At Rikai Labs we build chatbots powered by Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing. We have been putting chatbots in WeChat Official Accounts for a long time and have also explored other platforms like Facebook Messenger and Telegram. In this article, we will dive deeper into some of the reasons why we put our chatbot engine into WeChat’s Mini Program.
Previously, we shared some pieces on Mini Programs vs Official Accounts at achieving businessgoals such as increasing conversion and customer support. You can read more on Official Accounts vs Mini Programs here.
Mini Programs are gaining traction fast with over 580,000 Mini Programs and 170 million daily active users. The advantages of Mini Programs are aplenty:
They are light-weight app-like applications (that saves an incredible amount of device space)
They live in the WeChat app ecosystem (extremely convenient to use)
What is MiniBot?
MiniBot takes the best of a chatbot and combines it with the best of an APP to create an engaging user experience that can:
Create beautiful rich user experiences
Use A.I. to understand users using their own words
Engage and educate users
How can you create flexibility?
We've built chatbots on Official Accounts on WeChat for chatbot cocktail bartender AskJerry, Budweiser, Mead Johnson and our flagship TeacherBot to name a few. We understand the efficacy of chatbots at engaging, supporting and converting users, but we also know the interface limitations of the Official Account. As we developed chatbots on the Official Accounts, we were inhibited by the inflexible chat interface of the Official Account to deliver a rich and engaging user experience.
Decorating the Official Account Interface
By moving our chatbot into a Mini Program, we are no longer constrained by the interface limitations on the Mini Program now with freedom to decorate and enhance the user experience.
UI Flexibility: Official Account vs Mini Program
How is it shareable?
Another attractive component of Mini Programs is its ease of sharing with others. Mini Programs are made to be shared, encouraging awareness and virality. When a user enters a Mini Program and finds something worth sharing, it can be easily shared as a decorated thumbnail in a chat with only 2 taps of the phone. The resulting card that is shared into a chat can either be the underlying image of the Mini Program interface or a customized image.
Sharing a Mini Program
On the other hand, the sharing experience for Official Accounts is not as seamless and intuitive for users, and the media to share is harder to create. We discussed about shareability of Official Accounts vs Mini Programs here.
Sharing an Official Account vs Mini Program
Another way to share a Mini Program is with a QR code that brands can choose to embed in content pushed out to various channels.
Mini Program QR Code
Can I integrate MiniBot with our existing CRM tools?
Yes. The WeChat API and SDK gives access to integrating the functionality of WeChat with other applications.
Mini Programs can collect virtually the same information as an H5 page or APP. This allows MiniBots to not only collect information found in APPs, but also allows companies to collect and analyze a users own words to find out what the customer is actually thinking.
And because Mini Programs and MiniBot run on a company’s own servers (we wrote about it before here), the data from the MiniBot can more easily be configured and integrated with a company’s CRM systems when compared to raw data coming from a WeChat Official Account.
Who then, should use MiniBot?
Currently, Rikai Labs’ MiniBot platform fits the needs of customers with 3 specific types of problems.
Companies interested in converting their users based upon a recommendation (RecommendationBot)
Brands interested answering product questions in a simple scalable way (FAQBot)
Companies interested learning more about their users want (SurveyBot)
With more companies rolling out Mini Programs, it’s in a company's best interest to work out for themselves whether Mini Programs can tie in nicely with their business strategy. There are many advantages of a Mini Program and if you have any questions or would like to find out more about what we can do with our technology for MiniBots, drop us an email at email@example.com! We’d be happy to chat.
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