- Technology Trends
Chatbots: Advertising the Fastest Customer Service in the Game
Long over are the days of headaches from listening to elevator music on hold, choruses of, all of our representatives are currently assisting other customers, and waiting for the guy in front of you to finally decide if he wants regular or decaf. Chatbots -- AI-based technology that virtually “chat” with customers, any time, any day -- are making consumer lives easier by the second. They’re always available, answer instantly and never give any attitude. Their use in marketing results in happy customers -- customer problems are solved quicker, suggestions catered to them are given on demand and businesses they love are even more accessible. As multiple brands release videos and images showing conversations among users and chatbots that detail how to use the service, their companies become more convenient, interactive, and customer-friendly; all without the use of an actual person.
MasterCard KAI is a chatbot designed to make banking seamless; it does your history-tracking and budget-making for you. With KAI, available through Facebook messenger, MasterCard users can find out all of their banking information as simply as they would send a text message. Users can ask KAI; how much did I spend at restaurants this week? Or, when was my last purchase to Uber? The chatbot can reference the buying history of the cardholder and provide these figures on demand, as well as give financial tips to users and explain various benefits associated with MasterCard. KAI software makes MasterCard the convenient choice for credit card holders, as users can precisely monitor their spending, get advice and make better financial decisions in general. To illustrate this, the company released a three-minute video on YouTube called, “Kasisto’s Kai Banking Platform, MasterCard Chatbot” in which users can see a real-life example of how the software works through a screen-recording of a conversation with KAI. Over the course of the three minutes, watchers see all of KAI’s abilities as it tells the user his current balance, financial history and even engages in some witty banter as the software promises the user it’s, “not a real human.” Showcasing this live example of chatbot customer service entices customers into choosing MasterCard over other brands based on the personalization and accessibility seen in the video.
In the Starbucks mobile app, users can use a chatbot to text or place an order via voice to their local Starbucks. Payment is done automatically through credit cards or gift cards already uploaded to the app, so after an order is placed all you have to do is pick up your coffee. Similar to Mastercard, Starbucks released a video on YouTube showing a woman using a chatbot to order her breakfast. Watchers hear a conversation between the woman and chatbot and see the chatbot place her order with ease -- even when she requests a, “double upside-down macchiato, half-decaf, with room and a splash of cream in a grande cup”; possibly the most complex Starbucks order ever. Through this video, Starbucks becomes the perfect option for busy, on-the-go customers. With only a forty-six-second run time, potential customers see the woman effectively order multiple things by interacting with the chatbot in less than a minute. Customers are shown that now, you can have your order placed by a bot and made by a barista before you even walk into the store; making your normal six-minute Starbucks stop turn into six-seconds. If the goal here was to make the customer ask why they would get their coffee anywhere else, Starbucks succeeded by showing off their fast and easy chatbot service in their video.
On the other hand, Panda Express is a brand that does not offer customer assistance through live-chat or chatbots. Fast-food is supposed to be just that -- fast. Other competitors in this market such as Chipotle, have utilized chatbot technology to make their customers’ experiences even faster. With Chipotle, texting a simple “hi” to their number will access a chatbot with your favorite location and order already stored. The company marketed this by releasing a simple three-panel image with directions on how to get food from your phone to your mouth -- faster than ever -- with a chatbot. By not marketing chatbots, Panda Express is not at the level of convenience and customer interaction as other fast-casual dining locations, like Chipotle. If you have a short lunch-break, Panda Express is not an option since your wait time is unpredictable and you don’t have the luxury of using a chatbot for convenience and reliability. As the company competes in the fast-casual dining realm, advertising chatbots could bring in an entire new wave of customers. Through developing and advertising the AI-based technology, Panda Express would become more accessible and more in-tune with a larger client base. The Chinese kitchen could become the easy choice when getting fast-food because marketing a chatbot service would make it the fastest.
People are busy and crave easy, convenient services in their day-to-day lives; no one wants to waste time on line or on hold. As more companies utilize chatbot software as a marketing tool for their brands, society becomes more adept to the occupied, tech-savvy consumer. Time and time again, we’ll pick the brands that make our lives easier -- not harder -- and brands developing and advertising chatbots prove that they are just that.