Chatbots help businesses provide either an extra layer of immediate engagement with their website users, or become the first point of engagement in a specific user journey. At our latest Quack Hack, we explored how that could be developed. With that comes the birth of our first artificial intelligent powered chatbot (or duckbot…), Avery!

Over the weekend, the 360 Underdogs comprised of Siji and Tom (New Business); Mohammed and Ricardo (developers); Kai (design); and myself (marketing). We were challenged to build a chatbot for the Cyber-Duck website that will help with user engagement and streamline the user journey within the website.

Chatbot avery

The challenge

For any agency, having a bigger pipeline would give them more control on the projects we decided to pursue and try to win, whilst encouraging a healthier profit margin for the business.

Too much time is spent dealing with non-relevant enquiries which will only increase as the company grows. This time could be spent on getting further projects

AI meets Avery

Avery is powered by Bold360. This gives her the ability to function like a chatbot would by injecting machine learning and artificial intelligence. It means that Avery doesn’t just get smarter through every conversation she has with users, but she can also help filter initial queries sent in by leads. This would help reduce the load off Thomas, Tom and Siji’s shoulders – our lovely new business team!

averybot

What is Bold360?

Bold360 is the brains behind Avery. It’s an artificial intelligence software that offers a chatbot service. It also has the ability for a human agent (like Thomas) to join the conversation if a query gets too technical, confusing, or it’s an enquiry we wouldn’t want to miss! Bold360 uses natural language understanding to start learning our users’ needs from the very first interactions. 

Other than that, Avery also has HTML to help with the aesthetics and she’s injected with Javascript to provide her with her mobility to make her interactive and engaging with our potential leads. We named her Avery to give the chatbot a human, engaging feel and fit with our Brand Bible’s characterisation of our logo.

The user journey

The journey starts once our lead lands on our Cyber-Duck website. In the bottom left corner, the website shows a message that asks if the user requires any help or assistance. The user can then type in open-ended response and Avery will assist the user based on the keywords typed in through machine learning. Avery can also provide prompts to the user to provide some generic ideas, like “View our case studies” and “View our approach”.

At this point, Thomas or our human friends can then chime in if they wish. But the idea of Avery is to help the new business team filter out any enquiries or projects that aren’t relevant. Those conversations are either spam enquiries or sadly don’t fit our services.

The lead can then fill in a form, provide Avery with more details of the project, and even sign a pre-signed NDA via echoSign. This means that the conversation can get started right away once Thomas comes into the picture.

Lastly, the journey then ends when Thomas or the lead requests for a face to face meeting or when they set up an initial phone call to discuss their project further. 

Of course, not every enquiry will be relevant. Therefore, once the enquiry has been sent in which is deemed “irrelevant” we can then send an automated email that thanks the user and directs them elsewhere. 

What makes Avery special?

Avery has the ability to provide the users with links and images, as well as pointing users to the right direction when they cannot find what they are looking for.

The best thing about using an AI chatbot is that she can also provide different options such as types of service a lead might be looking for or to enquire. There is also the form field option, so that our leads can include their name and email address. This means they get a notification when Avery or Thomas responds.  

 

The obstacles

Getting Avery set up was not smooth sailing. The first challenge that we faced that we were not able to access the channelling feature. However, a conversation with the Bold360 account manager solved that. It turns out we needed access to one of the functions which gave us the ability to provide the function to bring in a human agent to Avery’s rescue. 

Secondly, the odds were not in our favour. We made a mistake by not loading a page from the server that allowed the widget to be showed on the website. Then had to backtrack and rectify our mistake, which lost us some precious time! 

Last but not least, the main challenge was that we also did not have access to the feature which allowed us to build a nice flow of conversation that the team scripted together. However, the team hacked through the night and reached out to the account manager once again to gain access to this feature.

Chatbot selfie

The future of Avery

It’s still very early days for Avery, but we’re proud of her as she’s our MVP – our Minimum Viable Product. We hope to turn her into our Most Valuable Player when she is fully executed.

In the future, we hope Avery would not just help us with filtering enquiries for the New Business team. She could also help Kayleigh with any partnership or event enquiries, or even the HR team with recruitment. If you would like to see what some of the other teams got up to:

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May Tan

Digital Optimisation Executive

Working within the client marketing team, May helps our clients to cut through the noise by optimising their online presence.

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