AI bots often referred to as chatbots are great for many different types of businesses, for varying reasons. But one thing they aren’t that great at – yet – is asking and answering the types of deeply personal questions which will elicit the best types of responses to really get to the heart of issues.
Let’s get to the basics. What is a chatbot? “Short for chat robot, a computer program that simulates human conversation, or chat, through artificial intelligence. Typically, a chatbot will communicate with a real person, but applications are being developed in which two chatbots can communicate with each other,” says Webopedia.
Chatbots are often used in ecommerce customer service, call centers, and internet gaming. They are typically restricted in their conversation and language skills, with all their expertise limited to a specific area or purpose. In other words, they aren’t able to converse with people about a range of topics.
Chatbots typically help sales and marketing teams by communicating with customers, answering questions, increasing the possibilities of upsell opportunities and placing orders. They do this by understanding human speech, searching their database for previous responses to already answered questions, and giving responses that are most likely to meet the customer’s needs.
That’s great. But customers want a more personal interaction with brands and businesses. They want to feel that the conversation is personalized to them. Adelyn Zhou, who writes about the bots which save time and make life easier, examined how chatbots are transforming marketing and came up with four ways they could become more personal. Her four examples are:
Increasing engagement – Conversation and interaction are far more engaging than a simple link click. Consider Disney’s Officer Judy Hopps bot on Facebook Messenger to promote Zootopia. Instead of simply watching a trailer for the movie, people were actually able to join Judy and help her solve a case. The interaction leaves users with an entertaining memory and fun experience.
Bringing a brand to life – A personalized chatbot can bring some personality into conversations. Disney’s Miss Piggy bot is funny and friendly, while Universal Studio’s bot is angry and potty-mouthed. Traditional ads foist content onto unwilling users while personality-filled chatbots pull users toward engaging.
Presenting personalization opportunities – With the help of some artificial intelligence, brands can have deeply personal conversations with users. They can truly get to know the likes, dislikes, and preferences of customers, allowing them to show specific content.
Asking specific questions – A chatbot conversation typically takes place in a highly personal and conversational setting. They can ask questions which could never be asked by a traditional adviser. Typical examples include the bot for a travel company asking users about their top travel experiences and dream destinations for the new year.
Businesses in many sectors are considering how to use chatbots, ones that are deeply personal. Alex Wellen, senior vice president and chief product officer at CNN, says: "Creating a chatbot that understands a consumer’s intent is a real challenge. When is it appropriate for our CNN chatbot, for example, to alert you? When should it stay quiet?
“For us, chatbots are a powerful way to deliver real-time, personal news to our audience. But we want the conversation to feel personal. The most effective chatbots in the publishing space bring the right mix of editorial curation and technological automation."
If your interest in chatbots has been piqued, you may want to read about Clickatell Touch which uses chatbot technology for live customer support. With it, your customers won’t spend their valuable time on hold with call centers. That means you’ll have happier customers who are more likely to come back to your business. And that’s a win-win for both of you.