KLM Extends Customer Service Bot To Twitter And WeChat

What Happened
Dutch airline KLM was one of the first airlines to create a chatbot for Facebook Messenger, now the airline company has expanded its bot action to Twitter and WeChat as well. Rather impressively, the bots are fluent in 10 languages, helping KLM to better serve its international customers. They can provide booking confirmation, check-in notification, boarding passes, as well as flight status updates to any customers who checked in through KLM.com and elect to get their info through Twitter DM or WeChat.

What Brands Need To Do
This extended chatbot support underscores KLM’s commitment to using bots as a customer service tool to help streamline the flight check-in process. Messaging apps has become a channel for brands to effectively reach mobile customers, and bots can be a powerful and cost-effective tool for handling basic information requests, managing business bookings, and facilitating direct purchases. More brands should be coming up with a conversational strategy that includes not only how to use bots to improve their brand messaging and services but also how to properly promote the bots.

KLM is also smart to expand their chatbot support so as to better serve their international customer base. Different messaging apps enjoy varying regional popularity, as Facebook Messenger is most popular in the U.S. whereas WeChat dominates the Chinese market. Twitter DM is a good solution to cover the other global markets. For more in-depth analysis how brands can leverage global mega-channels and niche micro-channels to effectively reach key audiences across the world, check out the Global Culture section of our Outlook 2017.

 


Source: MarTech Today

BET Debuts Messenger Bot To Promote Branded Summer Festival

What Happened
BET network is launching a Facebook Messenger bot to serve as a companion to the BET Experience, a four-day festival in Los Angeles that will culminate in the BET Awards, which air June 25. Working with bot-building startup Conversable, BET designed the bot to be capable of answering common inquiries such as directions and set times. It will also serve up content like GIFs and other media of the festival as they happen, providing attendees with fun, shareable content to post to social media to amplify the event’s earned reach.

What Brands Need To Do
Previously, entertainment brands such as Sony and NatGeo have created chatbots to engage fans via conversations with fictional characters, be it a villain from the Resident Evil franchise or Albert Einstein. In contrast, BET’s take on chatbot is a lot more utilitarian, functioning primarily as a customer service bot and content dispenser to improve the event experience for the festival attendees. This is a cool take on how an entertainment brand can use conversational services, like a chatbot or an Alexa skill, to improve the customer experience in a fun, innovative way.

How We Can Help
The Lab has extensive experience in building Alexa Skills and chatbots to reach consumers on conversational interfaces. So much so that we’ve built a dedicated conversational practice called Dialogue. The “Miller Time” Alexa Skill we developed with Drizly for Miller Lite is a good example of how Dialogue can help brands build a conversational customer experience, supercharged by our stack of technology partners with best-in-class solutions and an insights engine that extracts business intelligence from conversational data.

If you’d like to learn more about how to effectively reach consumers on conversational interfaces, or to leverage the Lab’s expertise to take on related client opportunities within the IPG Mediabrands, please contact our Client Services Director Samantha Barrett (samantha@ipglab.com) to schedule a visit to the Lab.

 


Source: Digiday

Twitter Launches Direct Message Card To Help Brands Promote Chatbots

What Happened
Twitter announced a new ad unit called Direct Message Card to help brands promote their chatbots and other conversational experience in Direct Message (DM). This new ad unit is customizable using either an image or video, along with up to four call-to-action buttons meant to encourage Twitter users to start a conversation with brands via private DMs instead of tweeting publicly. Patrón Tequila is among the first to use this ad product to promote its “Bot-Tender,” which can recommend tequila-based cocktails based on occasions and flavor preference according to user input.

What Brands Need To Do
Twitter first started allowing brands to plug in chatbots to answer Direct Messages sent to their certified account in November, after steadily adding features for enhancing customer service on its platform throughout last year. Given that most consumers now prefer to use messaging to interact with businesses rather than calling, it makes sense for brands to take advantage of these improvements and upgrade their customer service tools on Twitter. For brands developing conversational experience accessible via Twitter DM, this new ad product should provide a great way to drive conversation and engagement.

How We Can Help
The Lab has extensive experience in building chatbots to reach consumers on messaging interfaces. So much so that we’ve built a dedicated conversational practice called Dialogue. The NiroBot we built in collaboration with Ansible for Kia is a good example of how Dialogue can help brands build a conversational customer experience, supercharged by our stack of technology partners with best-in-class solutions and an insights engine that extracts business intelligence from conversational data.

If you’d like to learn more about how to effectively reach consumers on conversational interfaces, or to leverage the Lab’s expertise to take on related client opportunities within the IPG Mediabrands, please contact our Client Services Director Samantha Holland (samantha@ipglab.com) to schedule a visit to the Lab.

 

 


Source: TechCrunch

Microsoft Tests Chatbot Integration In Bing Search Results

What Happened
Microsoft is planning to add chatbots to the search results on Bing.com to drive conversations. The company has been testing this integration in Seattle. Local users near the Redmond, Washington Microsoft headquarters began to see a bot button in search results for local restaurants, prompting them to learn more about the restaurants via a chatbot.

