Unless you’ve been marooned on a desert island, chances are you know that chatbots сan be the good weapon in the brand’s arsenal.
However, despite the hype around artificial intelligence, the things are not as seamless and flawless as we envision them to be.
Today many companies doubt the necessity to implement and introduce chatbots for their websites. It seems like the use of chatbots has some pitfalls.
Let’s take a deep dive into that.
In March, Facebook said it was refocusing its use of AI because its bots hit a failure rate of 70%. That means that only 30% of conversations were indeed successful.
Ecommerce business Spring has stated that it was complicated to use Facebook Messenger bot and it didn’t provide the personalization level they expected.
Digitas and Harris Poll found that about 73% of people said they wouldn’t use a brand’s chatbot the second time if something went wrong the first time.
Chatbots are supposed to be friendly and smart shop assistants and provide valuable experience making clients return to the online stores. But sometimes consumers face the problems like this:
Here’s another example.
Let’s admit: people like reading about innovation and robots, but they absolutely despise reading a text that looks like it’s been written by one.
Without a sound defining the chatbots’ goals and accurate management of their knowledge base, your efforts are like throwing spaghetti at a wall and hoping it sticks.
What’s going wrong with chatbots?
Currently, there’s a common opinion that chatbots still can’t entirely replace real people in the conversations and deliver sufficiently good user experience. Companies can’t satisfy the inquiries of their prospects using chatbots, and this makes clients disappointed.
While this can be true, it doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to develop a dynamic and helpful chat bot.
The problem is that some brands prefer to use the off-the-shelf software because it doesn’t require a lot of time and efforts to build a chatbot using a platform. Eventually, that approach leads to failures and client frustration as you saw in the pictures above.
Also, most companies don’t understand that launching a chatbot is just the tip of the iceberg. The rest of the iceberg is efficient bot design and its constant improvement, often underestimated by developers and businesses.
The plethora of chatbots is based on a decision-tree logic, where the bot’s response depends on specific keywords identified in the user’s input.
If a user writes a message with the word “shop” or “buy”, chatbot automatically sends the product list. However, this algorithm doesn’t take into consideration all potential questions and use cases.
There is another problem: brand’s over-promise. The user expectations can be high. They are eager to communicate with somebody who embraces a human’s tone and empathy.
If a chatbot doesn’t meet these expectations, customers stay frustrated and don’t want to experience a conversation with the chatbot again.
With that said, there are two steps to avoid failures mentioned above:
- Set up the right expectations from the very beginning of the chat.
- Be ready for an iterative journey to improve the chatbot and deliver a delightful experience.
What goes into creating a chatbot?
As you already know, success is not going to come overnight.
At first, you have to choose messenger platform where you want to place the chatbot.
Chatbots can live in various chat applications like Facebook Messenger, Slack, Telegram, Text Messages, etc.
Facebook Messenger provides users with the opportunity to build their bots directly through the platform’s landing page.
Telegram is one of the most popular messenger applications nowadays. It allows managing a chatbot in the app itself. Their API is flexible. Thus you can easily send customized notifications and alerts to other apps.
Slack is said to be a good place to built chatbots because this team chat app is widely used for discussing ideas and projects by different companies. In this messenger platform, you can make customized bots for replies, notifications, and commands without writing code.
Which one is better for your needs? Only you know. We recommend you to choose the messenger platform which your audience prefers. That’s the most important criteria for your decision anyway.
The next step is to come up with chatbot’s features you want to focus on.
Remember that overloading with lots of tasks leads to failures. Users prefer quality over quantity.
So, define the most important goals for your chatbot and concentrate on them.
Testing is often an essential part of the process.
It’s necessary to try different communication styles and tones, from a consistent bot-dialogue to human language, various interactions, change the length of questions and bot replies. This way you can understand which chatbot personality suits the specifics of your business and meets your purpose.
When it comes to improving the chatbot and making it more personalized, feedback from users plays a significant role. You can gently ask users what they like about your vchatbot, and what they wish could be better.
