As Kelly presented in the post Is Your Commerce Conversational?, 2018 may well be the year Conversational Commerce becomes mainstream and starts to feel completely normal to all of us. Kelly provides additional insight on this topic as she shares best practices you may want to consider.
Conversational Commerce Best Practices
- Identify Yourself – Customers appreciate knowing if they’re communicating with a bot or a human. Be transparent about who’s on the other side of the conversation.
- Shake Hands – Design bots and voice services to mimic human conventions and societal norms. Give your bot a real name. Have him or her speak the way real humans do, with cultural consideration and apropos opening greetings like, “Hi or Hello!” and closing salutations like “Thank you” or “Goodbye”.
- Be the Brand – Give your bot a personality that represents your brand’s unique brand promise. Maintain editorial tone of voice with every scripted question and reply.
- Voice versus Text Chat – The major difference between voice and text chat is the presence, or absence, of visuals but also consider people’s tolerance for the number of results or responses. For example, with voice search on platforms like Alexa and Siri, people don’t want multiple results – they want one or two quick answers. With Google Allo more results are probably okay. Bottom line is to remember to design experiences that take advantage of each channel’s strengths.
- Personalization – Bots, with integrated AI and machine learning capabilities, are great assistants well-suited to complete time-consuming tasks like data analysis and image recognition in an instant, and without
- Handoffs to Humans – Allow customers to escalate to a human seamlessly if they need to. Though the handoff represents a call to an agent, the call handle time will likely be far shorter as compared with direct calls to a call center agent, lowering the cost of service for the contact support.
- Look, No Hands – For voice services in particular, look for idle moments in your customers’ journey or time when customers’ hands are occupied with critical tasks. Those moments likely represent opportune times to introduce bots or voice services.
- Listen Actively – If you’re designing a voice service, leverage some of the available APIs out there that detect how a person feels from the tone of their voice. For example, Beyond Verbal’s Speech-to-Emotion API allows you analyze emotions from physical characteristics of voice and vocal intonations.
- Conversion – Use chat bots for direct marketing and direct communication with customers in lieu of email. Open rates for message bots are more than double that of an email on average.
- Built-in Notifications – Messaging services like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp handle push notifications on your behalf, lowering your overall operating expenses for marketing.
Object Edge Digital Experience Management practice is actively advising commerce brands in a variety of industries on the design and implementation of conversational commerce experiences into their customers’ journeys. To learn more about putting the Object Edge team to work for your business, click here.