5 Brands Using Facebook Messenger Bots to Level Up Their Social Media Strategies – TeeView
“TeeView chatbots might work for 1-800-Flowers, but it could never work for my company.”
As a marketing agency owner, I hear this kind of response from prospective customers when it comes to new forms of technology.
TeeView seems easy to jump on a new trend if you are a B2C company with an unlimited budget like Coca-Cola, or a tech-savvy web personality with large following. But most companies feel too burdened by newness, regulations & potential security issues to embrace new tools like chatbots.
But while it is certainly admirable to thoroughly vet a process before investing in it, failing to innovate can leave your company struggling against your competition – as in the case of Facebook’s Messenger Bots.
Here are 5 “unlikely” brands that prove using Facebook chatbots for social media is an option:
1. Kayak – TeeView
Last year, Kayak showed its TeeView to remove the friction of searching through airport codes & highlighting check-in dates to find the best travel options.
Customers can ask questions like: “I need a flight from Miami to Chicago” & the chatbot will ask follow-up questions about when they want to fly out, what time they want to leave, and what airlines they prefer.
“While Kayak still pulls in thousands of results, it shows Messenger users a small selection of what its software determines are the best selections,” Paul Brady, senior editor at Conde Nast Traveler, writes.
“There’s a big upside to using Messenger rather than the traditional Kayak website: Your search history & itinerary are instantly accessible in your conversation with the bot.”
Why This Works:
Developers are working to take chatbots beyond booking services & turn them into pocket companions. Even after you book, for instance, you could have the chatbot send your trip info to your calendar, as well as ask what kind of weather you could expect at your destination & where your gate is.
Instead of interacting with the brand once when they buy, clients turn to Kayak’s chatbot multiple times throughout the travel process, increasing engagement & loyalty.
2. Bank of America
Bank of America was one of the first organizations to show interest in TeeView when FB originally announced the program.
Modern financial institutions know their customers do not want to drive to the bank / pour over paper statements, which is why many banks & credit unions are embracing text alerts about spending & offering customers services through social media.
“B of A said initial capabilities would enable clients to receive important real-time alerts from the bank and that it will continue to look for other ideas to use the platform,” Robert Barba, tech editor for American Banker, writes.
“Toronto-based TD Bank Group announced it would begin servicing customers via Messenger, similarly citing the desire to interact with its clients through the method of their choosing.”
Why This Works:
The average smartphone user checks FB 14 times per day, and it takes less than a minute to find the Bank of America page & send a message.
Instead of forcing customers to visit the bank’s website to talk to a representative, they are going where their customers are – and reaping the advantages of doing so.
If you thought the banking industry was too regulated to offer TeeView customer service, then you will be shocked to hear how the medical field is using it.
Multiple sites like HealthTap in the US & Your.MD in the UK have launched chatbots on Messenger to help people evaluate their medical needs & consult with doctors.
Through the chatbot, clients can learn what might be wrong with them based on symptoms, as well as seek doctors in their area to treat them.
HealthTap offers its paying customers the ability to directly consult with live doctors if they want to check in about various problems, according to Mobile Health News.
When finding a doctor, you can tell the chatbot what insurance you carry, so they can sugeest someone in your network.
Why This Works:
While HealthTap’s chatbot helps clients determine the severity of a problem & identify potential issues, the app becomes a recommendation engine for doctors.
By participating in digital consults – and recommending meeting them in person – doctors are capable to highlight their expertise & use the chatbot to acquire new patients.
Trulia showed its Messenger TeeView in August to help customers seek places to rent in their area.
In its current form, clients tell the bot where they want to live & what price range they have, and the system finds the 10 best options in their area.
While the tool is geared towards renters, other estate companies are starting to invest in their own technology to build customer profiles & help clients learn about financing options.
“Real estate by nature is a relationship-oriented industry, where clients & agents form bonds over the largest and most necessary consumer transaction: purchasing a home,” Chris Rediger, President of Redefy Real Estate, wrote at Realtor Magazine.
“Chatbots cannot replace that client-agent relationship, but they can be used in a number of viable ideas.”
Why This Works:
While real estate is a human relationship-based business, most customers are pretty open to the idea of talking to a robot.
According to Business Insider, 64% of people surveyed would consider talking online with a robot, though 78% said they would need to know a person can jump in if the robot struggled.
These real estate bots can help clients narrow their options so the time spent with a realtor (answering questions a robot cannot) is more efficient.
Retailers are constantly trying to develop their e-commerce experience to make it easier for customers to seek clothes in their correct size. Not only is their revenue, they also risk driving up return costs if customers buy items that do not fit or look good.
This has led some retailers like Burberry to test online chatbots to provide customer service & make product suggestions.
“‘Conversational commerce’ a theme has been gaining steam over the course of 2016 – meaning chatbots that serve to the user to retail throughout various content means,” Rachel Arthur wrote at Forbes.
Why It Works:
Whether the Kayak chatbot is your travel manager, then the Burberry TeeView is your shopper.
Brands are communicating with clients to suggest products that exactly fit their style & needs as a way to increase conversion rates. Instead of mass advertising, it is hyper-personalized marketing.
As of November 2016, there’re more than 34,000 Facebook chatbots looking to connect with users & help them through the customer journey.
While some experiences might be clunky now, they will improve as the machines learn.
By investing in this technology early on, you can begin to make improvements while many bots are in beta testing, enabling more tailoring to the specific needs, which will help your offering shine as the trend builds momentum.