3 Questions You Need To Answer Before Building Your Chatbot

The emerging buzzword for 2017 in the digital marketing world is undoubtedly ‘Chatbots’. Over the last quarter, we have witnessed many ways businesses are using Chatbots to interact with their audience in the most effective way. However, for brands that are new to the idea of Chatbots the whole situation may be quite overwhelming.

Here are 3 questions you need to ask before adopting a Chatbot model for your digital space.

1. What role will the Chabot adopt for your business ?

Before answering this question it is important to know about the different types of Chatbot your business can adopt on the various social channels.

– The Assistant: This Chatbot acts as the user’s personal assistant providing crtitical information and answers queries that are usually pre-programmed. For example a restaurant could adopt a Chatbot to automate its reservation system or a travel agency can host a Chatbot for users to book their travel in the comfort of their favourite Messenger Application. This is one of the most popular types of Chabots in the market.

– The Conversational Bot: The sole purpose of this Chatbot is to strike a conversation with its audience. There are no pre-set tasks. However, this is not a recommended model unless a lot of time and money is invested in educating the Chatbot on every possible conversational topic.

– The Search Bot: This Chabot helps users find a particular set of information. For example, the Chatbot for a mall can help the user find exactly what they are looking by interacting with the Chatbot. Users can find a particular product or a particular article from a shopping or news website and more. The purpose of this Chatbot is to act like a search engine for specific topics related to the brand.

– The Complex Bot: This Chatbot is able to perform all the tasks specified above and more. This Chatbot is well versed in multiple topics and is able to provide a personalized experience to the user that interacts with this Chatbot.

It is always important to have a clear idea of what the Chatbot will help the business to achieve before developing your own. It is crucial to define which process can be simplified with this automation to build a better relationship with your audience.

2. What will be the personality of the Chatbot?

Establishing a relationship between a Chatbot and the user plays a great role in the success of a Chatbot. Therefore, it is important to ascertain what personality will the Chatbot adopt to make it more likeable and trustworthy among the users. The Chatbot must be injected with the values and persona of the brand itself and speaking with the Chatbot must make users believe they are interacting with the brand itself. This is what will help the user ultimately build a lasting relationship with the Chatbot.

3. Who will develop the Chatbot?

Let’s say the business has internally analysed the objectives of the Chatbot and how it will impact the goals of the organization. If someone is new to the Chatbot world, they may be unaware of who to approach to create a Chatbot. Should you opt to have a software company build your Chatbot or a dedicated Chatbot Agency? It is always recommended to go with the latter because the Chatbot Agency will be well equipped with the digital strategies needed to market the Chatbot, creating a personality for the Chatbot that matches the brand, even designing the the phrases it will use; as well as provide the technical assistance to develop and host a Chabot on the instant messaging applications.

With the numerous industry leaders using it to leverage their business in the digital space, Chatbots are undeniably the future in conversational user interfaces.

A Software Company vs. A Chatbot Agency – What Should you Choose for your Chatbot?

Since Facebook announced Chabots at the F8 conference last year, many brands have opted to introduce Chatbots on their Instant Messaging Apps. Chatbots are much more than automated responses, they are conversational interfaces that can be used to connect with the brand’s audience in the most efficient way.

With the rise in tech giants using innovative ways to interact with information, many businesses are considering the idea of teaming up with software companies to create Chatbots. However, they often face limitations due to the scope of the Chatbot being much more than a software. This is where, a dedicated Chatbot agency is more equipped to handle the intricacies of creating a Chatbot.

Let us explain why:  A Chatbot is nothing without the essence and personality along with what it conveys to the audience. A Chatbot is not merely a software but an efficient tool by which a brand can leverage its business and improve its conversation with loyal fans and potential customers. Every word and personality must be customized to suit the voice of the brand and generalized for every brand. Therefore, it is extremely essential to understand the digital space and more importantly the social strategy of the business before creating a Chatbot. The Chatbot must be technically sound while ensuring it is able to build a loyal relationship with its users while providing them a sense of satisfaction and connection with the brand.

