Tag Archives: chatbot

Twitter DM Cards and Chirpify – Pushing Chatbots to Meaningful Conversation

Last week Twitter announced a new Direct Message Card for advertisers. The card allows brands to create ads with up to four different prompts that can be used to kick-start conversations on a specific topic, with the goal of helping brands start a private chat with customers. Having developed chatbots since 2011, we are excited to see Twitter’s continued investment in making chatbots more accessible to marketers and customers alike.

If you aren’t already familiar with the new Twitter Direct Message Cards, they are specially designed ads that prompt people to select a given reply from a menu of choices within the ad. From this response, a personal conversation will begin in Twitter’s Direct Message tab. In the case of the Patron Tequila ad below, a person selecting one of these four responses will engage a bot in a Direct Message conversation with the bot suggesting cocktails based on their menu choice.

The new DM Card, according to Twitter, will help businesses drive discovery both through promoted tweets and organic sharing.

Discovery

Which brings me to my first point about the evolution of chatbots. While Twitter’s DM Card seeks to address one area that chatbots have traditionally struggled — Discovery — Chirpify has long had a solution to this issue. Specifically, we’ve been driving chatbot discovery and engagement through the use of social triggers that can be used in any medium – from TV advertising to billboards; megatrons to email – that causes an immediate conversion opportunity from offline marketing to brand chatbots. While the Twitter DM Card helps elevate chatbots within the Twitter environment, Chirpify can elevate chatbots across marketing channels, in the process growing customer awareness, engagement and conversion. And, once people have converted with Chirpify, future conversion is seamless; people can stay in the Twitter (or other social media/messaging) context in which they are already operating.

Loyalty Drives Engagement

MarketingLand compares the new Twitter DM Card to Moviefone in which users “dial 1 for…” and the bot responds with content based on that topic. While this approach may engage people who are intrigued by the multi-choice ad, it will be important to create content that is viewed as a true value exchange for participation. A proven way to do this is to connect the person’s social ID to the loyalty program or CRM database to gain a deeper understanding of who the person is your chatbot is interacting with and use that data to further personalize your content and/or offers.

Connecting your chatbot and loyalty program is an ideal approach for two important reasons:

  1. It allows you to identify customers individually and in aggregate
  2. Provides you the opportunity to offer customers loyalty program points or other valued rewards in exchange for their participation.
This value exchange is critical to chatbot adoption and long-term success and in the process also provides brands with significant data that informs the ROI of their chatbot efforts.

Chirpify Marketing Chatbots

The Chirpify engine provides leading brands like Marriott, La Quinta, and Columbia Sportswear with chatbot abilities to engage and convert customers and calculate ROI of social media and messaging efforts. Critically, these organizations have linked the Chirpify engine to their loyalty programs, driving greater:

  1. Engagement and participation
  2. Rates of conversion
  3. Loyalty
  4. Spend per visit
  5. Frequency of spend

Increasing Spend – ROI

Indeed, Chirpify’s retail customers have found that people who connect their social ID and loyalty program account buy twice as frequently as non-connected members. And Chirpify’s hotel customers found that connected members spent 75% more than the average member in a given year. They also had 2X more purchases than the average member in the same time period.

The ChirpBot has been growing in sophistication for years now, with complex rules based logic, such as geo-fencing, frequency of participation, moderation, and responding to people in their native tongue. Ready to put the Chirpify chatbot experience to work for your brand and customers? Contact the experts at Chirpify today. To make it convenient, simply chat with the ChirpBot. Or, you can always contact us to schedule a conversation.

Our Take: Facebook Expands Messenger Platform

At last year’s F8 Facebook Developer Conference, Facebook opened its API to developers for building bots on its Messenger Platform. Since we’ve been building chatbots since 2011, we were quite excited at the time by the potential this news provided, believing that the familiar interface of social media messaging is the right channel for real-time human language chatbots. Both trusted by — and comfortable to — users, social media messaging offers incredible upside to brands wishing to engage deeper with their customers while providing personalization and utility.

