“Approximately 30% of our customer interactions with Herb involve effective upselling strategies,” said Chrissy Bellman, Lēvo founder and CEO. The company wouldn’t share specifics.
Brands are increasingly adopting gen AI chatbots to reduce the work of their human-powered customer-service counterparts.
Built on OpenAI’s GPT-4, Herb is trained on Lēvo’s product manuals, help articles, recipes and educational content from the brand’s site, and trained to embody a voice and personality that is playful, upbeat and informative.
People interacting with Herb can ask questions on topics ranging from infusion expertise, recipe assistance, time and temperature for machine use, troubleshooting, facilitating product orders and managing loyalty points.
As a result, Lēvo’s customers get a quicker response compared to interacting with a human, said Bellman.
“We are reducing the burden of our customer service because any conversation that can be handled there is done by AI,” she said.
By 2025, 80% of customer-service and support organizations are expected to apply gen AI in some form to improve agent productivity and customer experience, per Gartner. For Lēvo, having people spend more time on the chatbot has also boosted its search-engine-optimization efforts.
However, concerns such as bias and hallucinations limit how much companies want to experiment with these chatbots, with many trying to keep things limited to the products they sell.
“Most companies are holding back on the power of their chatbots,” said PJ Pereira, chief creative officer and co-founder of Pereira & O’Dell. “There’s a gray area of what is a brand’s responsibility and what is the responsibility of the person trying to influence the bot to say it.”
Content discoverability and ramping sales
Lēvo began working on Herb last summer, making it available to customers at the beginning of December via email marketing that led to a 75% open rate. “For us [that’s] a very high open rate on email,” said Bellman.
Since its launch, Herb has facilitated over 1,000 conversations, guiding people via relevant links, she added.
Approximately 20% of the traffic directed by Herb is redirected to Lēvo’s homepage. Its impact enhances website navigation for people, simplifying content discovery and incorporating self-service elements like tracking loyalty points.
The chatbot needs some human maintenance, and Lēvo’s customer-service managers spend several hours per week talking and training the bot.
The company plans to incorporate sales and promotional offers, especially in instances where Herb may have missed suggesting an offer. The ultimate goal is to link these efforts back to boosting sales.
This, however, is the first phase of what brands can do with conversational AI bots, according to Uma Challa, senior director analyst at Gartner. The second phase could include facilitating transactions via chatbots, which isn’t new to business, but gen AI creates more human-like interactions with people, while keeping information based on past interactions
“If a customer has purchased something similar in the past, what gen AI can do is bring in all this information and personalize the experience for you when searching for something new,” said Challa.
Site traffic boosting SEO efforts
Gen AI, particularly within Google’s Search Generative Experience, has prompted SEO experts to adapt their strategies for search indexing and discoverability.
To leverage the SEO capabilities, Lēvo has implemented meta tagging on the backend of Herb’s landing page. This includes keywords such as “herbal infusion bot” and “herbal infusion advice,” optimizing the page for higher rankings in relevant searches.
Google’s algorithm is now favoring websites where people spend real amounts of time contributing to site traffic, such as interacting with Herb, said Bellman.
“You get a lot of points with Google for your website if peoples’ session time is longer and Google believes it’s authentic content,” she added.
However, Herb possesses the capability to access data across the internet, excluding competitors of Lēvo—a deliberate instruction given to the chatbot. In instances where Herb provides information beyond Lēvo’s products, it includes the source link, a capability enhanced by GPT-4.
“We have to be very careful because this comes back to SEO and we don’t want someone leaving our site,” said Bellman.
In response, the brand conducts a review of all conversations between consumers and Herb, identifying instances where the chatbot has suggested third-party websites.
“The learning from watching consumers interact [with chatbots] will be 10x bigger in value than the results of these particular chatbots,” noted Pereira.