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It is becoming increasingly clear that chatbots and virtual assistants are poised to become major players in the relationships between enterprises and their customers. A quick walk through the floor of CES earlier this month would instantly confirm that. After all, as a self-serve tool, chatbots offer the closest thing to a person-to-person interaction. Their natural language interface and easy deployment across platforms make them ideal loyalty agents, customer care reps and company ambassadors. However, if not used correctly, these emerging customer care agents have the potential to become a ubiquitous nuisance, much like IVRs did before them.
Chatbots haven't yet been swept by consumers into the annoyance bin, but as the bots become more ubiquitous it could just be a matter of time before they wear out their welcome. So here's an idea to inject new energy into chatbots: turn them into loyalty agents through the use of Personalized Video.
We all know that customer interactions are increasingly moving online. That's a good thing from a convenience standpoint. The problem, though, is that digital customer interactions are generic, lacking the personal touch that is so critical to generating loyalty. The advent of chatbots has the potential to improve the digital experience for customers, but only if those bots learn how to communicate with humans on their terms. Humans are and always have been audiovisual creatures. From an evolutionary perspective, we are illiterate – having only learned how to read and write several hundreds years ago and are arguably already moving away from doing so. But we’ve been consuming and analyzing audiovisual data for as long as we’ve been on this planet, which is why our brains are so receptive to it.
The problem with video has always been that it was a broadcast medium, a one-to-many channel. However, Personalized Video changes that by generating one-to-one data-driven videos in real time. It is this ability to dynamically generate videos in real time that makes Personalized Videos so adequate as the future interface for bots.
By using a human interface, bots will become more engaging and effective, rather than becoming the IVR of our age. It's easy to see how PV-enabled chatbots can boost sales, retention and customer satisfaction. Consider that 90% of the information humans take in is visual and that this information is then remembered 40% more reliably than text. Add audio to the video and the effectiveness jumps even higher.
Video has the power to drive an emotional connection with customers. And when viewers connect with the message, they’re more inclined to click, share, learn more and begin forming a lasting brand relationship.
PV-enabled chatbots have the opportunity not only to present information in a visual and easy-to-understand format, but to humanize a brand by applying the power of gesture and tone, giving the brand a literal face for customers to get to know.
Let's say a customer has a few questions about how to use a new product or how a company’s new loyalty program works. On the company’s website, the customer would start a regular chatbot interaction. However, certain questions and keywords typed by the customer trigger the generation of a Personalized Video to in real time. For example, the question “How do I activate roaming?” can be responded with a Personalized Video addressing the customer by her name and walking her visually through the menu systems of the actual device she owns, only to end with an offer for a roaming bundle. No IVR or boxed tutorial can do that.
This vision is not a pipe dream, it is a reality. Commercial deployments of PV-enabled chatbots are happening at this very moment.
Engaging with customers on a personal level and using their preferred media drives the highest levels of trust and engagement, which we know are the two cornerstones of customer loyalty. PV-enabled chatbots can help companies accomplish this.
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