Personalised Chatbots: Your new business assistant

By Carolin Hyzyk

Do you wish to engage directly with your clients and guide them as they make their holiday plans? Do you like to make sure that they receive a personalised service through Facebook Messenger that ultimately seals the deal and ends up in a booking?

Are you a jewellery business aiming to help customers choose the ideal gift for Mothers’ Day without getting lost in the vast variety of items offered?

If you’re an English language school, you might want to guide your potential students into choosing the most suitable English language course.

Being a real estate agent, your customers may be reaching out via Messenger and you might want to encourage them into viewing certain properties.

What if all this could happen without you having to sit down and chat with each and every client?

Time to usher in the Chatbots.

So what is a Chatbot?

A chatbot is an automated software that can handle customer queries that come through platforms like Facebook Messenger. The chatbot responds to customer’s questions and provides the correct answers or options available, without the intervention of a human being. In other words, it is like an intelligent robot that has been programmed to give customers the feel that their query or request is being acted on and ultimately provides the customer with the service. The intelligence is inbuilt in the chatbot engine according to a series of rules, conditions or AI. Early chatbots were only text-based but nowadays the graphics version are bringing in a richer and more appealing experience.

Chatbots can be programmed to provide a restaurant reservation service or a ticket booking for an event. Chatbots can help you through booking process of your next holiday. One of the areas where we have seen the rapid and successful implementation of chatbots is in e-commerce. In fact, chatbots are becoming the new shop assistants helping customers sift through the hundreds of options that a store usually carries. We’ve encountered chatbots helping in the purchase of anything from a new party dress to a new laptop, provided that the rules and conditions have been programmed beforehand.

Why is a Chatbot the answer?

Chatbots are the ideal solution because the statistics show that people are spending more time in messaging apps than on social media platforms. It is also very clear that people are very happy to message brands and companies with queries or issues. The barrage of messages that companies receive via their Facebook pages means that one needs a solution that uses the platform that customers have already adopted. Chatbots fit in perfectly with this scenario.

As more chatbots are launched, it is a valid time to sit back and think of how you can benefit from having your own chatbot. The first question to ask is how can a chatbot address your customers’ needs, how this can be more convenient for them and more efficient for you. Maybe there is a problem that customers frequently encounter or a question they raise whilst making a booking and you want to address that. Or maybe you can provide a new service that can even be a differentiating factor for you and thus lead to a competitive advantage. In any case, one needs to know what are the key issues and questions that customers come up with and what answers are needed. Combined with this, one also requires a strong grasp of customer decision-making process when acquiring the specific service /product. This eventually results in a series of different permutations or decision-making paths that are programmed within the chatbot.

One of the immediate advantages is that you no longer need to man the service help-desk 24/7 with one of your employees. The second benefit is that your customers will still get a personalised service even when you and your staff are away from the office. It’s like you have a new shop assistant that’s never away!

At Keen, we’ve already been tinkering with chatbots for a while. If you are interested in this idea or you think that chatbots can help your business, contact us today and we’ll take you through what we’ve come up with so far!

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