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 of chatbots is that it sounds too much 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, chatbots can also bring value to users in several other ways. While the ultimate goal of chatbots is to increase authentic engagement with users, there are unorthodox approaches that people may not expect.

Let’s take a look at how organizations from all over the world have adopting chatbots.

1. Casper

In case you have never heard of Casper, it’s a startup that has evolved from selling mattresses to developing a whole culture of sleep. Casper 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. If this idea itself isn’t impressive enough yet, the Insomnobot3000 entertains people who have trouble falling asleep at night. So if people text the chatbot during the day, it will refuse to talk (because apparently, it’s really busy). However, between the 11 pm and 5 am, the bot not only engages in long conversations but sometimes initiate ones. 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

The question remains whether the bot will make it more difficult for people to fall asleep, since the blue light from mobile phones is known to be detrimental to sleep-inducing hormone level. In fact, the review has been mixed about how entertaining, or frustrating, the bot actually is. Nevertheless, it should be acknowledged that the idea and motive behind the bot have been a fascinating 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 up to 30 language courses. The site has up to 300 million active users as of October, 2018.

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

Duolingo has managed to solve that classic dilemma using a chatbot. The team at Duolingo has come up with a chatbot that can converse in many languages like a native speaker. Users of their service can practice as much as they want with this fluency expert bot. This is a brilliant idea in many different ways. First, since it is a chatbot, it’s available for users whenever and wherever they want to start a conversation. Second, a chatbot is not rude, never gets frustrated or angry, well, unless people want it to be. Obviously, the creators didn’t design awfully negative personalities. Last but not least, people can practice several languages at the same time and never have to break a sweat over approaching others to talk.

Although it is still a chatbot, not a native speaker, the Duolingo chatbot has definitely 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. The bot also recommends likewise products in the Sephora catalog.

Users can scan anything from human faces to clothing and find products in the closest color that Sephora has to offer. This innovation represents how demanding and complex consumers nowadays have become. 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, 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. The chatbot will send trivia quizzes to their subscribers every day if they choose to engage in the game. People will have to answer 3 questions every day on topics that they’ve selected in the beginning. If wrong response is given, the chatbot will announce the correct answer as well as more knowledge on the topic. For people who are keen on having a small learning session everyday, the chatbot will do the trick.

Use Chatbots

In case you are wondering, users can choose when to stop receiving these quizzes when they grow uninterested. Further, the chatbot also reminds people when they leave the quiz unfinished. Th result showed 65% of users came back daily to answer trivia questions, and that’s approximately 30 million people. The number speaks for itself what an innovative chatbot can do to engage the population.

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, all of the chatbots mentioned start with a simple solution. Then, they 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 powerful 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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