Reply.ai democratized the chatbot-building process with BotBot, the bot that builds chatbots. Through BotBot’s technical integrations with Facebook Messenger and other APIs, the process of building, customizing, and deploying a chatbot became as simple as having a conversation about it. This allowed easy, free access to chatbots for thousands of small businesses.
Objective and Context:
Chatbots allow companies to improve customer service and increase sales. But building chatbots requires a considerable amount of creative and technical expertise, time, and money. These restraints make them inaccessible to many small businesses. For Reply.ai, a startup that builds chatbots, this lack of accessibility for small businesses was seen a barrier to scaling its own business. It decided to extend its platform by developing BotBot.
BotBot is targeted at any small business that is already using Facebook to engage with their customers. Reply.ai identified hundreds of thousands of Facebook business pages that could offer a richer customer experience if they automated some of those interactions using a chatbot. In addition, as the chatbot templates offered by BotBot were defined, the startup also looked into targeting specific business verticals where automation would be most useful: gyms, fitness studios, restaurants, coffee shops, and stores that were selling products online.
Websites used to be hard to build, until elegant templates came along. BotBot does the same for chatbots, allowing small businesses to build chatbots within minutes without assistance. BotBot utilizes a conversational user interface to make building chatbots as simple as having a chat about it. It asks business owners a series of questions about their business and builds a chatbot for them. The simplicity of the process allows small businesses to gain easy, free access to chatbots, driving deeper engagement with their customers on Facebook. The BotBot experience was designed with a mobile-first mentality, is free, and requires zero technical expertise. The Messenger interactions are largely automated, making scale boundless.
Overall Campaign Execution:
BotBot was launched in May 2017. It targeted small businesses already on Facebook, inviting them to expand their reach and increase the utility of their interactions with a chatbot for Facebook Messenger. The campaign integrated Facebook ads targeting small business owners, a marketing site that educates small business owners on chatbots and guides them through the bot template selection, a creator bot that allows business owners to build their chatbot and guides them through how to promote it on Facebook, and customized chatbots for small businesses to foster consumer interaction.
The entire BotBot experience was accessible via mobile.
With BotBot, Reply.ai extended its offerings to businesses of all sizes, not just large enterprises, creating a more accessible version of its product and brand. For consumers, BotBot brings better mobile interactions with their favorite store or service providers. They can perform various tasks via Facebook Messenger, such as book appointments and classes from their favorite gym, order food from their favorite restaurant, or simply have their questions answered without having to call a customer service phone number and wait.
BotBot is receiving praise from small businesses exploring the use of the product and from consumers using the customized chatbot templates, as well as attention from Fast Company, PSFK, and various small business publications.