As we get closer to the Holidays, customers get increasingly concerned that their orders are not going to be delivered on time. So the clever chaps at Best Buy are experimenting with an order status chatbot that will reduce the load on the call center by providing updates on customer orders. At 1080bots we take a good look at ecommerce chatbots to figure out the most helpful ecommerce conversational experiences.
The Best Buy Best Bot greeted me by name and let me know exactly what it did. The initiation sequence was short and informative and it let me know it was a bot and not human. The opening question asked if I had an order, to which I replied negatively. The bot responded with an interesting tech tip. It then offered me a chance to track my orders and to authenticate me it collected two pieces of information – my name and phone number.
The bot then asked me for my order number, and let me know where I’d find that number. I entered the correct number and it told me my purchases were ready for pick up. That was a fast and effective query fulfilling the chatbot’s primary purpose.
Typing ‘HELP’ got me a Facebook link to a human. Given the Best Buy chatbot’s declared scope, this was the right thing to do. I repeated the order status enquiry, this time giving the wrong phone number or the wrong name, so unauthenticated I could not access any order details. Having a chatbot respect privacy is an important consideration in building confidence in the service.
In his post on Conversational Commerce, Jay Myers at BestBuy stresses the importance of effective connections to the back-end, sound authentication, and efficient messaging. We know that the forward thinking team at BestBuy Open has been solving these problems for some time.
Prompted by Jay mentioning “Shopping Helper” and “Context Machine” I decided to follow the backcountry trails. The chatbot understood my request for Store Directory, but with a spelling mistake to show bots can be human
I then tried to search for a product but as noted, this prototype was not hooked up to the Product Catalog. It quickly let me know that it was not what it specialized in. I threw some negative sentiments at the Chatbot and it responded with an apology although it didn’t fully engage. It’s better not to engage with unhappy customers them via an automated medium. Finally, it also handled the random phrases and positive sentiments very well.
Best Buy is gathering great feedback from this prototype Order Status Chatbot. I’m sure we’ll see a more complete and effective chatbot in the near future. Providing a little unsolicited commentary on this we’d like to see the following:
If you’re thinking of creating an ecommerce bot that deeply integrates into the backend retail systems and provides a great service experience, then drop us a line at email@example.com