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Chatbots to drive sales: The Australian Open Case Study

By Harley

Chatbots are here – if you haven’t heard already – and we are starting to see some real-life examples where they are outperforming their other digital counterparts. Specifically, I’m talking about how the Australian Open chatbot drove ticket sales and outperformed Ticketek Direct.

Chatbots and tennis

Yep, you read that right. The AusOpen chatbot drove over 150% more conversions than the actual website and delivered a 25x return on investment. If that isn’t pudding of proof, I don’t know what is.

In this article I’ll cover:

  • What was the problem
  • How they solved it and;
  • Why it worked

What was the problem?

Traditionally, advertising channels and support would just link users to the Ticketek page. The issue with this approach is that you would see a huge drop-off rate. Some people probably wouldn’t even click the link, as they’ve received it for later use.

Additionally, email newsletter forms are old and tired. How many crappy email subscriptions do you receive each day? Do you really want more marketing material about the Australian Open?

These two problems are issues that almost all businesses face.

How did chatbots solve it?

A chatbot of course! Genius. What an innovative way to disrupt a time-tested traditional approach to selling tickets. Their chatbot is hyper-focused and doesn’t allow you to do much else. They didn’t try to boil the ocean. They focused on doing one thing well – finding you tickets that suit what you’re after.

The bot asks you several questions to get the perfect ticket:

  1. Whether you want to go on a weekend or a weekday
  2. Whether you want a day or night session
  3. Which arena you want to go to
  4. Which session you want to attend

All else fails, you can tap a button ‘Get Ticket Updates’ which doubles as lead generation for the Australian open. I’ve already talked about the benefits of using messenger and chatbots to broadcast marketing material. Simply genius.

Why did it work?

Before I jump into why it worked, check out some of these ridiculous statistics:

In just one week the Bot has driven 170% more conversions than linking users directly to Ticketek and a much cheaper cost per conversion. More than 600 conversations have taken place in the Bot generating 141 conversions, and generated a 25 times return on investment.

(reported at campaignbrief.com)

THAT IS ABSOLUTELY INSANE! So why was it so successful? It boils down to these three things:

  1. The interface mimics organising a trip to the tennis with your friends. Instead of asking for dates, it asks for weekend or weekday, day or night. It works how you work.
  2. It’s laser focused. Once you start, you’re guided through the process and can’t go anywhere else.
  3. When you are finally brought to purchase, you’re taken away briefly to the Ticketek site at the seat selection screen. By this point, you’ve committed too much time and you’re dropped in at the perfect point. It feels seamless. (Seat selection on mobile suck, but that’s a post for another day).

How can I benefit from this?

Great question. You might not be a sports juggernaut like the Australian Open, but if you run events, sell something or want to tap into the 15 million Australians on facebook – a chatbot might not be a bad idea. Check out our chatbot graphic to see whether it fits your business!

Get in touch with us if you’ve got a cool idea for a chatbot or simply want to learn more!

We identify problems and gaps in experiences for employees and customers in-order to provide the most effective solution. Want to find out how we can help? Let’s have a chat.

Chat to us

Did you know this post, along with all our posts are on Medium?

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Does your business need a chatbot? The answer is yes.

By Harley

We’ve fallen nuts over bolts for chatbots at M8.Digital. We think they are an excellent way to boost lead conversion, broadcast marketing material and create business efficiencies through self-serving. These are the three key areas we look at when we start a bot with a client and below I go through exactly why.

Lead Generation

It’s much harder to say no to a person than a web form. Forms suck – and the general public hates them. They are tired and ready for innovation which is where a chatbot comes in.

A little personality goes a long way in the sales game and chatbots are full of them (at least the ones we make are!) Forms are dry, boring and a pain to fill out. Human connection is far more stimulating which is why chatbots tend to convert far better! Some people have seen ludicrous increases of 300% on their lead-gen when switching to one. Drift is one such player in this space who take chatbot lead-gen and interfaces to the next level with inline calendars!

We load up all our chatbots with business-specific FAQs as a baseline requirement. This is important in order to emulate a conversation you’d have with a real human over the phone or through a messaging channel. It also builds trust in your leads and gives them instant answers to questions they might ordinarily have to wait for via email or phone.

Broadcasting Marketing Material

Chatting with candy's apartment about their boost in open-rates.
Chatting with candy’s apartment about their boost in open-rates.

This is probably one of the most powerful features that the messenger platform has to offer. One business we spoke to saw insane open rates of 90% when they switched to a messenger bot for broadcasts. Email campaigns typically get between 10-25% open rates. The best part is that customers can reply to marketing material with an instant response!

Most email campaigns come from a no-reply address which means asking questions in response is difficult. The friction to messaging is low so these broadcasts typically see far greater engagement.

Business automation and self-serve

This is the one that really gets us excited. Self-serve is the holy grail of a customer experience team – giving customers the best possible facility to perform actions that they would normally ring in for themselves. Most corporates that we deal with have obscure customer portals that are clunky and tricky to use, so they end up calling in to make simple changes such as changing an email address.

Whilst this seems harmless, the business inefficiency begins to back up. If an average call takes around 6-7 minutes and 100 people need to perform a small transaction each month, that’s around 10 hours of customer support time completely wasted. And those are conservative numbers.

That’s not to mention the wait times that the caller usually experiences. Chatbots, when done correctly, can automate these small tasks in a familiar way to customers – just by chatting online.

We think call centres can almost be entirely replaced by a well-trained AI chatbot. Our clients just won’t let us do it (yet)!

What about internally?

Chatbots can also create internal business efficiencies. Organising meetings is one of the most painful things to work with – but there’s a chatbot for that! Check out x.ai. Amy, my new (AI) personal assistant, organises meetings with clients and colleagues without me having any intervention. All I have to do is CC her in and ask her to set something up and she handles the rest. How cool is that?

CC amy into an email thread to set up a meeting.

And she sets up a meeting!

Bonus: Personalisation and customer satisfaction

Personalisation is the other holy grail of CX – making each customer feel like the business is designed specifically for them. Tools like smooch allow you profile your customers across channels so you can provide the ultimate personalised experience through chatbots. Imagine this: You jump on the FedEx site to check an order, and a message pops up giving you an update on your order. All without even asking!

So… how do I get a chatbot?

That’s the tricky part. Tools like Chatfuel allow you to create simple chatbots that can collect leads for you and reply to simple requests.

When you want to start automating your business and giving your customers a personalised experience you probably need to look at getting a custom chatbot built specifically for your needs. If you think you want to create a chatbot to do so, you should get in touch! We’d love to work with you.

We identify problems and gaps in experiences for employees and customers in-order to provide the most effective solution. Want to find out how we can help? Let’s have a chat.

Chat to us

Did you know this post, along with all our posts are on Medium?