4 Questions you Should Ask Yourself about Chatbots and Social Care
It’s 2017. People are spending more time than ever on their mobile devices. According to Chatbots Magazine, 90 percent of the time we spend on our phones, we are on e-mail and messaging platforms. Consumers use only 25 to 30 apps each month, and they spend 88% of their time on five apps only. As a brand, you’ve invested time and resources in building your app, yet it’s increasingly hard to keep consumers coming back and engaging. So how do you continue to engage with and attract new customers?
As highlighted in a previous post, 95% of brand tweets in 2016 were direct conversations with individuals, a 2% increase from the previous year. So 1:1 interactions are on the rise, and finding the social touch points to build relationships with your customers is more important than ever. Bots offer one solution to engage your customers in 1:1 conversation, yet are not without limitations.
Finding the social touch points to build relationships with your customers is more important than ever.
What are Chatbots?
A chatbot is an interface that lives on any major chat product (Facebook Messenger, Slack, Text Messages, etc) that powers 1:1 conversations between brands (artificial intelligence) and customers (humans). Although AI webbots have been around a long time (Ikea sunsetted their bot in 2015 after a 10 year run), they are still in infancy largely because the messenger apps they are built on are still young and evolving. According The State of Chatbots, an October 2016 report by Forrester, “most bots aren’t ready to handle the complexities of conversation and still depend on human intervention to succeed.”
Do I Need a Bot?
Address what you are trying to accomplish by answering the following questions:
1. What issues are you trying to solve?
Although buzzworthy, bots should not be launched as part of your media strategy, but help to reach your greater company goals. That may include drive sales, loyalty or product feedback. Establish clear goals. Successful bots create experiences, and do not just offer a cool tool.
2. What is success?
How will you measure success? Is your goal to keep customers coming back or to solve their immediate issue? As Greylock Partner Sara Guo wrote, “Businesses and app developers will only continue to invest in new platforms if they see a return on that investments through 1) the ability to direct transact for goods, services, and digital services, 2) the ability to show ads, or, at the very least, 3) the ability drive users or trackable “leads” to another point-of-transaction (a native app, a real pizza shop, a web e-commerce store).”
3. Are you disrupting or improving an existing offering?
The goal of introducing a bot should be to reduce friction points that come from a traditional or current way of doing things. The majority of bots still fall short. Given that bots are still the wild west of digital media, ask if it make sense to double down on areas where you are already investing resources that are driving engagement and loyalty. While bots can provide data about your customers, it’s really important to understand the data you have at your fingertips to determine recurring customer pain points and recurring engagement points during your customer’s journey. Spredfast’s analytics allow you to dive into these metrics, and the Spredfast strategy team helps our customers uncover some of these trends, as well their audience issues and areas for increased efficiency.
The goal of introducing a bot should be to reduce friction points that come from a traditional or current way of doing things.
4. What does customer service look like for your company?
For some companies customer service is an ongoing conversation; for others, it ends with a purchase of a flight or taco. Disgruntled customers aren’t forgiving. According to Spredfast data, 15% of brands lose customers as a result of poor customer care. Yet, according to ceBIT, 71% of people who receive a quick response from a brand on social media are likely to recommend that brand to others.
71 percent of people who receive a quick response from a brand on social media are likely to recommend it to others.
A Harvard Business Review report from 2010 found that “loyalty has a lot more to do with how well companies deliver on their basic, even plain-vanilla promises than on how dazzling the service experience might be.” At Spredfast, we take the view that each human interaction is important. While consumers are consolidating where they spend their time (fewer apps) and have higher expectations, brands can’t afford to lose that 1:1 human connection with their customers. Chatbots can be part of your engagement strategy, but they are still in their infancy and there are many hurdles to overcome to create a great customer experience.