Most businesses these days have at least one active account on social media. Most likely they’re using Facebook or Twitter, which boast over 2 billion and 300 million monthly users, respectively. Through these platforms, brands can interact with their customers, receive feedback on products, and offer assistance as needed.
Both Facebook and Twitter, among others, have messenger apps incorporated into their sites which support chatbots. Messenger apps, be it ones that are already included in social networking sites or those purposely built for users to communicate with their networks, are increasing in popularity. By the end of last year, 1.82 billion people worldwide were regularly using them.
Given these statistics on app use, it’s no surprise that many companies are turning to messenger chatbots to help their customers in a number of different ways. Below are five examples of how businesses today are already using chatbots to connect with their target demographics.
Booking Holidays More Easily
In 2016, Kayak launched its chatbot on Facebook Messenger. It was designed to help users plan and book flights and accommodations through the social media platform using conversational language.
A report by Kayak published at the end of the same year found that 10% of people using chatbots had used one to book a holiday or ask questions about one. Developers of Kayak’s chatbot are working to transform their bot into a pocket companion. It is expected to be able to send trip details to user’s calendars, tell you the weather at your destination, and even where to find your departure gate at the airport.
Improving Banking Functions
Bank of America launched its chatbot, Erica, who can communicate with customers by text or voice to help them better manage their money and accounts. Erica can advise customers on ways to reduce debt, give account balances, and make payments. The bank plans for its chatbot to provide a more personal service to its customers.
The Economist introduced a chatbot on Twitter’s direct messaging service to encourage users to subscribe to their publication. The major news company’s chatbot welcomes readers who start a conversation with it at @TheEconomist with a display of different topics covered by their organization. Once the user indicates their topics of interest, the bot ensures updates are sent to them every 24 hours on those subjects.
To support the release of their movie Zootopia, Disney debuted the Officer Judy Hopps chatbot to Facebook. Designed as more of a game than a helpful bot, Office Hopps assisted fans as they tried to solve fictitious crimes.
The fun experience engaged users with the movie before it was released, creating interest in the film. It also helped to build a relationship between the customer and Disney, encouraging consumers to support both the company and its work.
Building Loyalty at All Times
Mattress manufacturer Casper created their chatbot, the insomnobot3000, to soothe users who were unable to sleep at night. The chatbot was only available between 11pm and 5am, and the company’s goal was to “create something that’s a friend to their users.” The bot cheekily inserts product promotion comments into its conversation, but its main aim is to build brand loyalty with users.
Most commonly, businesses use chatbots for customer service functions. However, automating sales, building relationships with consumers, and even entertaining potential clients are all easily within the scope of what a branded chatbot can do.