What’s a chatbot?

A chatbot is an automated chat service. Basically, instead of paying someone to sit and respond to customer chats, a bot does it all for you automatically.

What’s a Facebook messenger chatbot?

A chatbot inside your business’ Facebook messenger.

Here are the two most creative Facebook messenger chatbots I’ve seen…

http://agencynation.wistia.com/medias/30dw3u7z9d?embedType=async&videoFoam=true&videoWidth=360

 

Jeff Roy, CEO and President of Excalibur Insurance in Ontario, hopped on the phone with me this week to talk all things chatbot. Here’s his insight on this emerging technology….

Customer Experience 2027 2017

“We wanted to figure out a way to get people to the right spot on our website. Our very first chatbot is really just a Navigator.”

Jeff Roy

Jeff actually had a chat service on his site for a year and a half before he ventured into the automated space.

Somehow the universe brought him in touch with Joseph Dsouza from ProNavigator, an insurance technology company laser-focused on automation – as the universe does.

Joseph analyzed a year and a half of chats from Jeff’s chat service and found 3 general trends:

  • 80% of chatters were new business (and wanted a quote)
  • some part of the remaining 20% were service requests
  • another small part of the remaining 20% wanted to report claims

He also analyzed the way people phrased their questions, how they responded and the variations in language they used.

From all this data, he built a sweet “bot” for an insurance website.

(Meaning – he found enough similarities in the chat interactions that he was able to automate them.)

Jeff calls his bot “Artificial Intelligent Digital Excalibur Navigator” or just AIDEN, for short.

aiden

She helps website visitors find the information they need when they want it or reach the right person immediately and effortlessly.

The customer has a choice and so do you.

“It’s all about giving people choice. If we don’t give choice to consumers, the disruptors like Lemonade and Trov, are waiting to give it to them. So, why not us? Why not now?”

Jeff Roy

We say we put the customer first, but do we?

When we demand that customers pick up the phone, wait through a phone tree, finally find someone who can get them a quote (but not before 9am or after 5pm…oh and definitely not on weekends…and probably not after 3:30pm on Friday) and then wait 2 days for a final quote…whose needs are we really satisfying?

If someone visits Excalibur’s website over lunch, AIDEN’s there.

If someone visits Excalibur’s website on a Saturday, AIDEN’s there.

If someone visits Excalibur’s website at 2am, AIDEN’s there.

Sure, AIDEN isn’t perfect – there are things she can’t do.

But she can help a customer 24/7, handle multiple customers at once and provide consistently awesome service.

I mean, hey, as an insurance customer, I like having the choice to get in touch when I want to, not when you want me to.

One chatbot. Lots of platforms.

“His technology is channel agnostic.”

Jeff Roy

I’ll be honest, before I hopped on the phone with Jeff, I was under the impression that you had to build a separate bot for different platforms.

Meaning, I thought you had to build a website chatbot, a Facebook chatbot, etc.

That’s a big barrier to entry; it would require a larger initial financial investment.

Turns out, I was dead wrong.

Now that Joseph has customized a chatbot for the insurance industry, it can be integrated with almost any platform.

Websites, Facebook, Texting, Slack, etc.

Talk about an incredibly versatile tool.

The Automation + Artificial Intelligence Cocktail of Awesome

“It’s like if you hire a temp in your agency, they’re not going come in and kick ass. They’re not going to know everything. They have to learn over time.”

Jeff Roy

Remember that Agency Nation article on phone call technique?

In case you missed it: https://www.agencynation.com/phone-call/.

You might also remember that over 70% of callers hang up when they hit a phone tree.

Sooooo – phone callers hate automation, but website visitors love it??

Bit of a double-standard, right?

Not really.

I threw this question at Jeff hoping it’d be a hard-ball, but of course he knocked it out of the park.

He explained that the secret sauce to a great chatbot isn’t the automation; it’s the artificial intelligence.

“I don’t know how many phone trees run 38 layers deep. Press 5, then I have to listen to 24 commands, then press 4. At that point, I’m pressin’ 0; I’m bailing cause I just can’t stand it anymore. Whereas with the chatbot, you tell it what you want and it immediately takes you down 4 layers.”

Simply put, a chatbot allows the solution to your customer’s needs to be one click away, not 38.

The best part? The more a chatbot interacts with your customers, the more it learns and the better it gets at solving their problems more efficiently.

Booya. 

Customer Experience 2027

“It’ll be the Siri of insurance.”

Jeff Roy

While Jeff described his current chatbot as a “Navigator,” he described future iterations as “Robo-Advisors.”

Imagine if a client could ask a chatbot to instantly pull insurance information for them: their policy limits, their next payment due date, etc.

Once the chatbot software can be integrated with an Agency Management System, the possibilities are endless.

And the impact on customer experience is huge.

p.s. it’ll probably happen before 2027.

Ok, this is COOL.

“I’m a big proponent of Crawl, Walk, Run.”

Jeff Roy

Jeff has been on board the chatbot train for years now.

He started with a chat service, developed his website chatbot and is going to be launching a Facebook messenger chatbot in the next few months.

But he still describes current chatbot models as the “starting point.”

His advice?

If you want to get involved, don’t worry about it being perfect at first.

Launch, test, re-launch, test, re-launch, test….

Perfection isn’t the goal, growth is.

Take A Test Drive

Find Joseph Dsouza from ProNavigator and his awesome chatbot here: http://pronavigator.io/.

Check out Jeff’s website chatbot here: https://excaliburinsurance.ca/

And even though Jeff hasn’t officially launched his Facebook messenger chatbot yet, here’s a sneak peek I’ve got for you:

http://agencynation.wistia.com/medias/vnfj1dyaqc?embedType=async&videoFoam=true&videoWidth=360

 

Thank you,

– Syd

P.S. Ryan…..I hope you’re reading this.

P.P.S. If you want to hear Jeff Roy speak on chatbots and other cool stuff agents can do with technology… Get your ticket to Elevate 2017 and see him speak live.

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