Fast forward to this year’s F8 conference and Facebook has again made news with its Messenger Platform. This time around, Facebook has announced bot discovery through the addition of a Discovery tab and Messenger codes. While we argued last year that discovery is undoubtedly a large challenge to conversational conversion, such as that facilitated by chatbots, the Facebook additions are a helpful half-step forward. However, to reap the benefits of chatbots and encourage customer engagement, brands need three things.

More Discovery

Facebook’s yellow pages will be helpful for reactive discovery of bots. For example, if I am looking for pizza delivery, I might search for a bot to help me with that. However, for proactive bot discovery, yellow pages aren’t ideal. (How many times have you proactively let your fingers do the walking? I’m guessing not often.) Similarly, brands who want to proactively promote their Messenger-based chat bots need to find a way to proactively drive engagement. At Chirpify, we’ve been fueling this very kind of discovery and engagement through the use of social triggers that can be used in any medium – from TV advertising to billboards; megatrons to email – that causes an immediate conversion opportunity from offline marketing to brand chatbots.

And while Facebook has launched Messenger codes which reflects this notion, they are limited to images that can be snapped with a cell phone camera. Another limitation is that they do not connect the dots as to which customer activated the code, which brings me to my second point.

Recognize your Customers

In addition to driving discovery, it is important that brands use the chatbot opportunity for greater recognition, acknowledgement and personalization. Simultaneously, it is increasingly important for brands to show the ROI of their social media efforts. To achieve both, you need to integrate your Messenger chatbot with the corporate CRM or customer database. Doing so allows you to recognize your customers when they engage with your chatbot. And, you can create offers tailored to them; reward them for taking certain actions; or personally acknowledge them for their participation. In addition, when you tie these systems together, you are able to provide closed-loop analytics, learning for example which customers engage with your chatbot, and how, when and why they use it. This deeper data set on your social media customers allows you to further hone your marketing efforts for greater efficacy.

Utility

When brought all together, these strategies allow you to create and drive utility for customers. More than convenience, utility means making it truly easy to do business with you by making your customer known to you across your customer touch points and simplifying the interaction process. Said another way, customers want a bot to be tied to their overall brand experience and provide utility by already knowing who they are and making it incredibly easy to take the next step in participating or interacting with you. Of course, this data can be easily obtained through the customer database and when linked to your customer’s Facebook ID, provides a closed-loop look at your customer.

For brands to be successful engaging consumers with chatbots, they will need to connect the interface to meaningful experiences, back end business processes, and consumer programs that already exist within the organization. Loyalty programs are an ideal example as they are designed for utility, are supported by a deep customer database, and are home to your most loyal customers. With a Messenger-based chatbot, your program members can engage more deeply as it provides a platform for your most loyal customers to interact with the brand in ways that are meaningful to them and encourages a symbiotic relationship with points and/or other rewards in exchange for participation.

Chat With Us

To learn more about driving discovery, personalization and utility for your Messenger-based chatbot, just chat with our chatbot: The ChirpBot

How Conversational Conversion Happens Over Social

convcomm

It just makes sense that Chris Messina, the former Google designer who first proposed that Twitter adopt the hashtag, in a Medium post earlier this year said, “I’m ready to call it: 2016 will be the year of conversational commerce.” I’ve been closely following the growing buzz on the topic given Chirpify’s seminal role in the category four years ago now and have a few key insights on how social brings out the best in Conversational Conversion, not just Commerce.

But before we dive into that, for those new to Conversational Commerce (or for those of you who might need a refresher), let’s review, what exactly is Conversational Commerce, or #ConvComm as it’s tagged on social media. While some people tend to emphasize the word conversation, Conversational Commerce is not limited to virtual assistants but is any short or long-form dialog between a consumer and a brand or service provider. The dialog can be conducted by a bot or person.