Conversation blocks occur when the Chatbot is unable to process the user’s replies, these can only be understood with a deeper knowledge of user behaviour and habits on the platform which a software company may be ill-equipped to deal with.

A dedicated Chatbot Agency, therefore provides the business with reliable technical support with a core focus of personalisation in the Chatbot on the social sphere. While there are multiple ways how companies can adopt Chatbots in the most effective way, there is no denying the fact that 2017 is the year of Chatbots!


Are Chatbots really like Personal Assistants?

With the growing rise of Chatbots in the digital space, there are certain trends amongst the type of Chatbots available. The most common form of Chatbot is one that mimics a personal assistant. They are well equipped with handling sales enquiries and are usually given some form of human personality. However, many of them fall short in providing a personalised experience to the user. Even in the case of Ebay, one of the best Chatbots in this space; it does not provide anything more than what is readily available on the website via Messenger. The Chatbot has an impressive design and integration and a great working search feature. But is this all that a personal assistant can do?

Often times internet users are looking for assistance to make their purchases without really knowing what they are looking for. A Chatbot must be able to assist them in this instance too just like a personal assistant would.

Chatbots must be Customised

Even if it’s fun to search for products via the Facebook Messenger platform, the real potential of Chatbots compared to other channels of communication is personalisation. It is on this feature that companies must invest for better growth in sales. We already have websites that provide us with information about numerous products. The experience on these sites is not very interesting because the homepage is supposed to attract many visitors and is made for everyone. In reality, the person who goes to a shopping website like Ebay for for example, does not pay attention to 90% of what they see on the website.

On the other hand, bots are private conversations. For the first time, brands can offer personalised services and individual experience for each of their consumers who come to ask questions. It is also an opportunity for companies to store critical information about their target to see benefits.

The more conversation there is, the more the brand knows the preferences of its users and the better the experience will be! Chatbots are a direct and personalised link between brands and their targets.If you are looking for information on a site, these are not necessarily always obvious. From now on, you have this information directly in your inbox when you want it which is really relevant. Less information and more values. Brands now have the opportunity to provide each of their fan with a unique and personalised experience that improves over time spent in conversation.

Create a Chatbot and not a Website
At the moment Chatbots provide us results that the user may not be interested in. An effective bot for a shopping experience should ask closed questions and get to really know its user.
A good place to start is: The budget, the age, is this a gift or a personal purchase etc. After showing a list of products, the bot should be able to make recommendations and keep this information stored for the next time.

After showing a list of products, the bot should be able to make recommendations and keep this information in mind for a next time. This information gathered can be used in order to improve the its services and the user experience. For example, the shopping Chatbot could recognise the user’s tshirt size and provide relevant suggestions on the user’s purchase.  Knowing his user by asking them questions to provide tailor made solutions is the quickest and most effective way to then offer relevant product recommendations. Is not that the role of an assistant?

A Chatbot that does not ask you questions does not really want to know you. What kind of personal assistant leaves you alone facing the products by making you no recommendation? But a Chatbot asks questions, makes relevant suggestions by selecting the products that match your preferences. The Chatbot will also take feedback on these recommendations by adapting to what it learns about you during the conversation. The Chatbot can then remember the whole conversation in order to push you to the final act of purchase.

Chatbots for Retailers this Holiday Season

With retailers gearing up for the holiday season, many companies are operating on their maximum capacity. With a large number of customers purchasing and ordering goods, the scene is set for brands to try innovative ways to manage their orders. This could be a great time for  brands to give Chatbots a go to manage their high flow of messages.

Since Facebook announced Chatbots at their last F8 conference many brands are exploring this opportunity to connect with their customers in the comfort of their Instant Messaging Applications. For starters, their are multiple benefits to adopting a Chatbot given that the Chatbot has been developed well and updated regularly. A Chatbot can be used in multiple ways to automate the every day process and make it more streamlined for general efficiency. Another aspect of Chatbots are that they are instantaneous and easy to use for customers.

