Branding and Your Bot
Hungry, hours into a long drive, you scan each off ramp looking for a good place to eat. Think of two fast food logos. One that “will do” and one that “always hits the spot.” How do you feel seeing on the horizon the one that is just okay? How about the one that is what you know will cure your hunger and be more enjoyable?
I’d ague that at some point this analogy will apply for AI chatbot avatars. The reality is that “switching costs” online are next to zero. If your site doesn’t keep my interest or answer my question I’m a click away from another site. Or if I’m already a customer and I’ve got an issue, I’ll just open a support ticket. This costs you money and only prolongs my dissatisfaction. A chat bot solution that is more effective, accurate and efficient will gain a reputation. This recognition of the providing firm’s technology will influence a viewer’s choice to click and interact. No different than pulling into that Five Guys parking lot during a long drive.
Early on in my CIS education I took a course on building Expert Systems with VP Expert. Decades later I got to write a quick chat bot in Go as part of my Mattermost technical exercise. This has been part of a long interest in Messaging, Chat and Collaboration. Recently there has been a noted increase in sites that have a chat/conversational bot appearing when you visit. Conversational AI is expected to rise from $3.89B USD in 2019 to $18.02B USD by 2027.
I haven’t paid attention, but I’ve got a feeling that different vendors might already have a specific “bot” avatar that their service provides. A firm leveraging this vendor might be tempted to create their own “avatar” that is similar in style to their brand. If they went with a quality provider, they are better served using that vendor’s avatar. Some day superior “chat bot” firms will build a brand where their avatar/bot is known for its effectiveness. This will result from a bot that is more helpful and that provides better value for the firm leveraging the technology. This bot will provide an even higher ROI, the firm will profit from higher customer satisfaction. Especially once consumers learn to recognize the avatar.
When reviewing sample training data, I frequently see “Intents” for challenging if someone is talking to a bot. Intents are the things the user intends to find out. A good suggestion would be to have your bot Response include statistics on how good it is. I can also see a feature evolving where one of the Intents bots will be expected to work with includes a request to have the bot share (brag) how good it is. How many sales people like to bring up how long they have been working at the firm? This implies knowledge and experience. No different than a chat bot sharing details to prove its confidence.
So how about a Response for the Intent of “how good are you?“* If you are using a 3rd party chat bot system, you have to be sure it provides you business metrics like the number of conversations. Most importantly you need to be able to find out the percent of interactions that resolved the inquiry. A bot could Respond “I’ve had 314,930 conversations in the last 30 days. 84% of them provided the answers the human needed from me.”
Brand is important. Firms work hard to be sure public facing employees have proper email signatures, dress professionally when interacting with the public. Don’t you think it’s time you paid attention to the brand of the bot on your site?
* Yes, I realize this is not proper English. But it is typical conversational American English . . . .