Insight Author
Patricia Herrero
Senior UX and Product Designer

Designing a Facebook Messenger Chatbot

Making it easier for customers to get their phone upgraded online

January 11, 2018
Marino Insights Cover Image

Don’t put your customers on hold

Times of calling customer service are gone, your customers don’t have the patience to hold the line anymore. They want immediate, frictionless answers, right where they are.

More recently, ‘live’ chats have been introduced, but they are not proving to be much better than phone calls. Their loose structure makes unclear to your customer what their options are, which increases the amount of effort from them to get their query resolved. They don't try to follow up with the conversation either, leaving your customers hanging after a few minutes.

Most importantly, since they are digital solution your customers might expect to be able to turn to them at anytime, but they still suffer from limited availability - being there ‘to help’ but not always available when your customers need them. 

Online until 5pm? No, thanks.

‍‘Live’ chats from Three and Virgin Media

Enhancing Online Customer Experience

Our client, a mobile phone network provider, approached us to help them to enhance their customer upgrade experience. Their current offering relied on in-store upgrades so a digital solution was required to increase their reach and improve their customer experience.  

This project was an opportunity to reduce costs in the call centre as a digital solution would also enable users to 'self-service' part of the process, reducing dependency and requirement for customer care support.

Our Design Sprint Process

We used a Design Sprint to understand the specific challenges our client was facing, their main target being how to facilitate mobile phone upgrades to their customers.

We began by analysing the target audience insights provided by our client, which indicated that they were targeting a young and social audience. We were looking to complement the processes they had in place, so we began by analysing their existing user flow to purchase a new phone online. Understanding how this process worked was beneficial to us since the upgrade process would have some similar touchpoints:

‍Existing user flow

As a first step in our DesignSprint workshop, we started by writing down our goals and potential risks:

‍Goals and risks

Once we established goals and possible pitfall areas, we started to map out what an improved upgrading process might look like. Our map modellled the entire customer journey: from discovery and upgrade eligibility to delivering their new handset. Once we were done, we used dot voting to get a sense of what the important areas to focus on might be:

Mapping out user flows and dot voting

Our client’s various department representatives and our cross-functional team agreed on Choosing and recommending a phone as a key area we wanted to focus our design efforts on, and started sketching possible solutions. With these early sketches a theme began to emerge - the idea of a friendly, helpful personality that could guide the user through the process:

‍Early sketches leading us towards a conversation

Our Strategy

After our initial workshop, we synthesised our goals in three main statements, defined our vision and established the design principles that would help us achieve our vision. These were the goals we were aiming towards:

  • Simplify and improve upgrading experience - offer a super simple, quick and reliable upgrading experience and customer service.
  • Reduce human effort in repetitive tasks - reduce in-store upgrades and calls to customer care, while empowering customers to access upgrades at their convenience.
  • Improve customer retention - get them to stay with our company by recommending personalised upgrading options whilst converting them to longer contracts.

Based on our learnings from working as a cross-functional team, we wrote a vision statement that would guide us through the project:

Our Vision statement

From this statement, we wrote our Design Principles, which would help us achieve our vision and ensure a consistent design for our solution:

‍Our Design Principles

From user journeys to user stories

From our workshop, we refined and mapped out the new upgrades customer journey and marked the key areas in which we wanted our solution to support our customers:

Our new customer journey

Once we had a clear journey, we analysed the key tasks our solution would need to perform, based on current customer service demands and an established offline upgrade process. We used the red routes technique, which helped us to focus on the key user journeys we should meet:

Identifying key tasks

We turned these key tasks into user stories, which would guide our solution:

Main user stories

Our conversational approach

We looked at a few different approaches before deciding on a solution. As we were targeting a young, social audience we concluded that meeting them in a social environment that they used frequently and were comfortable with would be a logical approach.

Based on our learnings so far, we proposed to develop a chatbot as an upgrades customer support solution. As this was an avenue our client wanted to explore, we set ourselves to design a Facebook Messenger’s chatbot that would perform mobile phone upgrades

We recently discussed how chatbots are revolutionising the way brands communicate with their customers. They represent a new way for brands to be more approachable by spreading their reach into popular messaging platforms. The shift is inevitable: brands must go where their customers are. 

With proper consideration and avoiding spamming customers, chatbots present an opportunity to truly improve customer experience, while reducing costs. However, as not everyone is active on social networks, we decided our upgrades chatbot solution would be complemented with a standalone web solution.

However, how will people discover this chatbot? We wanted to make sure our chatbot would be easily discoverable for our target customers, so we explored different ways we could advertise our chatbot: as sponsoring it on a customer’s feed on Facebook or by directly accessing it from the company’s website.

entrypoints.png
‍Absolut and Spring examples

Once we decided on our approach, the next step was to write the conversation script that would support our user stories. This script will structure the conversation, offering customers easy-to-follow options while making the conversation as natural as possible and avoiding dead ends.

Getting your phone upgraded just got easier

The Upgrades Chatbot allows people to get a phone upgrade in a quick and easy manner. Customers start chatting to the chatbot and quickly find out if they are due an upgrade, or, if not, when they will be. If they are eligible, they can choose a particular phone that they are looking for or get recommendations that suits their needs and budget.

‍Pick the latest model or get recommendations

Customers can also refine and upgrade their billing plan within the chatbot, being informed in a transparent manner of how these changes will affect their monthly billing:

‍Update your billing plan

They can also pay and know when to expect their new phone, all in a few minutes:

‍Complete your payment, all in one place

Thinking of using a chatbot to enhance your brand's customer experience?

Chatbots have become one of the preferred ways for brands to reduce their customer service effort when interacting with customers online. They can cover most of the repetitive customer queries, freeing up agents time for more complex queries that might arise. Further than that, they offer brands a doorway to customer engagement by keeping the conversation going, getting to know the customers’ preferences and accurately showing personalised recommendations to them.

Chatbots aren’t just for customer service, though. They will increasingly have multiple roles that could help your business.

Get in touch and run your thoughts by us so we can work together in a custom solution that will enhance your brand’s online presence.

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