From ordering Christmas cakes to booking tickets for your getaway, Chatbots are the perfect assistants for managing customers and directing them to payment gateways. A great example of this is a popular beverage company launching an AI bartender Chatbot that offers users recipes and instructions to make new drinks this Christmas. Another new addition to the ways a Chatbot can enhance users shopping experience is an interactive personal assistant that helps you piece an outfit together for the holidays.

Here’s a list of Chatbots that could improve the shoppers experience during the holiday season:

A Chatbot Holiday Assistant

Still don’t know what to get your family or friends this Christmas? A Chatbot could ask you multiple questions about your family and suggest unique gifts for them this season. This could also be a great way for online shopping websites to save users the time of browsing through countless items and show them the content they may be more interested in. This could increase the website’s conversion rate as the items displayed would be the ones that are specifically tailored based on the user’s needs.

A Chatbot for Holiday Travel

With travel companies and airlines competing with each other on their pricing, a holiday Chatbot could list the perfect travel plan using different websites and search engines for the most accurate results. For example if the user is looking to book two tickets for New York, the Chatbot could suggest a flight plan, hotel plan and also events that the user can go to during their stay.

A Musical Chatbot

The holiday season is more cheerful with beautiful music. This Chatbot could play your most favourite holiday music at different times of the day to get you in the mood for the season. A user could customize their playlist using the Chatbot and play it on the go.

A Party Chatbot

A Chatbot that informs you of all the exciting Holiday parties happening in and around your location. This could be interesting for party goers looking for the next destination on New Years eve too.

While many companies are already utilising Chatbots effectively for this holiday season, with the trend of conversational user interfaces only increasing, we can expect 2017 to be a year of the Chatbot revolution.

Can We Measure Analytics for Chatbots?

With marketing shifting to conversational user interfaces, Chatbots have emerged as a powerful tool for e-commerce. As companies across the board are adopting Chatbots on Instant Messaging Apps, the question of analytics has crossed every Digital Marketer’s mind. Is there a way to measure the performance of your Chatbot?

It is important to acknowledge that with Facebook’s recent update on Chatbots on Messenger, users can now rate a Chatbot and provide their reviews. However, this is only one aspect of how your business can analyze the Chatbot’s performance.  In order to evaluate the Chatbot’s performance the following metrics should be measured.

 How many users has your Chatbot interacted with?

This number is equivalent to the number of reached users in an analytics view point. It is how many users the Chatbot has established contact with. This number can be a starting point to understand the success of your chatbot. The number of users that the Chatbot reaches can help the business understand how many users have had a successful and complete interaction with the Chatbot on Messaging Applications.

How long does the user interact with your Chatbot?

Once contact has been established with the user, the questions and data points can be measured to understand how long the conversation with the user lasted and can help us understand if the Chatbot was able to maintain the communication flow. For example if the Chatbot understands 10 different “conversational flows” how far has the interaction with the Chatbot progressed and where does it tend to go down. Marketers can user this to amend the conversation to minimise the number of users stopping the conversation.

How many times does the user interact with your Chatbot?

Depending on the purpose of the Chatbot, it may be important to understand the retention aspect of the Chatbot. Do users interact with your Chatbot on a daily basis? Another metric to measure can be the number of users that have “muted” the Chatbot after the initial interaction. For example, in the case of a restaurant booking via a Chatbot is the user more likely to order through the Chatbot again or resort to traditional ways of booking. This can be helpful to measure if a Chatbot is assisting in improving the existing methods or processes for a company.

What is the Conversation Success Rate of the Chatbot?

The Conversation Success Rate, according to us at Oh My Bot ! can be measured by the resistance of communication blocks by the Chatbot. There can be some instances in the conversation where the Chatbot is unable to understand the user. Therefore, it is important to measure the number of times, the Chatbot was unable to process the information which determines how successful the conversation with the user was. For example, if a user asks the question “How old are you?” the Chatbot if not intelligent enough may reply with “I don’t understand that.” which is an obstacle while trying to maintain a successful flow of conversation with the user. These blocks can also help the Marketers train and improve the Chabot constantly.

