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Chatbot DevelopmentApril 3, 2017Written by Dean Withey

Get the Lowdown on Chatbots, London and AI

I was recently invited to speak about artificial intelligence and chatbots in London.

It was for one of the world's leading tech agencies called Hotwire, if you like, you can see the highlights. The event was well received, lots of people from different industries and job roles were keen to learn about chatbots in London and how we're using AI to give brands a voice.

During the event, two things struck me the most.

  1. How people in London are keen to learn about chatbots and AI.
  2. How people in London knew so little about chatbots and AI!

The entrepreneur in me is excited for the potential customers this brings, so many intelligent, forward-looking people are eager to get involved in my industry.


The marketer in me is excited about the education and content I can deliver, so many intelligent, forward-looking people are eager to learn more about what I do. 

So, let's talk about you, do you fit into one of the two things above? Are you from London too? Were you at the talk?

Perhaps you're reading this to learn how business problems can be solved through the implementation of a chat solution? Or, here to absorb as much information as possible on chatbots and AI? 

Either way, let's crack on.


Let's start with a chatbot for customer service

Regardless of how customer-centric your business and how detailed your documentation is, or how quick-on-the-draw your support line staff are, your customers need you

Your business may be swamped with questions, queries (and complaints?). For some, it might be an expensive business problem that sucks up valuable staff resources and hampers customer success with problems.

Wouldn't it be nice to make those questions, queries and complaints go away?

There is this MBA-business-y thing called the Pareto Principle, sometimes referred to as the 80/20 rule. It suggests in lots of areas, 80% of the effect comes from 20% of the input.

Traditionally, the Pareto Principle suggested that 80% of revenue comes from the top 20% of the customers. But the customer service managers we've worked with believe 80% of inbound enquiries are the same questions, queries or complaints over, and over again.

Think about your business.

How many times do you or your staff copy-paste the same email reply, direct people to the same FAQs or answer the same questions over the telephone? I'd be willing to bet it happens quite a lot.

This is where chatbots and AI come to the rescue.

You see, a chatbot is the best staff member you could ever wish for.

It is always at work, never gets tired, angry or swear-y at customers.

You teach it how to answers those 80% of inbound questions and all it does is sit there all day and night answering them.

You don't need to water or feed it; you don't need to say good morning to it, you don't even need to give it a name (althought that would be sad).

As a company that develops customer service chatbots in London, we use artificial intelligence to teach your chatbot how to behave and communicate with your customer exactly how you want it to.

Do you want you customer service bot to be happy and fun? Do you want it to be direct and to-the-point? Is it a man, a lady, or something else? Is it responding to questions via live chat on your site, slack, Telegram, SMS, or somewhere else?

Right, customer service has been taken care of. Let's take a look at another use case for a chatbot.


A chatbot for lead generation

How many digital channels does your brand communicate across?

Let's have a think, hmmmm, assuming you're an average company...

You've probably got what...

Facebook, Twitter, email, website, LinkedIn, telephone and maybe Instagram?

So that's, 7? Perhaps 9 channels at a push?

I'm sure your marketing team have done lots of research and figured out that x% of your audience are on whatever channel, and that's the best way to reach them. Your ad spend is well planned, your segmentation and demographics nailed.

What if, instead of shouting and screaming "BUY THIS, DISCOUNT HERE, BOOK NOW, or VISIT OUR SITE" via display ads, email or whatever, you simply say...

"Hi, how can we help, let's chat?"

What if, your business was available to talk, answer questions and collect email addresses, telephone numbers or whatever else you count as a lead, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In any language, simultaneously to an unlimited number of people?

What if you could do that over every single conversational digital channel known to man?

You can. This is what this chatbot is doing, and it has generated 30,000+ warm leads so far.


A chatbot for sales

Imagine the staffing and infrastructure required to do this:

Talk with a person at the start of the customer journey, guide them through research and product selection then hold their hand and help them to book, manage and monitor their appointment or purchase. Then go on to deliver after sales service, gather feedback (such as NPS) and upsell or keep the customer engaged with rich media content.

I think a single human can probably do that for what four, maybe five people at once?

A single chatbot powered by AI can do it without breaking a sweat. But not just four or five people at once, but for thousands of people at once, via whatever channel they choose to use and in whatever language they make contact in. 

Furthermore, the capture of data throughout the process will provide competitive advantage and insight, enabling your business to understand its customers better, predict demand, monitor sales journeys and maximise business processes and efficiencies. 

The funny thing is, this isn't even far-fetched

It's happening now. Like seriously. We're delivering solutions to do exactly what I just described.


A chatbot for employee communication

If your business has less than, say, 50 people, you can skip over this bit. Unless, of course, my crap writing is entertaining you, then feel free to read on.

Think of all the HR stuff, sales and marketing communications, boring financial and employment legal-type bits and bobs and the occasional "has anyone got the latest stats on XYZ?" type things.


Your employees talk to each other, a lot.

I wonder how much time disappears into the ether because someone is being interrupted when someone else needs something.

Some random employee to HR:

"Hi, how much holiday do I have left?"

Some overworked HR person to employee:

"One sec, let me look at our HR portal THAT YOU ALSO HAVE ACCESS TO."

Some apologetic employee to HR:

"Argh sorry, I'm new and don't know what I'm doing."

Some even-more-overworked and CBA'd HR person to employee:

"It's ok I just checked for you, you've got 12 days left. The portal is here; you should have your login details from when you joined."

Some wants-to-hide-in-the-corner employee to HR:

"I forgot my login details."

HR person's email autoresponder:

"Hi, I'm currently away on annual leave and won't be checking my emails until... yada yada."


Let's do this again using a ubisend AI-chatbot.

Some random employee to HR-bot:

"Hi, how much holiday do I have left?"

HR-bot to some random employee:

"You've got 12 days left."

Errr, that's it...


There you have it, a few examples of chatbots and AI, with a focus on you lovely folk in London.

Let's chat? (In any language 24 hours a day 😃)