chatbots

To Sum Up

Chatbots have become a necessity for businesses these days. Not only do chatbots improve customer engagement, but they are a one-time investment that cut down costs and ensure reliability. As we have seen in this article, chatbots can serve a variety of purposes for a brand. From providing customers with information to making recommendations and taking orders, chatbots are capable of performing just about any customer services and marketing task for a business. In addition to this, these chatbots can also be integrated into Facebook chats as well for quicker access and higher conversion. The concept of automated chatbots has been around for quite some time – think of Siri and Google Assistant. However, these chatbots have become highly accessible (and affordable) in recent times only. This is the reason we see an increasing number of brands deploying their very own chatbots for boosting sales, improving customer service, and generating revenue.

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About John Kopanakis

John is a co-founder of Mentionlytics supervising Business Development and Business Processes. He is a Professor of Business Intelligence with interests in Data Analytics and Innovation.