Across industries, brands are using chatbots to provide valuable, instantaneous and interactive experiences for their customers. Yet, most of them are doing it wrong. The problem is that most chatbot creators are focused on the function the bot should provide, rather than the emotional connection the bot could provide to the customer.
Chatbots offer a rare opportunity to develop and deploy an always-on personification of your brand. They can provide an opportunity to continually reinforce and build your brand experience, add a level of accessibility and dimensionality to your website and develop deeper emotional connections with customers, which can be invaluable.
Developing an always-on personification of your brand is a daunting task and is by no means easy. But it can provide tremendous value to your customers and to your brand by not only providing valuable and immediate information, but also by generating empathy and emotion to create a brand experience through and around the interactions with the products you sell. Many top brands have already done this successfully. In fact, there’s a website dedicated to it, TopBots. One notable example is Rose, the virtual concierge at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas. True to the Cosmopolitan’s brand personality, Rose is flirty and has a sense of humor¹. The check-in experience at the hotel is capped with guests being handed a card that reads: “Know my secrets. Text me.” The card includes a number for Rose, so guests can text her with any needs during their stay, whether it’s cultural tips, nightlife recommendations, a late night pizza order or more towels in the room. The kicker is that if Rose can’t answer it, the Cosmopolitan’s staff members are there to step in. While the bot is not without its flaws, such as awkward reply requests which get in the way of a flowing conversation, the Cosmopolitan nailed infusing Rose with on-brand personality— one of fun, discovery and flirtatiousness, in what’s often a pretty bland and useless experience.
By now, you get it—thinking holistically about the experience your chatbot provides is imperative. It’s not enough to provide functional value; you need to provide emotional value and strive to create a real connection with your customers. Think back to a time when you chatted with a customer service rep about a problem you were having. Think about the feeling you got when they not only solved the problem, but they did it in a way that was actually enjoyable for you to experience. That’s the experience you need to strive to create through your chatbot. Anything less means you’re making a poor investment in your time, energy and money.
Implementing a chatbot can be heroically successful by providing significant value to customers; however, it could also be a tragic failure, by missing a chance to further develop your brand experience with customers. Remember, every experience with a customer is an opportunity for your brand to reinforce its personality as well as gain positive customer sentiment and loyalty. Don’t miss out on these opportunities because your brand gets lost in the binary.
¹ Meet Rose, the Sassy New Bot Concierge in Las Vegas – https://www.travelandleisure.com/hotels-resorts/cosmopolitan-las-vegas.