Author: John Jantsch / Source: Duct Tape Marketing < All Articles Transcript provided by Verbatim Transcription Services Back to P
Transcript provided by Verbatim Transcription Services
John: The bots are coming and they will take no prisoners. Today we’re going to talk about chat bots with Ben Beck on this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing podcast. This is a topic you need to tune in for.
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Hello and welcome to another episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, this is John [00:01:06] and my guest today is Ben Beck. He’s an entrepreneur, marketing consultant and author of the weekly [00:01:12] monthly column on the clear voice blog. We’re going to talk about a topic that is trending, maybe it’s past trending in some circles but maybe you’ve never heard of it. We’re going to talk about chat bots, you’ve certainly interacted with one I would suggest, maybe you didn’t know you did but we’re going to talk about it because I think it’s going to be something we are going to see, it’s going to become a part of our lives, certainly in marketing and technology. So Ben, thanks for joining me.
Ben: Yeah you’re welcome. I like that you said chat bots are trending, I was writing an article the other day and included just a screenshot from Google Trends about chat bots and there’s just this huge spike in early 2015 that just keeps going.
John: Yeah you’re starting to see the internet marketers that are creating courses on how to do chat bots for lead generation, so that’s usually a sign that something is on its way up. So let’s start, I actually found you a blog post that you wrote about chat bots and that’s really what I was — myself I was thinking what I wanted — I needed to learn more about this, I want to get my audience [00:02:18] about this and boom there was your article, so that’s why we’re talking today. But what is a chat bot in the simplest terms tell us what it is even?
Ben: Yeah so a chat bot is generally an artificially intelligent driven computer conversation that can happen through a number of ways, the most popular ways is Facebook Messenger but you’ve also got chat bots that are working inside of Slack or via text message.
John: In Skype, there’s Skype bots.
Ben: Yeah. These chat bots they’re generally question based, you go in and ask a question and it gives you an answer and they’re trying to make them conversational, trying to really make it feel like you’re talking to a human and that’s one area chat bots kind of fall short still is making it seem like it’s a full human interaction. But they do have a lot of other valuable uses and like you said, there’s a lot of people starting to use them for internet marketing.
John: Yeah because the A.I part is still pretty simple right? I mean it’s like oh if I hear this word I think you’re after this. But again, it’s like a lot of these things right? Garbage in, garbage out, they’re only as good as what you write from a script point aren’t they?
Ben: Exactly and there’s you know the scripting can be really tough because you’ve got to think of all the different questions people might be asking and you put in a question and then your potential answer can come up and you can make it a little more human like and say hey, sometimes I want to give this answer and sometimes I want to give this answer and we can dynamically insert a keyword, maybe we know what their name is already from earlier in the chat and so we’re going to insert their name there. So there’s things you can do to make it more conversational, but yes, like you said the A.I is — it’s still rather simple and thus it’s hard to make it seem like a human.
John: Well I think one of the challenges for a lot of organizations also is they jump on this kind of social media when it first came out, you know brands were like we have to be in it but they didn’t know how to be in it really and I think that bots will be the same way, it’s like all of a sudden wait, we lost our brand voice and you know — I love some of these bots that I interact with and they’re kind of sassy you know, they clearly like — somebody has gone through and said no, this is our tone this is how we talk but then I’ve also seen others that you know, all it is is an advanced version of an auto responder basically.
Ben: Yeah and you know I think any company that’s going to do a chat bot, they need to have their culture, whether it’s sass or humour or whatever it is they’re inserting into that chat bot, it needs to be there because it’s you know — it’s so new it’s like wow I’m chatting with a bot and I can’t believe this company has one. And so you’ve got to make sure it’s a very positive interaction and a lot of that can be done with you know — hey I’m a surfer dude, I’ve got a [00:05:11] I’m building a chat bot for and they run promo beach resort it’s a family fun centre and it’s got kind of a beach/surfer type theme, and so the chat bot we’re building for them is based around David Hasselhoff and he’s got lots of fun surfer lingo that he throws in there. So that’s a way we’re really trying to connect to their brand, to the bot to make sure it’s congruent and just a good interaction.
John: I think there’s a tremendous amount of opportunity in that. So you just described one use for it but talk about some of things you’ve seen. What are some of the categories of ways you’re seeing businesses use these?
Ben: Yeah great question. There’s a lot of companies out there in the retail space that are starting to jump on board and one way — I believe it’s American Eagle that are doing this, after you’ve completed your purchase they’ve got a little module on the thank you page that says hey, do you want to be [00:06:09] of updates on your order and it’s got a little connect to Facebook button and you click that and it actually authorizes their Facebook Messenger chat bot to be able to give you updates and it’s worked really well for them because they’re — as soon as the order has processed they give you an update through Facebook messenger and as soon as the order has shipped they give you that update and it’s actually a conversational bot so the person can send a question back and it will give them an answer. And one way they’ve really leveraged that for marketing is a few weeks after you receive your order the chat bot reaches out again proactively and says hey, just want to see how you like those pants you know, do they fit well? And from there the chat bot can then send them to leave a review or it can even show other products that they might be interested in buying. In the retail space it’s been good to kind of manage the order side of things and I’ve seen other companies use them for lead gen. So for example you go on and you’ve got some real estate questions, you can start asking this bot real estate questions and after it has answered a couple of questions and maybe you say how do I know if I can sell my house by myself or I need to use an agent? And the chat bot responds and says hey that’s a great question, how about I give you a guide that can help you determine that? And they it clicks their email address and their name, and it sends the guide off to them and you’ve got a lead in the system for the real estate company that built that chat bot. There’s lots of ways you can use it.
John: So let’s throw a little cold water on this which I hate doing right in the middle because I’m kind of pumped about this and so I want people to explore this and learn about it but at what point — right now we’re in this kind of “Oh look, I got an email.” You know, you may not be — you may not be old enough to remember that back when people were like, “Oh cool I got an email!” Now of course we’re just like [00:08:12] with it and so at what point do people start saying yeah this is really cool I can interact with this thing and then they open up Facebook and they have 737 messages and it just becomes another email.
Ben: Yeah that’s a great question. I think you’re probably going to see that and I hate to say it, but it works that way with anything, the emails, our phones are dinging all day long and you see the notifications coming up and it just becomes noise. I think we’re going to see that with chat bots again too but thankfully I think we’ve got five, six maybe 10 years of runway before it gets to that point just because the chat bots right now to be able to interact with you, you have to create an interaction with them first. I think that Facebook, and [00:09:01] Skype, whoever it is, whatever platform it is, they’re going to be really good at maintaining that acceptance of privacy. So I don’t think you’ll have any proactive chat bots going out, I can’t see Facebook doing that.
John: I don’t think you’re giving the spammers enough credit Ben.
Ben: I hope not!
John: Alright so the original post I referenced actually said something like build a chat bot in 10 minutes. Can a truly…