Jun

3 Reasons Why Knowing Intent is Essential for Your Business

What is intent? It is the reason behind the sentences we say. Behind posts and messages, as they appear on social networks. For instance, the intent of the tweet ‘I am going to buy a new car soon, my old car is entirely broken’  is buying a new car. The intent of this one however ‘ Need to buy me a car, got things to do lol’ could be anything from killing time by posting randomly to impressing friends, but not buying a car.  

During the time when most customer activities online happened on search engines (e.g. Google) understanding of intent was predominantly the task of these search engines.  So when I type ‘typical menu of Chinese restaurant’ and the search engine displays the list of local Chinese restaurants clearly in this case it did not understand my intent.

Nowadays, when an ever growing part of the consumer related activities is happening on social networks the task of understanding the customer intent becomes responsibility of a business.

Here are three reasons why this task is essential:

1. Marketing is personalized. Email blasts are a thing from the past. Today to stay completive your business should be able to target individually. And that means knowing what each of your potential customers needs in real time. The best way to know this is to understand customer intent. The numerous analytical and measurement tools available today exist only because until recently we didn’t know how to capture customer intent properly.

2. Knowing intent allows efficient and timely service across your company’s departments: those interested in the product belong to marketing department, purchase intent goes to sales, unhappy customers go to customer service, and so on.

3. Knowing intent offers long-term sustainability to your business because it reduces the noise. Unlike the previous generations, when the problem was a lack of information, today’s problem is the abundance of information. Business can function efficiently and be sustainable only when a competent model of finding the right information is in place. Understanding of intent is the best model available

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Travel Chatbots Update

                                         

These are early days for travel bots. They mostly specialize in customer service, customer information and sometimes online booking. Advanced AI technology is good and getting better by the day, but it does not replace a person. And that's unlikely to change for a while.

In order to create a positive and enjoyable experience it is imperative to have a clear understanding of what bots do well and what they don’t.

One area where they have clear advantage over humans is response speed. Using bots makes your travel business scalable. Bot can handle mutlple user conversations simultaneously and replies instantly.

The part of the bot technology that needs significant improvement is understanding of the meaning of what customer said. The solution is to take the user off the bot when this stage of the converastion is reached. One of the popular techniques is to redirect the user from bot to the website when the questions get complicated. The majority of users are at ease with website navigation where they find themselves in the familiar environment.

This approach allows to utilize the scalability of the chatbot while maintaining the high level of customer service.

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Lessons for Businesses from Brazil’s World Cup Disaster

1. Mental, or psychological, state of your team is important: you can put so much pressure on people before they crack. Brazil players didn’t become unqualified professionals overnight. They failed because they were overwhelmed by their country’s expectations, distorted sense of history, and the right to win considered divine. They were too emotionally charged, not in the proper state of mind to compete. So better keep calm, relaxed atmosphere in your team even before launch, or important deadline.

2. Manage customer expectations. Brazil were ramping them up unreasonably. Aggressive messages like the 6th[title] is coming, statements by their coach about two more steps to heaven massively backfired by creating an unhealthy emotional frenzy in the society, which in return influenced the players (see 1.)

3. Logic, organization is the key to successful execution. Germany are not a great team. But they are very well organized. They had a detailed game-plan where every team member knew his task and several different scenarios where prepared. They were able to adjust when the situation on the field changed to squeeze maximum advantage. Sounds simple? That’s because it is. 

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