How many leads has your Chatbot generated?

Chatbots can be an important tool for companies to generate leads as it can request users to input their contact information for the business to get back to them. Therefore, if the user is willing to provide the information to a bot it can be an effective lead generation tool which the brand can measure.

How many conversions have been made on your Chatbot?

For businesses looking to promote their website or products, the Conversion from Chatbot to sales can be measured to understand the performance and efficiency of a Chatbot. How many users clicked on the website through the Chatbot? How many users bought an item by being redirected by the Chatbot? These questions can help Marketers understand if their Chatbot strategy is effective.

While metrics and analysis of Chatbots are still in their initial stages, we can foresee different tools for Chatbot Analytics to pick up in the upcoming years of the Chatbot Revolution.

How Chatbots Can Boost Your Sales in Business

Given the exponential rise and development of new technologies today, business leaders have a wide range of opportunities to market their brands while improving the experience of their consumers. In an undeniable way, Chatbots have quickly become the star of this year. In spite of existing for over a decade, most brands have understood the effectiveness of Chatbots for their businesses. By definition, a Chatbot is a computer program that is created to mimic conversations with the help of artificial intelligence.

Chatbots are already used, for example, in multinational companies to generate new sales channels, facilitate the sales process and respond to consumer queries. Chatbots are not only useful for large organisations but small businesses can benefit from them too. Here’s some detailed insight into the usage of a bot for business.

Database collection of customers for businesses:

Even though chatbots are simplified for the customer, they are much smarter than one might think. The first positive thing to remember about them is that they have a very good memory. Let’s take the example of flight bookings made with Chatbots, they are created to understand different flight routes and destinations in order to provide the most accurate information concerning the departure times and the arrival times of the flights. This kind of bot helps users to have a real-time response to what they are looking for and allows the company to grow its database of customers.

Opportunities for Sales:

Chatbots are not just fo r transferring information. They can also be used to directly influence a company’s sales. Recently, Taco Bell, a fast food chain, created a Chatbot that was designed to automate the sales process. TacoBot allowed users to place their orders online by sending a message via the Slack platform. Inteldesk too has chosen to provide digital agents in the form of Bots to improve the user experience and customer service to increase sales.

Influence Purchase Decisions:

It is normal that the majority of small business executives lack time or even staff to offer each consumer exclusive attention and advice. Chatbots offer the best dynamic solutions for this problem. Some clothing chains such as H&M have adopted Chatbots to influence their sales. These bots ask users a number of questions about their clothing style and then offer them a variety of clothing choices. This type of Chatbot can also recommend accessories or outfits related to the questions asked. This helps employees gain more time as consumers can turn to a sales consultant 24/7.

Responding to Customer Queries:

This is the simplest and most effective way for companies to create their own bot. A Chatbot is able to translate and take into account the demands of a large number of consumers and answer them. It is important to train the bot to understand the most basic and frequently asked questions. But it is very likely that the inbox of the bot is quickly filled with requests. Therefore, it must be able to respond to different demands immediately. For example, Silvia is one of the best platforms that contains a virtual character that has a voice and a brain and can therefore easily communicate as a human being.

Improving Social Media Engagement:

Last April, Facebook at the f8 conference announced that its messaging platform, Facebook Messenger, would be open to brands to create and host chatbots. This will allow brands to achieve higher levels of sales and naturally encourage engagement on social networks. Therefore, hosting a suitable Chatbot on Facebook will assist brands in expanding their fan base with the possibility of increased engagement and this in turn will help the business boost sales.

Simplify Payment Processes:

As Chatbots help users order certain products, they must make sure to also provide a means of payment but this can be quite challenging. It is important to adopt the latest payment technologies and offer different options to the user and perform this within the bot. For example Snapchat introduced Snapcash last year, which is a tool that works like a virtual wallet and records the details of the user’s credit card in order to allow it to send money to brands or Friends via a message. Setting up these tools will simplify the payment process thereby increasing sales online.

