October 17, 2018

Making the Most of Your Chatbot

When it comes to building and supporting a strong brand, consistency is key. That’s why companies need to closely consider the look and feel, name, tone, and capabilities of their chatbots before unleashing them in the marketplace. After all, chatbots have become an important means through which organizations today are interfacing with their customers.

Just look at some of the leading brands that have introduced what are widely considered successful chatbots. That list includes Capital One, Nordstrom, and Starbucks.

Capital One’s intelligent assistant is named Eno. It allows users to create unique virtual card numbers and avoid sharing their real credit card numbers.

“Eno will pop up when you’re ready to pay and prompt you to sign in,” Capital One explains. “Eno will create a merchant-specific virtual number that’s link to your existing Capital One credit card. Your payment information will autofill during checkout. Eno will save your merchant-specific number for ongoing and future payments, and all charges will show up on your statement as they normally would.”

This all ties into Capital One’s larger messaging about how it provides customers with choices, quick access to relevant information, and is easy to work with. Eno and Capital One’s website images also suggest the services the company deliver allow customers more time for their real passions.

The company clearly has considered diversity in its content and chatbot design as well. Reuters recently interviewed Ken Dodelin, Capital One’s vice president of digital product development, who said the bank deliberately chose the gender-neutral name Eno (One spelled backwards). If asked its gender or favorite color, Eno responds “binary” and green.

Colombia’s Aviana, among other airlines like British Airways and Singapore Airlines, is using chatbots too. “In one month, Avianca’s chatboth Carla helped more than 1,000 customers simplify their business and leisure travel, said the bot developer Accenture,” the Centre for Aviation reported in June. “The company also stated that waiting times were cut by half when Carla was used to check in.”

Drift, Audience, Salesforce, and myclever last year join forces on a chatbot-related survey. Between October and November surveyors gathered input from 1,051 adults between 18 and 64. They shared some of the key takeaways in The 2018 State of Chatbots Report.

According to the report, 37 percent of those surveyed said they’d use a chatbot to get a quick answer in an emergency. Thirty five percent said they’d work with a chatbot to resolve a complaint or to get detailed answers or explanations. Thirty-four percent would employ a chatbot to connect them with a human customer service assistant. A third would use chatbots for reservations, 29 percent for paying bills, 27 percent to buy basic items, and 22 percent each to get ideas for purchases and to get added to a mailing list of new service.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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