What’s important here is that Conversational Commerce bypasses the need for individual brand applications and takes advantage of platforms most consumers already use today — platforms like Twitter or Facebook Messenger that are trusted by both consumers and brands for conversation and conversion. What’s driving the trend and why pundits are calling this the year of Conversational Commerce is the convergence of personalization, authentication and intelligence. While the idea of personalization is certainly not new, when coupled with the ability to authenticate, or recognize an individual, and respond intelligently with a rules-based system for bots or deep CRM data for one-on-one conversations, the future for Conversational Commerce becomes clear.

Embraces utility and self-service

With the rise of mobile, consumers have a remote control in their pocket that allows them to interact with brands how, when and where they like. When combined with social media’s capability for consumers to broadcast 1:1, 1:network or 1:many, it’s clear that consumers are in command of the relationship. Brands need to embrace Conversational Conversion – with the emphasis on Conversion, not just Commerce – in order to provide the utility customers desire and maintain value in the customer relationship.

Conversion is the Future

The future is driving to Conversational Marketing Conversion, with commerce being just one example of a conversion activity. Whether chat bots for Facebook Messenger or direct messaging on Twitter, we’ve learned over the years that consumers are increasingly savvy and must feel that they are getting a fair trade for the value they receive in exchange for participating with a brand. While commerce is a natural example of utility, it is just one way a consumer might want to interact with a brand. Similarly, brands have multi-faceted programs designed to increase loyalty and maximum customer lifetime value.

Best Practices

Having worked in this area for many years now, we’ve paved the path to several best practices to reap the value of Conversational Conversion over social. The first of which is bringing loyalty programs to social media, wherein members interact with the brand in meaningful ways and are given points or other rewards in exchange. In this case, the Conversational Conversion is the member’s action which triggers a reward.

Let me give you an example. If a Marriott Rewards member tweets with conversational commands such as #Enter, #Stay, #Win, and #MRPoints, Marriott is able to respond and reward the member for that action in the same context. In this case, the #MRPoints acts as a trigger for the brand that Chirpify listens for and can automatically reply to from the @MarriottRewards handle with a pre-determined, or randomized, smart rules-based response. The Marriott team can also respond to one-off interactions with a custom, human response.

Another best practice directly addresses Chris Messina’s critique that one of the challenges to the Conversational Commerce paradigm is discovery and distribution. Chirpify solves this problem with social activation. Brands are able to create and distribute campaigns across media – from email to TV to billboards – promoting a social trigger that consumers can then use via their social remote control. By activating campaigns and events in this way, Chirpify becomes the Conversational Conversion for the brand. This holds two advantages in that brands are able to connect consumers’ social IDs with their offline ID and it allows brands to easily change social triggers based on season, campaign, customer target and more.

Last, Conversational Conversion best practices allow brands to proactively surprise and delight consumers. Chirpify allows brands to not only listen for but respond to people who are talking about them in a personalized manner. Rewarding people proactively for their advocacy – or to address a potential customer service issue — helps create a bond with those customers through the conversion experience.

While social is growing as a last-click ecommerce referral source, paying bots for goods and services is still a nascent market. Yet, consumers are happy to interact with brands in a self-serve manner in order to: Receive content, promo codes, discounts or other incentives and are in our experience 4x more likely to do so.

  • Be invited to VIP, preview, or other ‘special’ events.
  • Get an upgrade or sneak peek.
  • Check rewards totals or see what the next promo is.
  • Unlock access to urls or content.
  • Find personalized offers, early access, and more.

It’s important to note that we’re not beholden to any one platform, enabling conversational conversion across platforms.

Conversational Conversion in social has the added benefit of organic reach and virally promoting social advocacy. In addition to conversion actions that further brands’ multi-faceted goals to grow customer relationships, this approach directly addresses consumer desire for utility while increasing acquisition, awareness, and reach. Your best customers want to interact with you; when you provide them the means to do so through Conversational Conversion in social, you connect the dots between marketing, self-serve utility, and customer lifetime value.