The concept of Chatbots are being pushed by major brands and developers with a large number of applications uploaded every day. If your business has decided to adopt the Chatbot technology it is important to conduct some market research and monitor competitors along with partnering with a Chatbot agency to develop an effective Chatbot strategy.


Chatbots: The New Tool For Digital Marketers

With users spending more time on their e-mail applications, mobile phones as well as on their desktop, marketers are trying to include their marketing messages in these platforms. For the uninitiated, Chatbots are tools powered by artificial intelligence where a robot is hosted within a messaging application. They can help a brand communicate with its consumers without the help of human intervention.

Therefore its important to ask the question: Why are Chatbots essential for Marketing Professionals?

1. Chatbots will populate an increasing number of digital platforms

The number of platforms that brands need to maintain their digital presence is constantly increasing. This has resulted in several marketing campaigns that have been conducted through different channels and the need to keep them regularly updated can be a difficult task. The size of each of these campaigns  has also increased considerably. Many brands now have a global presence.

By using Chatbots, marketing professionals can connect their accounts and update them via messaging platforms like Slack, SMS, Facebook Messenger, etc.

2. Chatbots help marketing professionals keep up with the changing trends

It is important for marketers to constantly keep an eye on their campaign performance indicators to spot the effectiveness of a campaign. This data represents the evolution of the trends in relation to their target and gives the brands a real insight into the reaction of their consumers to certain messages and advertising campaigns. Being attentive to trends can help optimize the brand strategy. Chatbots can make this easier and automated.

3. Chatbots respond to the growing demand for analytics

As the number of digital platforms increases, the importance of streamlining and optimizing marketing budgets has, in turn, increased. Marketers need to be vigilant about the data of each of their campaigns in order to maximize their performance. The use of Chatbots gives them instant access to the data they need without having to go through the vast datasets in Excel, Google Analytics, and others. By using Chatbots, marketers can keep a lookout for key indicators that define a trends as they happens to take the necessary action immediately.

4. Chatbots help in consumer responses as well as instant processing of the request

The growing number of companies bringing their products and services online has resulted in a wave of “instant responses” for consumers. Users expect an instant response from brands at all times of the day and across multiple time zones. Although manual interaction with a large individual audience can be difficult, not applying customization or not responding in a timely manner can also result in the loss of customers and an overall negative image of the brand. Chatbots allow businesses to engage with the customers in an instant manner.

5. Chatbots are easy to use

Digital marketing will become easier and more thought provoking for marketers with the rise of Chatbots.  It would be interesting to see how consumers react to this change. In the meantime, Customers and brands will likely view Chatbots as their own personal assistants!

The Chat Bot Revolution and Its Relevance in Consumer Relationships

As thousands of developers are creating bots, chat bots have taken the world by a storm. However, chat bots have been here for a long time but the recent interest in them is due to their seamless integration into the consumer’s instant messaging applications. A bot is an automated software that performs repetitive and often mundane tasks however, when it is communicating with the audience as an entity in itself over text we refer to them as chat bots.  This form of bot is the one that is currently the subject of fascination in the tech industry.

Why now?

The growing interest in conversational user interfaces can be explained considering various factors. The revolution of Chat Bots in 2016 is all about the timing. This is an age of exponential growth of language processing mechanisim, automated learning and artificial intelligence combined with the human contribution that allows for the expansion. The introduction of various algorithms from big tech giants like Google has accelerated the progress of chat bots.

Moreover, the cost in developing a chat bot is much lesser compared to the creation and maintenance of a mobile application or website. Scalability is also an important factor as it is easier for software changes by adding services than to increase its facilities and hire more labor. Finally, the rise in distribution services has also allowed the revolution to progress. With apps like Facebook Messenger, and WeChat that reach over billions of users, bots interact with the largest communities in the world.

