Conversational commerce and chatbots are expected to become so pervasive that within three years, 85 percent of customer interactionswill not involve a human. That’s according to Gartner, which predicts that as interest in chatbots surges, so too will the innovative ways companies deploy them.
But you don’t need to wait months or years to see how businesses and their customers are reaping the benefits that chatbots afford. Here are four creative ways brands are using chatbots to deliver improved customer experiences.
- Buying tickets for events
Ever missed out on concert tickets because the ticketing website timed out while you discussed whether you could afford the best seats?
Chatbots could make this experience a thing of the past. Tickx, for example, uses chatbots to help concert-goers book tickets faster. Its chatbot responds to questions about the cheapest ticket prices and the best available seats in seconds and provides clear alternatives to discourage dithering. The bot also compares hundreds of the best deals and guides users through the entire process - from browsing to booking.
- Help with your credit rating
Chatbots are coming to the rescue of those worried about their credit score but deterred by the dry, wordy content on financial services websites. In February 2017, credit checking service provider ClearScore launched a chatbot to help people improve their credit score. It provides three types of credit rating help:
- 'Build' is aimed at young people that lack credit history
- 'Repair' is designed to help people with poor credit history improve their score
- Shape Up' is for those looking to maintain their healthy credit rating
The chatbot uses natural, jargon-free conversation to help users learn about money, credit scores and finances in general. It encourages customers to talk about their attitudes to money and provides a personalised set of money management actions.
- Personal styling
Imagine a bot that tells you exactly which colours of lipstick suit you and which don’t, based on your skin tone. It’s now a reality thanks to cosmetics giant Sephora, which has developed its own chatbot on messaging app Kik. The company’s Color Match bot for Messenger helps customers find a Sephora lipstick that matches the shade in a photo they’ve uploaded. Sephora also has a reservation assistant bot that makes appointments for makeovers at its stores in the United States.
- Accounting assistance
If you dread tax time and the word ‘accounts’ makes you cringe, you’re not alone. After all, ‘tax time’ is a synonym for time-consuming data entry and a shoebox full of receipts.
Business software firm Sage hopes to change this with its accounting bot, Pegg. Pegg helps users record and track expenses and manage finances via messaging apps like Messenger and Slack. It takes away the pain of small business accounting by letting entrepreneurs manage their finances by just having a conversation. The more users chat with it, the more it learns and adapts to provide tailored recommendations.
The sky’s the limit
For businesses outside of the industries mentioned above, there are still plenty of opportunities use bots to enhance the customer experience. News organisations, food and flower delivery services, toy companies and even mattress companies are using bots with great success. The benefits of doing so are compelling, including increased efficiencies, better customer relations and greater profits.
If you would like to learn more, download our white paper: Digital Platform Trends 2017: Diving into chatbot-driven conversational commerce.