4 Examples of How Creative People Use Chatbots

★ 5 min read ★

A chatbot is a blank page, literally and figuratively. It’s up to you to write on it. One of the most common complaints about chatbots is that it sounds like a robot.

Well, it is indeed a robot, but it doesn’t necessarily have to sound like one.

Besides the common usage of chatbots in customer service, where it’s got the most recognition as well as the worst wrath, chatbots can also bring value to users in several other ways. While the ultimate goal of chatbots is to engage users more, there are unorthodox approaches that people may not expect.

Take a look at how organizations from all over the world have taken the chatbot, which some people have deemed a one trick pony, and bring it closer to people in various original forms.

1. Casper

In case you have never heard of Casper, it’s a startup that has evolved from just selling mattresses to developing a whole culture of sleep, which involves not only a wide range of products from pillows to pet beds but also a yearly conference that centers around the topic of sleep.

In 2016, Casper introduced a brand new chatbot called Insomnobot3000 that operates on text messages instead of a third party messaging app or on their own website, which the idea itself was already quite out of the box. And the chatbot was meant to entertain people who have trouble falling asleep at night. So if people text the bot during the day, it’ll refuse to talk (because apparently, it’s really busy). However, between the 11 pm and 5 am, the bot is supposed to not only engage in long conversations but sometimes also initiate one. The intention behind the bot is to become a companion for people who suffer from insomnia when the rest of the world is already asleep.

Image via Casper

While the question over whether the bot will, ironically, make it even more difficult for people to fall asleep, as the blue light from mobile phones is known to be detrimental to the level of sleep-inducing hormones, is to be taken into consideration, and the review has been mixed about how entertaining, or frustrating, the bot actually is, it should be acknowledged that the idea and motive behind the bot has been an exciting example of how chatbots can be used to improve various aspects of human life.

2. Duolingo

Duolingo is a free self-learning language site that offers courses in up to 30 languages and has up to 300 million active users as of Oct 2018.

Anyone who has attempted to learn a new language would agree that practicing with native speakers is often the fastest, yet most daunting way to improve. Moreover, it’s not always the case that learners can find people who are available and willing to talk to them.

Duolingo has managed to solve that classic dilemma, with a chatbot. The team at Duolingo has come up with a chatbot that can chat in many languages like a native speaker so that users of their service can practice as much as they want. This is a brilliant idea in many different ways. Firstly, since it is a chatbot, it’s available for users whenever and wherever they want to start a conversation. Secondly, a chatbot is not rude, never gets frustrated or angry, well, unless people want it to be, but obviously, its creators didn’t give it personalities like that. And last but not least, people can practice several languages at the same time and never have to break a sweat over approaching new people to talk.

Although it is still a chatbot and is not supposed to replace interactions with real native speakers, since the goal of learning a language is to able to communicate in that language anyway, the Duolingo chatbot has addressed a very impactful pain point and made the learning experience less stressful and more enjoyable for users.

3. Sephora Virtual Artist – Color Match

If you’re not familiar with Sephora, it’s a Paris-based chain of more than 1900 stores that specialize in personal care and beauty products, featuring more than 300 brands as well as its own private collection.

Sephora is one of the first big houses in the fashion industry to implement chatbots. Their Sephora Reservation Assistant serves to fast track the booking process in order to save time for consumers and reduce sales cycle time for the company. However, it’s not the highlight of Sephora’s ingenious use of chatbots.

One of the unmet needs of consumers when shopping for cosmetics is that sometimes they want a certain color of lipsticks or eye shadows that they’ve seen on TV, for example, but not sure what the color code is or where to find that color. With that insight, in 2016, Sephora launched the Color Match feature for Sephora Virtual Artist, which enabled the chatbot to scan and instantly tell the user what color that is, as well as the available matching products in Sephora’s catalog.

Image via Trendhunter

Users can literally scan anything from human faces to clothing to any kind of photos and find products in the closest color that Sephora has to offer. This innovation represents how demanding and complex consumers nowadays have become. And businesses have to make the most of technologies in their own way in order to meet those expectations.

4. National Geographic

National Geographic – one of the biggest names in media today, has chosen to utilize a chatbot to engage their 46 million followers on Facebook.

However, instead of regular marketing messages, they opted for a rather amusing yet down-to-earth approach. What the chatbot does is that it will send trivia quizzes to their subscribers every single day if they choose to start the game. People will be asked 3 questions every day on the topics that they select at the beginning of the game. If users fail to give a correct answer, the chatbot will give out the right answer and provide more knowledge on the topic. Thus, for people who are interested, it’s a small learning session every day with the chatbot.

In case you are wondering, of course users can choose to stop receiving these quizzes when they don’t feel like it anymore. Plus, the chatbot also gets in touch and reminds people when they leave the quiz unfinished. And the result was that 65% of users came back daily to answer trivia questions, that’s approximately 30 million people. The number speaks for itself what an innovative chatbot can do to engage users.

All 4 of the organizations mentioned above have found their own unique ways to implement chatbots. If you’ve read till here, do you happen to notice what these chatbots have in common?

With the exception of Insomnobot3000, which the idea is better than the execution, all of the chatbots mentioned start with a simple solution and then grow into more complex versions of themselves.

What if you also want to build a chatbot with such power?

What if you are not a multi-dollar company that could invest in big teams of developers?

Actually, there is an answer. There are platforms that enable people to create chatbots without coding, sometimes even free of charge.

Athenka is one good example. Athenka is a platform equipped with powerful tools for users to create their own dream chatbots. People are able to do that using Athenka’s Decision Tree tool, which helps break down their complicated problems and plan out a step-by-step solution.

Therefore, whether you have a simple, repetitive issue that you want to get rid of, or you have a complex headache that needs a more intricate fix, with such a buildable tool like Decision Tree, the key to a powerful chatbot is always within your reach.

If it’s not enough to convince you, why don’t you try it out for yourself? It’s completely free anyway 😉

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