Chat Me Up

It started up, and now it may never stop. After years of use, consumers are moving away from mobile apps and websites and towards messaging platforms as the preferred medium to interact with people, brands, organizations, and services. They utilize plain text, emoticons, and other natural language interfaces—including voice—to engage in “conversational commerce” transactions. It’s all enabled by artificial intelligence, bringing actual facts and additional intelligence to the conversation. Once again, it’s a matter of understanding the conversations with your client, embracing the right messenger platforms, and speaking the new language of chat.

What is it?

  • With one billion users on WhatsApp, 900 million on Facebook Messenger, 650 million on WeChat and 215 million on Line, popular messaging or chat platforms dwarf apps and websites. Messaging is becoming the new digital connective tissue: easy to use, simple to understand, ultra-fast, and directly impactful.
  • Companies can use selected messaging platforms to connect to their customers in "conversational commerce," designed to both adopt and use typical messenger language, shortcuts, and habits to connect, discuss, and transact.
  • AI and cognitive technologies make chat conversations more fluent, through adapting to the 'mood' of the customers and providing contextual insights.

 

How do we use it?

  • KLM customers can alter their ticket or change their seat via WeChat, a functionality that is also available through the website or the mobile app. However, in-app use feels more comfortable to many people because they can chat in their own words.
  • A visit to a doctor can be planned in China via WeChat through a specialized, automated sequence that guides the patient through dialogue to select a hospital, the department, the doctor, and the date and time.
  • Taco Bell’s TacoBot takes customer orders on a messaging platform; the bot has been programmed to display a fun personality, answering questions and dealing with problems with wit and patience.

 

Potential Impact

  • Creating the Wow: the ability to bond on an emotional level by using dialogues instead of digital dichotomies
  • Creating the Now: conversing with customers during their crucial “micro moments,” whether at home, traveling, working, or enjoying their free time
  • Staying relevant to consumers expecting high availability, ease-of-use, and speedy delivery
  • Unique opportunities to better understand the needs of customers and anticipate future market developments

 

Technology