Chatbots have become the buzzword du jour but brands with successful chatbots are rare. We are more likely to find pages full of chatbot failure stories. Here we outline the successful areas of chatbot application.
First of all, we are talking about chatbots in a platform-agnostic manner. Whether they are on your website or on Facebook Messenger or on some other platform, chatbots are essentially conversational interfaces. We can divide up use cases for conversational interfaces into two categories: reactive and proactive.
The first priority of any brand is to satisfy the customers that reach out them. Customer reaching your page, app or website have specific jobs to be done. Identifying this enables you to offer customers a personalized offering through a customized layout, offers on display, messages. The chat box is another medium for personalization allowing you to interact in a more fluid way. For example if you identify with 40% confidence that your customer had a problem with your product, it may not be wise to change your UX to address this issue.But a chat bubble asking if customer is having any issues with your product is helpful and non-intrusive. Major use cases in this category are:
- Support: Your customer may be browsing in a fast manner but not completing any actions. Or her online behavior may not fit patterns you observe with other customers. These are good clues that the customer may need support which can be offered by your chatbot
- Suggest products: Search results, personalized merchandising, recommendations can help your customer find specific products. However, when your customers online activity indicates willingness to buy however customer is not buying, it may be a good time to probe what customer is exactly looking for. A conversational interface allows you to ask probing questions and understand your customers’ intent better.
- Offer discounts: Your customer may be looking for a better price because she believes she qualifies for a discount. Understanding if she falls into one of your segments qualifying for a discount and offering that discount immediately can reduce friction in buying.
- Prevent churn: Churn prediction is one of the most important use cases for subscription based industries. Understanding reasons for churn and making churn reducing offers are a good fit for conversational interfaces
- Offer users your product’s most popular functions: Some products are more prone to be converted into conversational interfaces while others aren’t. For example, text is not a good interface for displaying large amounts of data. However, if you offer these services, they can be completed in a conversational interface:
- Set price alerts
- Order physical goods like clothes
- Buy gifts
- Reserve services
- Book travel
- Book accommodation
- Get advice on topics like where to visit, what to see
- Get information on stocks you own
- Transfer money
- Make investment decision
- Information services:
- Access simple information like weather
- Get advice on topics like what to wear, makeup
- Productivity: Schedule meetings
Proactive notifications allow your chatbot to interact with customers at criticial decision points in their customer journey to increase customer satisfaction, loyalty and engagement. Most of the ideas here can be replicated by brands’ apps with notifications as well. However bots allow companies to go one step beyond notifications and have a conversation with the customer.
- Product related reminders: From hospitals to SAAS companies, all products generate reminders. Chatbots gives you a new channel to reach your customers at the right time.
- Feature notifications: Notifying customers of new features or UX changes your customer would be interested in. Especially if you have a customer driven feature development queue, this allows die-hard fans of certain features to immediately learn about them.
- Updates: Depending on your industry, your customers may be looking at you as a source of news, sharing personalized news is a strong addition to your product portfolio. While your daily or weekly newsletter may be comprehensive it is definitely not timely. Chatbot reminders can alert users in a more timely manner.
- Billing notifications: Helping resolve billing issues could be critical to your cash flow.
Customers do not have to be the only ones talking to your bots. Many companies use bots to understand their employees better. For example, employee satisfaction surveys delivered on collaboration platforms make survey filling much less painful.
Enabling these use cases require a chatbot that your users love and follow. To achieve that you can explore our suggestions for building your chatbot.