Potential Gains and Usage

The bots change the digital landscape and domains of 3 key players. The first is its benefit in better customer relationships. In this age where companies are seeking for more economical solutions artificial intelligence helps develop this relationship in a much more balanced manner.

The second domain that a bot affects is personalization. Until now, nothing could replace a face to face interaction. However, brands are already exploring the idea and offering more personalized solutions with the help of a bot. Users now have the opportunity to have their own personal assistant. They already exist in our pockets with the Siri or Cortana and are focused on understanding the questions and providing relevant answers. The new age of bots collect data and are also connected to each other. This makes it possible for the bot to provide personalized recommendations and increases their efficiency in the process.

Chat bots are helping transition from human interaction to artificial intelligence interactions with a robot and this is based on the bots conversational intelligence. In the future, we could expect bots to be solely responsible for customer service exchanges.

It is important to note that the solutions offered by the bot only solve 10% of the process. However, as bots gain more conversational intelligence they will be able to carry out more advance tasks. It remains to be seen whether bots can ever fully replace human interaction in the customer service industry but one thing remains certain that conversational user interfaces with robots are here to stay.

Digital vs Chatbot Agency : What Should Your Company Choose ?

After the arrival of Chatbots on Facebook Messenger, one can predict that the other tech giants will follow suite with Bots on WhatsApp, Kik, Skype and more. When it comes to the creation of chat bots a question that puzzles everyone is, who should develop a chatbot, is it traditional digital agencies or a dedicated agency specialised in developing chatbots? Which one is better?

The specific requirements of users and brands along with certain technical constraints can be best understood only by an expert. Any brand or business that decides to build a chatbot must consider minimum risk and scope for error. A dedicated chatbot agency always has the necessary and vast expertise needed to undertake a chatbot project.

Here’s an overview of the assistance that only a specialised Chatbot agency can perform:

  • Analysis of expectations of the target audience on Instant Messaging Applications
  • Configuring a unique home screen: each user is greeted with a personalised message
  • A well defined scope of how a chat bot can help your business
  • An analysis of expectations of automated conversations for the business
  • The design & development of a bot including hosting it on the platform
  • The level of interaction with the users and customers before human intervention
  • Round the clock technical assistance
  • Human moderation services to further enhance the conversation with customers
  • Integration with the brand’s CRM software: for the chat bot this is often used for effective customer service.

It is therefore important to consider a dedicated chatbot agency to develop a conversational user interface to ensure the most effective results on your decision.

Could Chat bots be the next Human Resource Assistant?

Over the past year, Chat Bots have been taking over the conversation for innovative ways brands can connect with their customers on Instant Messaging Applications. So far we have seen bots do it all, from restaurant reservations, flight bookings and also playing the part of a medical assistant. Each interaction with the bot enables quicker and faster response times. With the general attention span of the world reducing, chat bots can be a great alternative for customers that are unable to wait for information.

In the recent times, companies have been trying to explore chat bots as a tool for Human Resources. It is  of importance how human resource departments can communicate effectively with their employees providing them necessary information ranging from holidays, CPF or pension. Usually, employees are required to set up long meetings with their HR to receive this information and a lot can be lost in communication.But we are entering the chat bot revolution where chat bots can prove to be highly effective in these situations and can provide the necessary information to the employee instantaneously. A quick message to the bot asking for your pending holidays could provide you an instant reply minimizing the turn-around time for the HR to respond. Companies like Axa have already taken the step in deploying chat bots in their human resource strategy.

It can be quite ironic to have machine learning assist a field that thrives on human learning and feedback however, it is interesting to see how successful bots can perform and automate certain daily tasks in an organization.

Recently, it was revealed that McCann Japan hired a Creative Director who is also a robot by automating this role in the organization. It is however, not in interest of an organization to automate the Human Resources that largely depends on human interaction and experiences.

Experts believe that as the technology of Bots improves every day due to constant research, eventually a bot could help sift through multiple resumes using machine learning to find prospective employees for the organization.