Chatbots: From nice to have to must have

Written by ,

Everyone is talking about bots. Many companies are building one of their own, but too often to make a WOW effect rather than addressing a real challenge. Bots have become a trend, which makes many wonder if they are that useful.

Why have they generalized?

First, because most people are tired of apps. We must not forget that 71% of users delete an app within 90 days. So brands are now trying to target their customers on channels they’re already using: messaging apps.

Second, because anyone can build a bot very easily. Many platforms are accessible with a minimum cost or for free and very efficient to build a simple bot. Nevertheless, those platforms won’t help you improve and maintain it.

Thus, we’ve witnessed many examples of “pop up” bots, developed for marketing and communication purposes. Such as:

  • Gemo, a shoe and clothing brand, developed a game contest bot (music blind test, drive-to-store…) on Messenger last year — the aim was to drag people to their stores. In the end, a hundred people were geo-localised.
  • Asos, the clothing brand, developed a “Gift Assistant” in 2017 to help its customers finding easily the right gift for someone (for whom, what budget…)
  • Sephora, the beauty brand, released a chatbot last year for the Winter Holiday season: Beauty Bot by Sephora. The goal was the same as Asos — help their customers finding the perfect gift without losing time. It also gave the location to the closest stores.
Asos Enki Messenger Bot

Those bots were nice to have, but not addressing any business challenge. Besides both Asos and Sephora have since developed more powerful bots. You can now make appointments on Messenger in Sephora stores, and find items on Asos resembling the pictures you sent to Enki its messenger bot. After a first experience, those companies have understood how a bot can tackle business issues.

This is why, if you want your bot to be an asset for your day to day business, before launching a project you must always ask yourself those 5 questions:

  • What use cases do you want your bot to answer?
  • On which channel(s) do you want your bot on?
  • Will there be enough users to be relevant?
  • What is the added value?
  • What are the criterias and KPIs to measure success?

Because as the market is booming now, chatbots perform way better and they have become a need

They encompass a wide range of use cases, are scalable, and they’re one of the best way to target existing and new customers.

Indeed, today bots are already capable of:

  • Answering to your customers 24/7 — providing a round the clock support costs a lot. If your customers need information at night or are on different time zones, there will always be frustrated if you can’t answer their requests instantly, and your conversion rates will drop. A bot is always live and can address most common queries about products and services you sell. Which bring us to the second perk of having a conversational A.I agent.
  • Increasing your revenues — giving the right information at the right time helps you increase your conversion rate. At Mindsay our motto is “Helping is the new selling”. For instance, Lyon airport has seen its conversion rates increase by 5 points on its parking reservations just by answering to their most simple questions.
Lyon airport Bot by Mindsay
  • Leveraging the engagement of your customers — user engagement obviously increases with a bot. Indeed by enabling customers to ask for help to a bot, they feel like they’re getting the help they need without the hassle. The information they get from the bot is often the one they need to finalize their purchase.
  • Decreasing customer service costs — Customers expect answers 24/7 (and sometimes when your audience is international, customer care needs to be present around the clock). No one likes being placed on hold. No one likes being transferred. No one likes speaking to a robot who can’t understand their accent. Staffing customer support representatives to assist people 24/7 can become expensive. AI (artificial intelligence) Chatbots can help track deliveries, answer return policy questions, book appointments and answer simple FAQs. The best part? It’s all done organically in a conversational way.
  • Targeting younger customers — According to Gartner given a choice, 26% of respondents prefer to communicate with a business via a chatbot than actually talking to a human. It is even more impressive for millennials, as the figure reaches 37%.
  • Bringing back customers — Chatbots can retain information to help you re-engage with your customers. Thanks to a push on Facebook Messenger, a bot can personally reach out to customers at the right time. Reminding them they still have items in their cart, or to send flowers on Mothers’ day.

Bots are definitely yielding benefits for companies and they have become fundamental for any business that wants to optimize its customer care costs and increase its revenues through new channels.

Subscribe to Mindsay News