One of the largest telecommunications companies in Japan sought to bolster sales through social engagements with customers. Previously, customers could only receive information on SIM cards, data plans and smartphones by visiting a physical location or through inquiries on LINE, Japan’s most popular messaging platform. The company tapped AmeliaTM (locally known as COTOHA) to add an interactive, AI-powered social-chat element to its sales and marketing operations.
In September 2017, the company went live with an interactive virtual operator (VO) on its official LINE account. Customers can engage with the VO through a chat-based Natural Language Interface (NLI) directly within the LINE app. After answering three to six questions from the VO, users receive automated recommendations for products accompanied by links to the product page where they can make a purchase.
The Power of AI
Within a few months of deploying the VO, traffic to the company’s LINE account grew considerably. Similarly, the conversion rate from LINE to the company’s product page underwent a period of accelerated growth. Actual sales of SIM cards and smartphones multiplied during this same period. Part of the success of these numbers is due to the fact that AI has empowered the company to offer 24/7 customer support, which is notable as more than half of engagements with the VO take place outside of business hours.
Beyond additional sales, the telco has combined its customer engagements on LINE with a log analysis engine, which allowed the company to optimize marketing campaigns. Previously, the system would direct marketing campaigns to all registered LINE users, but now the company can easily categorize users into segments. This new highly-targeted paradigm has increased cost-effectiveness of marketing campaigns within LINE by a factor of 80.
Through the power of AI, the company has delivered customer benefits through 24/7 information access, while subsequently boosting sales and supporting more efficient marketing campaigns.