Recently I studied IM Bots, but unfortunately every time that I experienced them on a Facebook Messenger I felt unsatisfied. Bots and AI are for sure the personal assistants of the future, but we must wait for their evolution and for our language adaptation (read my posts about Bots: Chatbots are contents, not conversations and Facebook Messenger’s Bots are direct, customizable and automated communication channels, not personal assistants).
Intead of Bots, in these months I used many times a lot of Chat Customer Services on some companies web sites and on Messenger. As all the studies say, communicating with a company through our favourite instant messaging app is smarter than downloading any branded app or using the old-fashioned email. My experience was great and these companies increased loyalty and my admiration.
Using Whatsapp, Messenger, Telgram or WeChat for companies is a great challenge for many technical and communicational factors:
- Technical, because CRMs should access to IM platforms for identifying users and managing the requests trafic.
- Communicational, because some contents should be always and easily available for customers instead of lose in the chat’s flow.
As a Product Manager I focused on the second problem and, starting from a Whatsapp-like layout, I designed the “Featured contents” function. The scope of this function is to enrich the discussion between the customer and the company saving the requested contents in a reserved area of the app.
Watch the “Featured contents” gif animation for understanding how it function in the direct relationship between a Hotel and its customer.
The “Featured contents” function applies very well to Hotels, Car Rentals, Airlines Companies and in general to all the businesses that sells products that have a start and an end period, plus some included services.
Obviously this function could be applied even to almost all other markets like the Utilities or the Banking ones, but having real-time contents and high security standard could be really difficult. After this small project, I confirm that IM apps are the future of Customer Relationhips and of many other services, but first to change the way we buy and interact with companies, these apps need to increase their functions.
Note: managing and sending “Featured contents” to customers need a desktop dedicated CRM interface that could be really interesting to develop. If you are interested in a collaboration, feel free to contact me.