Chat is big. In fact, chat is rapidly becoming the new customer contact channel of choice. Hakuhodo Inc. is Japan’s 2nd largest advertising company and they’re jumping on the chat trend in a big way. Hakuhodo has created a fully owned subsidiary called Spontena LLC with the purpose of using natural language processing technology to enable companies to chat directly with customers.
Pandorabots knows a thing or two about conversational chatbots. I’ve written extensively about them before, including here, and about Dr. Richard Wallace and AIML. When Spontena set out to build a conversational chat engine, they partnered with Pandorabots to drive the technology behind the conversations.
The latest results of the Pandorabots and Spontena partnership is an interactive survey that companies can share directly with consumers over the LINE chat app. LINE is as big in Japan as WeChat is in China. To see a short comparison of LINE vs. WeChat you can check out this video. LINE Business Connect is the offering that gives businesses their own branded chat identity. Techcrunch wrote about Line Business Connect earlier this year. Another player in the conversational chat experience is DAC DialogOne, a service of D.A. Consortium Inc. DialogOne integrates with LINE and delivers personalized messages to customers based on user information.
In partnership with Spontena, companies can now send questionnaires directly to consumers over their LINE Business Connect accounts. “Questionnaire” might not be the right term here, because the real-time nature of the Pandorabots-powered chat experience makes the question and answer exchange dynamic. Here’s an example of a possible dialog exchange provided in Hakuhodo’s press release.
- Conversation bot: What’s your favorite animal?
- User: I don’t know
- Conversation bot: Have you ever had a pet?
This exchange seems more like a session with a chatbot than a response to a questionnaire. And the Pandorabots chat engine is sophisticated enough to continue the context of the dialog intelligently when the user doesn’t have a response to the question.
According to the press release, 8,000 LINE users were initially polled with a questionnaire survey and 80% of them responded. That’s an astonishing response rate for an unsolicited survey. During the survey, customers willingly shared information about themselves and the natural language processing system successfully sorted over 99% of user responses into useful marketing data. Here’s an example of the NLP sorting process from the same press release:
- Conversation bot: Tell me about your home. Do you live with anyone?
- User: My wife
- Response sorting: Married, Husband & wife
The Pandorabots-powered chat survey enables companies to entertain consumers over their preferred chat app by providing them with a truly engaging conversational chat experience. At the same time, companies gather information that enables them to personalize marketing messages in the future.
Yep, chat is big. To make automated chat engaging, you need powerful conversational engines. Pandorabots, a company that’s been around for a long time, suddenly finds itself in the sweet spot driving this exciting new customer engagement channel.