What Brands Need To Do
Putting chatbots into local search results is a great way to allow customers to quickly connect with businesses for additional information or making reservations. This replaces the need to call the restaurants, thus relieving the workload in customer service for the local businesses. A recent study found that most consumers now prefer to use messaging to interact with businesses rather than calling. As Twitter continues to make its platform more brand-friendly with new messaging features, we expect to see more brands utilize the tools to provide better customer service.

How We Can Help
The Lab has extensive knowledge about reaching consumers on mobile messaging apps and building branded chatbots. The NiroBot we build in collaboration with Ansible for Kia delivers comprehensive product information about the all-new Niro model via friendly chats. If you’re interested in reaching your audience on messaging apps and better serving them with a chatbot, please contact our Client Services Director Samantha Barrett (samantha@ipglab.com) for more information or to schedule a visit to the Lab.

 


Source: VentureBeat

L’Oréal Launches Beauty Gifter Bot For Personalized Gift-Giving

What Happened
L’Oréal has quietly launched a Facebook Messenger bot that aims to act as a gift-giving liaison for personalized makeup and skin care gifts. Working with Automat Technologies, a Montreal-based startup, the beauty giant created the Beauty Gifter bot which asks both the gift giver and the recipient questions in order to pick out the perfect beauty gift. For example, the gift-giver can set a price range of the gift while the recipient will answer a series of questions about their skin tone and type and beauty preferences. Once answered, the bot will then generate several gift options for the gift giver to choose from.

What Brands Need To Do
This is a cool example of brands using AI-powered chatbot to optimize the online customer experience that they offer. This bot not only creates a functional use case for users to engage with, but also enables L’Oréal to gather more customer data on their beauty and skin care preferences for future targeting. For brands seeking to reach the 1.2 billion active users on Facebook Messenger, a chatbot that creates true value for users will be your best bet.

The Lab has extensive experience in building Alexa Skills and chatbots to reach consumers on conversational interfaces. The NiroBot we built in collaboration with Ansible for Kia is a good showcase of our expertise. If you’d like to learn more about how to effectively reach consumers on conversational interfaces, please contact Samantha Holland (samantha@ipglab.com) to schedule a visit to the Lab.

 


Source: VentureBeat

Header image courtesy of L’Oréal

NatGeo Creates Einstein Chatbot To Promote New “Genius” Series

What Happened
To promote its new Genius series based on the life of Albert Einstein, National Geographic channel is resurrecting the renowned physicist as a chatbot on Facebook Messenger. To introduce a more human side of the famed genius, NatGeo worked with interactive agency 360i and Imperson, a startup that specializes in building character-based bots, to create a Genius chatbot that showcases the personality of Albert Einstein and leverages Imperson’s AI technology to provide contextually relevant replies to whatever the user asks.

What Brands Need To Do
Chatbots are a natural fit for entertainment brands looking to promote their content on messaging platforms, as character-based chatbots offer an innovative way to engage with fans, drive social conversations, and build buzz for new releases. Previously, Sony Pictures created a chatbot based on the Red Queen character from Resident Evil: The Final Chapter to promote the movie’s theatrical release in January, and last May Paramount created a Kik chatbot to promote the Teenage Ninja Turtle movie. As machine learning and natural language processing technologies continue to advance, brands will be able to make increasingly smarter bots that will carry out a conversation and forge an emotional connection with consumers.

 


Source: Creativity Online

How Brands Can Promote Their Messenger Bot Via The Upcoming Discover Tab

What Happened
Facebook launched Messenger Platform 2.0 at last week’s F8 developer conference, and one major focus of the update is to improve bot discovery on the popular messaging app. A big part of this is a dedicated Discover tab that works similarly to an app store, showcasing popular and recommended bots by categories such as news, lifestyle, and health and fitness. The tab will start rolling out to U.S. users next week and a global roll-out is scheduled to follow in the next few months.

What Brands Need To Do
In order to be featured in this upcoming tab, brands with their own Facebook chatbots need to fill out the Discover submission form located in Page settings on Facebook. The form will require you to clarify which category that your bot should appear in and the languages it supports, along with a brief description of your bot. If your bot is not associated with a Facebook page, Facebook says it will use “existing categorization and page metadata to determine which category” your bot will appear inside Messenger. If your brand has made a Messenger bot, this is something you will want to get done soon to maximize the visibility of your bot and drive conversations.

The Lab has extensive experience in building Alexa Skills and chatbots to reach consumers on conversational interfaces. The NiroBot we built in collaboration with Ansible for Kia is a good showcase of our expertise. If you’d like to learn more about how to effectively reach consumers on conversational interfaces, please contact Samantha Holland (samantha@ipglab.com) to schedule a visit to the Lab.

