Inside Futuresoft
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Inside Futuresoft

Personal Messaging, Chatbots and Education in Nigeria

Data shows that from the first quarter of 2015, the global number of monthly active users (MAU) of the top 4 messaging apps surpassed the MAU of the top 4 social networks.

Fig 1: Personal messaging apps overtaking social networks (Source: Business Insider)

You may wonder why you should care and what this means for you as a business owner.

Simply put it means that since 2015 customers have been spending more time on messaging apps than on social networks. So it’s more than high time for businesses like yours to devise plans and strategies to engage with your customer where the customers spend most of their time.

Fig 2: If there was ever any doubt regarding why businesses should be intentional about adopting personal messaging platforms, the remarkable and consistent growth of messaging apps between 2015 and 2018 captured in this diagram should obliterate it, literally! (Source: messengerpeople.com)

Industry experts argue that this milestone heralds the dusk of the apps race and the dawn of conversational marketing as a force that businesses can ride to new levels of prosperity.

Knowing that economic success in the 4th Industrial Revolution will be largely determined by the ability to automate — for example, using AI-powered chatbots for lead qualification and supporting customers around the clock — I think that these are exciting times, especially for Chatbot experts like me. It’s time to automate!

I had shared some nuggets on how Chatbots can streamline business processes like lead qualification, customer support, and lead generation as well as my experience interacting with Hultbot (used by Hult International Business School) in a previous article.

Based on the feedback I got — mainly questions around lead qualification and customer support, I decided that this article would focus on exploring how Nigerian institutions (like #LagosBusinesSchool for example) can use Chatbots to engage website visitors as well as their Facebook audience.

Case Study: LBS

Background

Considering the Lagos Business School website www.lbs.edu.ng is a website where the average visitor typically spends 4 minutes 50 seconds viewing at least 3 pages, it is highly unlikely that the institution has a way of engaging everybody that comes to the website, which ranks as the 2,214th most visited site in Nigeria.

Trends show that Social media pages are becoming just as important, if not more important than your website. So I went on to visit the LBS Facebook page and discovered that neither I nor the 60,000+ followers can get instant answers to questions about the Programmes and opportunities at LBS.

Automating Engagement

Instant messaging apps like Facebook Messenger/WhatsApp/Telegram provide a direct channel to engage customers/leads.

When I use the term — engage — I always use it in the context of automation —i.e. a Chatbot that can converse with people using these instant messenger apps. After all, a bot can engage thousands of website visitors in any given moment, an impossible feat for a single person.

Let’s Explore!

Now let’s explore how a Chatbot on the Website and on the Facebook Page of an institution like the Lagos Business School could help optimise customer experience as well as increase lead conversion ratios.

Scenario 1: Chatbot on LBS Website

So here goes my fictional scenario of a Chatbot on the LBS Website. It’s important to state that I am going for a rule based chatbot with a (button design) where the user is presented with various options.

  1. Once a user visits the website, a bot appears at the bottom right of the screen or the middle right of the screen.
  2. The bot displays a message like — “Hello there! I’m LoBoS the Bot. I am here to help you find what you are looking for. Can I ask you a question?” or “Hey I’m LoBos, want to talk to me? I can help you instantly!”

This style of questioning — where options are presented — is typically used to get the user to click on the bot and start a conversation.

Option 1: Yes

Option 2: Thanks, I can take care of myself

3. If the user clicked Yes, the bot can request their consent before collecting personal data with the messaging below —

I agree to my personal data being processed in accordance with Lagos Business School Privacy Policy and for Lagos Business School and its affiliates to use my personal data to provide me with further information about its programs.

The bot requests the users consent

Option 1 — Yes, I Accept

Option 2No, Not Now

4. If the user chooses ‘Yes, I Accept’ the bot continues that conversation with a follow-up conversation —

Awesome! Welcome to LBS! How can I help you today?

Option 1 — I have questions about my application

Option 2 — I’d like to get more information about LBS programmes

Option 3 — I’m looking for an education for someone else

Option 4 — I’m a current LBS Student

5. Let’s assume the prospect selects Option 2 — the bot shows the following message

Sure, I’m here to help you find what you want. What would you like to do now?

Option 1 — I’d like to talk to an Enrolment Advisor

Option 2 — I’d like to ask a current student a question

Option 3 — I’d like to download a brochure

Option 4 — I’d like to get a career STAT for LBS Alumni

6. We’ll assume that the prospect chooses Option 3 above and the bot responds with the messaging below:

Aha! I’ve saved a copy, please share your name with me so I can let my human colleagues know I’ve sent you a copy. Please enter your first name and last name:

7. The bot waits for the user to enter their first name and last name (in text format). After this, the bot continues the conversation with the messaging below:

Thank You! Which programme do you want a brochure for?

Option 1 — MBA

Option 2 — Executive MBA

Option 3 — Modular Executive MBA

Option 4 — Professional MBA

8. After the prospect chooses Professional MBA, the bot proceeds to ask them when they would like to start their programme in 202X

Option 1 — XXXX 2020

Option 2 — XXXX 2020

9. After the user makes their choice, the bot can request for their email address, which it can use to do a follow-up at a later date.

The bot can use the messaging below:

Just in case I have a hot tip about the Professional MBA programme, what’s the best email address for us to stay in touch?

10. After the user enters their current email address, the bot can now present them with a copy of the brochure for the Professional MBA programme — right inside the chat window and they can download it on their mobile if they are on a messenger app; or they can request the bot to send the brochure to their email address.

Scenario 2: Chatbot on LBS Facebook Page

It gets really interesting when a chatbot is integrated on a Facebook page.

This is because the conversation above can be replicated — if the prospect sees a post about the professional MBA programme on the LBS Facebook page for example and engages by asking a question about the programme in the comments section of the post, the bot instantly takes charge and initiates a question to take them through the process outlined above in Scenario 1 to download the programme brochure.

The Chatbot is also capable of more complex engagement, such as asking users to upload documents and picking dates on the calendar of an enrolment advisor who can call them at a later time.

NOTE:

The page admin or chatbot admin can step in at any point during conversations and redirect the narrative of the conversation.

While this may look like Chinese to you and sound like gibberish….you need not worry — there are experts like myself, supported by my great team at Futuresoft, that help brands like yours make the right decisions and set up their own Chatbots as seamlessly as possible.

Leave a comment, let’s have this conversation about your brand….and don’t worry I am not a Bot.

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John, Orakwe John

John, Orakwe John

I Drive Digital Initiatives — VR/AR, Chatbots, Web and Customer Success. MBA at Nexford University (Class of 2021).