INTERVIEW: Coca Cola recently launched a vending bot on Facebook Messenger with the help of Pandorabots, which the latter’s co-founder and CEO trumpeted as being “really emblematic of some of the ways that chatbots are revolutionising customer engagement”.
Users can find nearby vending machines, place orders for drinks and pay for them through the bot. They can also buy drinks for friends.
“The bot is available as a touch point along the entire customer journey,” said Lauren Kunze, adding a key element is customers can give feedback, for example if the beverage company is sampling a new drink.
“It’s a two-way channel which is very, very powerful and for a brand like Coca Cola, they don’t usually get that type of feedback back from their customers. So we’ll actually be able to track purchase history as well and that will allow us to increasingly personalise the experience.”
Indeed, Kunze argues when brands think of making a bot, they should do it not just for the sake of it but to solve a “real customer problem” and define KPIs upfront.
She also said Facebook Messenger is “one of the most mature platforms available today” for brands to create bots, while Kik Messenger “which is popular with teens, also has a very vibrant bot ecosystem and the web is still a popular deployment location.”
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