 


Source: VentureBeat

Madison Reed Creates An SMS Chatbot That Gives Hair-Coloring Advice

What Happened
Hair-coloring brand Madison Reed has created a chatbot named Madi that will use AI smarts to give out hair-coloring suggestions via text. Interested customers seeking consultations can text the Madi bot at 34757, send a close-up of their hair from roots to ends in natural lighting, and answer a few hair-care questions. The bot will then recommend which color they may consider dyeing their hair by analyzing the photo with color-recognition technology and taking all their answers and preferences into account. 

When users click on one of the hair color suggested, they will be redirected to the brand’s website, where they can see more information and make purchases. In order to train the A.I. engine powering the bot, the team at Madison Reed leveraged social media content and images from product testing and model programs to provide enough imagery data for the bot.

What Brands Need To Do
With the incorporation of color-recognition technology, this chatbot is a noteworthy addition to the fast-growing list of branded chatbots offering automated customer services and support. Facebook Messenger alone now has over 100,000 chatbots on its platform. As more and more brands start to utilize chatbots to reach consumers on various popular messaging and social apps, it is paramount that brands need to devise a conversational experience that can provide value to customers. In order to do so, brands should start with developing a mobile messaging strategy and identifying the customer data it can use to train the chatbots with.

How We Can Help
The Lab has extensive experience in building chatbots to reach consumers on messaging interfaces. So much so that we’ve built a dedicated conversational practice called Dialogue. The NiroBot we built in collaboration with Ansible for Kia is a good example of how Dialogue can help brands build a conversational customer experience, supercharged by our stack of technology partners with best-in-class solutions and an insights engine that extracts business intelligence from conversational data.

If you’d like to learn more about how to effectively reach consumers on conversational interfaces, or to leverage the Lab’s expertise to take on related client opportunities within the IPG Mediabrands, please contact our Client Services Director Samantha Holland (samantha@ipglab.com) to schedule a visit to the Lab.

 


Source: Digiday

Header image courtesy of Madison Reed’s YouTube Video

Twitter Releases New APIs To Boost DM-Based Customer Services

What Happened
On Thursday, Twitter released several Direct Message (DM) APIs and announced plans to unify its API platform as it aims to make it easier for businesses “to deliver faster, richer and more engaging human- and bot-powered customer service, marketing and engagement experiences.”

The new APIs released include a beta Account Activity API for subscribing to real-time activities related to an account, a new DM POST endpoint for sending DMs with supporting features like quick replies and shared media, as well as a welcome message endpoints for creating and managing welcome messages in DMs.

What Brands Need To Know
Twitter has been steadily adding customer service tools to its platform, and this introduction of chatbot services is a natural step for Twitter as it builds out its DM as a customer service platform to appeal to the growing needs of brands. A study by Twilio found that most consumers now prefer to use messaging to interact with businesses rather than calling. As Twitter continues to make its platform more brand-friendly with new messaging features, we expect to see more brands utilize the tools to provide better customer service.

To learn more about how brands can reach and engage with customers and deliver hyper-personalized experiences with AI-powered chatbots, check out the Augmented Intelligence section of our Outlook 2017.

 


Source: AdWeek

Mode.ai’s Messenger Bot Can Suggest Similar-Looking Fashion Items That You Can Buy

What Happened
On Friday, retail recommendation engine and chatbot maker Mode.ai launches a bot on Facebook Messenger that can find similar-looking fashion apparel items for users based on photos they submit. Mode.ai trained the bot’s AI engine with millions of pictures of products from online retailers, and if you like what it suggests, the bot also lets you shop directly from a number of fashion retailers like Levi’s, Louis Vuitton, Ann Taylor, as well as Amazon. In addition to its own bot, Mode.ai plans to offer computer vision services to several retailers and fashion publishers to be announced during F8, the upcoming annual conference for Facebook developers.

What Brands Need To Do
This new Mode.ai bot is a good example of how product discovery may work in the near future where AI-powered smart assistants are able to use the camera of your mobile devices to see what you are seeing. The surging prominence of visual input is set to bring a new set of opportunities and challenges that brands will need to learn to navigate in order to adapt to the shifting consumer behaviors. As computer vision technology continues to mature, it opens up new use cases for brands to create new user experiences supercharged by cognitive ecommerce engines like Mode.ai.

How We Can Help
The Lab has extensive experience in building Alexa Skills and chatbots to reach consumers on conversational interfaces. So much so that we’ve built a dedicated conversational practice called Dialogue. The NiroBot we built in collaboration with Ansible for Kia is a good example of how Dialogue can help brands build a conversational customer experience, supercharged by our stack of technology partners with best-in-class solutions and an insights engine that extracts business intelligence from conversational data.

If you’d like to learn more about how to effectively reach consumers on conversational interfaces, or to leverage the Lab’s expertise to take on related client opportunities within the IPG Mediabrands, please contact our Client Services Director Samantha Barrett (samantha@ipglab.com) to schedule a visit to the Lab.

 


Source: VentureBeat