How we reached 1000+ users in 4 days on our chatbot

It was a normal day. There I was, sitting alone, watching a match on Hotstarr, an on demand streaming website. Now, I am no cricket fiend. It just happened to be the ICC Champions Trophy and I was on the bandwagon. Social media was, in millennial terms, “lit” with updates and commentary on the game

I, however, had some work to tend to but I just could not keep my mind from drifting towards the match. Thanks, to Crickbuzz, I was able to check the score often enough to satisfy my distraction. But, there was a downside to Crickbuzz. Every time, I wanted to check the score, I would have to reopen the website.

At first, it didn’t seem to be much of an ordeal. After all, I was checking for my own satisfaction and it was a tiny break from work. Yet, when one of my friends, from one of the countless whatsapp groups that I’m a part of, messaged asking for the score, I was triggered. I had to check again, and again and again. The minute nuance of reopening Crickbuzz every time I checked the score turned into a major nuisance and ate up time that I needed to put into work. I needed a method that would give me my fix of the match, yet, save me time.

As part of BotHook, I began to wonder…could a chatbot like ours be the solution? If so, did we have a proper audience? Were there others like me, struggling to find a balance between cricket and daily life? I figured that even if the audience was small, it would have at least one grateful and loyal user: me! Plus we had an advantage. We had a few ideas up our sleeve. Not only did we plan to provide the score, but we also wanted to notify our users of key moments in the match within seconds of them occurring.

There are many people in the space and trying to supplement chatbot with an app or website. Chatbot is being described as the next paradigm in technology. Some people are trying to install sense that it’s better to shop on a chatbot than a website or app.

Our Chatbot is integrated with Facebook Messenger which meant that we could not only provide scores, but also, send cricket relevant messages to the users.

Our chatbot had few additional feature.

Fall of Wicket

In cricket, one of the ways that a batsman strikes out is a ‘fall of wicket.’ This means that the ball has knocked down the wicket set up behind the batsman or by other means (Catch out or run out). We wanted to give our users updates on every new out. So, we linked our bot to the API of CricScore. Normally, when the score is displayed on CricScore, we see it in the following format: 223/4. 223 is the number of runs scored so far and 4 is the number of batsmen that have striked out so far. Our bot parses the score string and splits the string whenever it occurs the ‘/’ character and checks the number after the slash. If the number has increased since the last check, our bot then sends a message to the user informing them that another player strikes out.

Update at every 10 overs

This wasn’t the only feature we added. We also included match updates every time 10 overs were completed. The logic was fairly simple. Our bot would check the no numbers overs and if it has reached 10, 20, 30, 40, or 50, it would send a message to the user.

Now, we had a proper solution and it was time to market. We’ve always been a company of high moral standards and respect. We did not want to disturb the lives of people that would not be interested in our service. So, we began by marketing to cricket groups on facebook. I, personally, joined a few groups in order to assess the need and quality of engagement of the group members. I was happy to find that I was not the only one struggling with ways of quickly getting match information. I found that our target audience was a largely device attached population. These were people who were too busy to constantly check their computers or turn on a TV for the score. These were people like me!

Eager to help, I posted information about the bot we had created in the respective groups and invited cricket interested friends and family to try their hand. We did not expect the response that we received. Within the first day we had 88+ users with 60% retention. Not only were we getting new users, but we were also successful in having them come back again and again. This was highly due to the simplicity of use. Users had only one step: to click a button labeled “SCORE.”

The UI of the chatbot

This was only the beginning. Our first match managed to pull in an upwards of a 100 users. On the day of the finals, we are proud to say that we pull in a grand total of 1011 users with 35% retention. That is roughly around 354 users coming back every time to check score. And, we did all of this in just 4 days

Four Days Data

So, if you are like me, a little too busy but a little too interested in cricket, try your hand at our bot. Make your life a little easier by clicking here: http://m.me/cricketscorecardbot

Special thanks to Vinuthna Kante for reviewing and editing the post.

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