Meaningful Personalization in Messaging & Conversational Interfaces

I recently blogged about the growing ubiquity of Personalization and explained how personalization is the key to keeping every user engaged and retained.

A recent report by Forrestor: Mobile Messaging Platforms, explains how “messaging rightsizes customer engagement” (Pyze is listed in the report under Mobile Engagement Automation and was  also listed in earlier reports).  This report describes how mobile messaging is powering one-to-one conversations with customers, and how chatbots will use the same technology in the near future.

Personalizing content of any interaction with users as part of one-to-one conversations  benefits every interaction with users including Mobile Messaging via Push notifications and In-App Messaging,  and Conversational Interfaces.

Personalizing one-to-one conversations benefits Mobile Messaging & Conversational Interfaces

Chatbot Conversational Interfaces

A chatbot is a technology, a channel and an interactive navigation system to help humans access information and trigger task models.

Chatbots need to be conversational and communicate the way humans do.  They need to be exceedingly convincing, but more importantly, the technology should never get in the way of business.

Chatbot conversations are not any different from a mobile app or a website when it comes to personalization.  The conversations need to be engaging, concise, leading, conversational and meaningful.

Let’s take an hypothetical question that a user may ask a chatbot, “When will my order arrive?”

When will my order arrive?

Your order will arrive 3/28/2017

A valid and a to the point answer but it is certainly not personalized.  Personalized conversations increase engagement and retention.  So let’s see some other possible answers.

Karen, your order 6723232 will arrive on 3/28/2017

This answer is certainly personalized, as it used a name and the order number along with the answer.  This is an improvement over the previous unpersonalized answer.

However, “Karen, what would you like?” works great when the barista remembers your name, but not so much for a conversational interface.

Your package with Philips Sonicare and 3 more items, will be delivered tomorrow by 7PM via UPS Ground. 

This answer is meaningful as humans remember orders by purchased items, versus order numbers.

It is helpful as it is also giving a delivery timeline along with carrier details.

Your package with Philips Sonicare and 3 more items, will be delivered tomorrow by 7PM via UPS Ground.
Would you like to see UPS tracking details, set up a return or see accessories like travel charger or wall mount?

This conversation is concise (two sentences and under 40 words),  keeping the user engaged with leading questions, and also upselling additional items – a win-win for both user and marketer.

It is also defining the scope of a chatbot and suggesting keywords that the chatbot understands.

Meaningful Personalization

The difference between the various answers is the level of meaningful personalization, which is the key that differentiates great chatbots from good ones, and great messages from good ones.  All interactions (including messaging and chatbot conversations) with users need to be relevant.  Now we have an answer that is:

  • conversational
  • to the point and concise
  • engaging and leading
  • helpful
  • up-selling

How do you make interactions meaningful?

All messaging and chatbot backends should have access to data sources in a consumable way.  Having access to all pertinent integrations and information to personalize a conversation is key to chatbot’s success with individual users.

Marketers create user profiles based on usage, behavioral, psychographic, geographic, and attitudinal data for behavioral intelligence driven marketing.  Chatbots should have access to same user profiles, as part of the context so chatbot conversations can be concise, engaging and personalized.

Personalize using the data you have about users from all data sources

For example, chatbots that do not have access to shipping and carrier details cannot provide meaningful answers, and a chatbot that is not integrated with payment systems cannot accept payments over chat.


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