The amount of functions of computer programs have allowed users and companies to access a world beyond the standards of online communication. Chatbots are a clear example of this progress.
Chatbots are an automated tool that allows maintaining a conversation between the client and the company with the purpose of responding the needs of the user. They allow companies to do something never possible before, combining all the new technologies: big data, cloud, language processing, automatic learning... Thus, they are software systems that use an algorithm to interact directly and instantaneously with clients, to perform countless tasks.
The Artificial Intelligence (AI) represents an opportunity for companies interested in obtaining market information for the improvement of their products or services through social listening, sentiment measurement or subsequent data processing.
The AI is the key of chatbots, as it allows registering the tastes and preferences of the clients. They also provide us with different uses, from customer service, purchasing and payment management, sending information and availability 24/7 to more experiential aspects such as building trust and empathy. Siri o Cortana are the best-known examples in the market. In addition, unlike applications, these programs do not take up storage space since they do not need to be installed on devices.
To offer a chatbot service that really responds to the user's needs, we must rely on the user-centred methodology, which places the user at the centre of everything and defines it, limiting and specifying who our target is and what are the needs we have to satisfy.
The design and implementation of bot-type software are a valuable tool to achieve some of the following marketing objectives:
Chatbots are a new way of creating a bond with consumers and improving their experience. For example, we can offer them:
However, what the consumer is most grateful for is the closeness and naturalness that AI provides us, thanks to the incorporation of neurolinguistics or content marketing.
In 2020, 85% of the interactions between the client and the company will be managed without the intervention of a human from part of the brand, according to the technology research consultant Gartner.
In a contradictory way, we will lose the intervention of humans in communication, but these will acquire human characteristics, thanks to the possibility of bots to adapt a tone of voice, style, personality, values, specific vocabulary and jargon, and accents to the messages. These messages can be reinforced by animations, colors and transitions that improve the flow of conversation.
People will feel that the interaction is natural and simple, as if they were dialoguing with a known person. We will thus achieve the humanization of some brands and an exchange of stories in an interactive and attractive way.
Another key factor is customization. Chatbots are programmed to ask appropriate questions to prioritize and act efficiently, and thus offer quick and valuable answers, adapted to the needs of each consumer thanks to Machine Learning. Examples of this would be the Ebay or Sephora bot in the Kik application, which perform a brief questionnaire to get to know the users better and, based on their answers, offers the products and suggestions that best fit them.
Surprisingly, consumers themselves are increasingly inclined to offer a larger amount of data if they receive relevant content that interests them, around the 57% according to the company Salesforce.
The software makes use of location and language, requiring users to register and inform the chatbot of their specific requirements, searches and preferences in order to offer personalized responses. The language they use, their interaction flow, buying habits and choices are some of the valuable data that not only improve the experience with the bot but also helps other aspects of marketing such as the design of future campaigns and product development. With bots, we will anticipate real problems with specific content and identify the most common questions that help us create a solid FAQ page and generate market knowledge to improve products, services and promotions.
COMFORT AND IMMEDIACY
Users want to receive adequate feedback, in a timely manner and through various channels. However, what happens when the Customer Support teams finish their workday or if the customer is in a different time zone?
According to LivePerson, an American company of trading software and artificial intelligence, 52% of global consumers are not willing to wait more than 2 minutes to chat with a customer service representative.
It is there where the figure of the chatbots becomes crucial, since the software interacts at all times, just when the client needs it. With good management, we can ensure that the bot processes a large amount of information, organizes it and offers instant feedback. A job we could not do manually.
At this moment, in a typical customer journey, the user would need to change pages at least 3 times to get to their desired action. With chatbots, however, the user can do everything from the same site, with the benefit that bots are able to understand both text and voice messages, among other inputs.
Hubspot says that, although lead generation remains a top priority for many marketers, 63% of them think it is also one of their main challenges. One of the biggest problems they face is generating useless information: incorrect or outdated. With this chatbots are of great help, due to their mentioned ability to offer instant consumer service to many people at once.
The chatbot attracts our desired target and immediately begins to build a relationship with them, naturally asking them if they would be interested in receiving valuable content. If the consumer answers affirmatively, the chatbot will begin to ask specific questions to learn more about their needs, problems, and preferences, identifying who are a potential lead and tracking those with the highest conversion probabilities.
We may encounter some challenges when implementing a Chatbot, knowing them in advance will allow us to prepare ourselves to solve them in the best way possible.
LACK OF LIMIT
Users can ask questions about any topic. This is a great challenge because if a bot cannot respond or help a user effectively it results in a negative experience. The solution for this is to offer pre-defined answer buttons that the user can select. This helps to narrow the scope of the conversation and keep the interaction focused on helping the user with specific tasks, preventing them from abandoning the process. The Google Assistant application for mobile apps implements this technique effectively.
We also have to keep in mind what we will do when a chatbot does not understand or cannot perform a task requested by the user. We can counter that negative experience by designing an effective UX that addresses these situations, for example, providing an interaction with a real person or offering a selection of alternative options, such as “call us now”, which will transform the user experience into something successful and positive.
Usually users will communicate with the chatbot through smaller screens, such as mobile devices or pop-up windows within the web page. This reduced space can make the UX worse, something that we can solve if we avoid long responses that overload the chat. The use of emoji, images or graphics that facilitate and make the interaction more enjoyable can also be very useful, if we determine that it is something that our target may find appropriate and that fits them.
The creation of Avatars also gives the chatbot a more personal appearance and makes the conversation more enjoyable and friendly. We can even, depending on the context, give the chatbot a unique voice or a bit of humor to further enhance the UX. The Woebot chatbot, designed for self-care, has a very friendly animated character that uses colloquial language to connect with users and make them feel comfortable in the conversation, as if they were talking to a friend.
The chatbot is already being used by many well-known brands, and will soon become a common form of Inbound Marketing and customer service. You can maintain your competitiveness in the sector by throwing yourself into AI, whose future is set with a great space for improvement.
Last year, Lúcid had the pleasure of attending the IFA fair, in Berlin, Germany, where Gorenje presented his new international team member, whom the attendees could meet: Anna, a shopping bot for an optimized user experience.
Gorenje is a brand of products that facilitate daily household chores, always adopting the latest technological advances to offer practical ideas. Designed to be, above all, easy to use, Anna, a personal shopping assistant, appears to start a conversation with the visitors of the official pages of Gorenje, helping visitors who want to buy or be better informed about the specific products of the brand.
Vladimir Nardin, Head of Digital Marketing at the Gorenje Group, states:
“The bots are quickly becoming the new normality of an excellent user experience, which simplifies life by interacting with visitors in a computer-assisted conversation, but from person to person".
To sum things up, we can affirm that, in the very near future, the use of Chatbot will condition the way in which we communicate and interact with companies. A tool that not only helps to connect in a more personal way, but also on a large scale.
In this present future, this artificial intelligence will be perfected, since the design of UX is evolutionary and dynamic. A constant test, agile development and interaction make chatbots a software to bet on if we want to satisfy and anticipate the needs of our users and exponentially improve our marketing strategy.
At LÚCID we have these concepts very present as we conduct a completely user-centred design method, to enhance the strategy of our clients. The purpose? To improve the user experience, reaching and even exceeding their expectations.