A recent FreshMinds report identifies chatbots as one of the four rising tech trends set to transform the insight industry. Explore how popular companies, such as Duolingo, Airbnb, Estée Lauder, KLM and Penny utilise chatbots to drive innovation.

1. Duolingo: education at your fingertips

Learning a foreign language can be a daunting experience, but with the help of Duolingo’s chatbots, it has never been easier. A chatbot can ask, “what would you like for dinner?” and the user can respond, “may I have the salmon with a side salad”. Powered by artificial intelligence, these bots alleviate the pressure of practising a foreign language and prepare users for real-life conversations.

Duolingo is effectively adding value by providing a new service to customers, that wouldn’t be possible otherwise. This teaches organisations to consider where a chatbot can add value that will result in greater engagement from consumers.

2. Airbnb: customer service made easy

With a simplified customer service process, Airbnb’s ‘Hostbots’ utilise natural language processing to understand what is being asked. Hostbots will automatically respond to each query from guests, such as “what time is check-in?” to “how many bedrooms does the flat have?” If the answer is unknown, the chatbot will route the message directly to the host.

Airbnb demonstrates that an automated, straight-forward process can enhance a user’s virtual shopping experience, attracting more consumer buy-in. The chatbot is saving both the hosts and the guests time communicating between one another, enhancing the favourability of the Airbnb platform.

3. Estée Lauder: virtual makeup experience

If you’re browsing Estée Lauder’s website and the makeup section catches your eye, you’re in luck. This popular beauty company utilises chatbots to communicate with customers and help make product recommendations. From lipstick colours to eye shadow shades, customers can try the suggested makeup on virtually via augmented reality, without an in-store shopping experience.

Estée Lauder innovates by reaching out to customers and generating potential sales beyond the traditional retail environment.

4. KLM: personal travel assistant

The KLM airline makes accessing travel information easier than ever. Focused on treating travel as an experience and not as an expense, you can contact KLM’s ‘Mezi’ directly through messenger, 24/7. From “is my flight delayed?” to “how long is my next layover?”, this hand-held personal travel assistant focuses on providing superior customer service.

As replicated by KLM’s Mezi, the artificial intelligence capabilities of chatbots have the potential to replicate services traditionally provided people. This saves not only time, but money, and allows for a more personalised customer service experience.

5. Lidl UK: select the best wine

Lidl UK has created a fully automated, artificial intelligence (AI) powered chatbot named Margot. With a light-hearted and easy-going persona, Margot will help customers quickly and easily select the best wine for various occasions and meals. This chatbot can answer questions such as, “which white wines from Italy do you sell for under £7?” and “what goes well with grilled salmon?”. Margot also has additional features such as an interactive wine quiz to keep customers engaged and coming back for more wine knowledge.

It’s all about adding value. Margot is a brilliant example of how companies can help customers, who may not be wine connoisseurs, to feel more confident and excited about their purchase.

From Duolingo’s value-added interactive language tool all the way to Lidl UK’s AI powered Margot –  chatbots offer huge potential for brands. As chatbots continue to advance in capabilities, their usage will extend to the world of research. In fact, according to Oracle, 80% of businesses plan to use chatbots for sales and marketing by 2020. As brands seek to capitalise on new opportunities, what organisations do you see incorporating chatbots into their strategy? Share with us in the comments below!

If you’re interested in learning more about tech trends such as chatbots, download the research here.

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