People make mistakes and bots can make them as well. Nobody’s perfect. Demonstrate this attitude and thus, improve clients’ loyalty and patience.
Are there any successful examples of chatbots?
Regardless of failures and mistakes, people tend to use chatbots and experiment with this new technology.
Let’s take a look at the successful examples of chatbots. Yes, they do exist.
eBay claims its chatbot to be the new way to find deals. They say that it’s as effortless as chatting with a friend on Facebook Messenger.
Thanks to eBay ShopBot, shoppers can now save both time and money. Clients can enlist this bot to do a deal hunting and research for them, through a simple chat or a photo.
Here you can see how eBay ShopBot offered an alternative way to avoid the misunderstanding and confusion.
Poncho is a Messenger chatbot that sends daily weather forecasts.
Creators gave it a personality of a Brooklyn сat. Poncho has a good sense of humor. The personal motto of this bot is “Weather is boring. We make it awesome.”
It truly applies to the communication style of this chatbot. For example, when it recognizes your location, Poncho says something like “Oh, you’re from London. Just imagine, my ex is from there”.
In the morning when the weather outside is frightful (let’s remember this pleasant Christmas song) it texts “You’re positively glowing. Could be the sun, but I think it’s your charm”.
Isn’t it a good example of a cute and intelligent bot?
Where do chatbots fit for retailers?
According to eMarketer, nearly 60% of US millennials said they had used a chatbot. More than half of those who had never used a chatbot said they’d be interested in trying one.
The research also found that millennials are open to making purchases from chatbots.
Two-thirds of respondents said they’d be likely to buy an item directly from a chatbot, versus only 14% who said they would not be interested in doing so. That sounds like a fruitful opportunity for ecommerce marketing, doesn’t it?
Everybody is extremely busy, so clients appreciate every сhance to save time during online shopping.
It goes without saying that chatbots are an excellent solution for retailers. They can provide 24X7 personal-assistant alternative to store associates and help shoppers avoid a long wait in the queue.
Another great opportunity is to give people a micro taste of your brand by adding jargon, nice jokes, compliments or stickers to chatbots.
Clients prefer to feel empathy. The conversations with bots have to be built on trust because it’s impossible to boost sales without the loyalty of customers.
What’s going on in the world with chatbots currently? Let us look
Big companies know how to use chatbots to succeed in the competitive world, that’s why they quickly get involved in the process of creating and using their chatbots.
Microsoft generated Bot Framework to support programmers develop chatbots for their own apps.
Facebook provided developers with instruments to generate more structured messages, such as descriptions, call-to-actions, images, and URLs.
It allows to speed up the relationship between ecommerce and chatbots and expands Facebook’s audience.
Skype and Messenger are redefining their platform around this technology.
Airbnb uses Amazon’s voice assistant Alexa to help welcome guests and provide them with knowledge about service.
Chatbots are constantly evolving. However, it’s important to realize that they can’t be all-knowing FAQ engines. They are as smart and intelligent as the developers who make them.
Whether we like it or not, AI is transforming businesses.
So what is the chatbot silver bullet, you ask? Are there any suggestions on how to use messenger bots efficiently?
We’ll be the first to admit no magic bullet can turn your online store into the best one in terms of chatbots’ efficiency overnight.
To squeeze the maximum from their use, you need to advance cautiously when deciding to provide the chatbot experience.
Retailers should set sound goals and ask themselves if they’re ready to make improvements on an ongoing basis.
Otherwise, you risk to end up with frustrated customers.
Here’s the final thought we want to leave you with: the fact that some bots fail today doesn’t mean that it’s better to give up and stop experimenting.
If you keep persistent and clearly define purposes, chatbots will deliver real customer value and become perfect assistants for your business.
At Jasoren we help retailers create on-demand chatbots and develop great solutions for their needs.
Our goal is to empower companies to leverage artificial intelligence and achieve outstanding results.
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