When Bots and Websites Work in Harmony

make

#1

So a major goal of mine (one I had for 2018 to be exact) has finally come to fruition. I had a vision of integrating bots and websites into a more immersive and interactive environment for users. The Montana REAL ID website was launched today (9/4/18) incorporating my vision of a symbiotic bot/website experience.

In some ways the bot works as a pop-up to display additional information, which is much nicer than scrolling the user to the bottom of the page where you hide all the info you are afraid will ruin your conversion. However, using a bot to display this additional information may very well bolster conversion. Using the bot as your vehicle to deliver the info also leads the customer into a sales funnel (or a direct call-to-action depending on your approach). In a way, this feels like the evolution of pop-ups everyone is looking for. Not static, but interactive, guiding, conversational.

Then there are features such as the automated checklist, which guides customers through a few steps to see if they are ready for a particular service. So why is this important, and why does the bot deliver an unrivaled experience? Similar to the pop-up, it’s conversational, interactive, but (most importantly) guiding. Whenever you are trying to explain steps on a website, the process is always limited by additional factors that may influence different paths to a successful completion. You may offer exceptions or additional information for those that need some special considerations, but it is almost always confusing and difficult to even explain. The bot can take care of that issue by filtering users based on their circumstances, giving them every chance possible to have a successful conversion. What’s not to love?

Finally, features such as our fee calculator, set the bar to a new height in interactivity. Whenever you can generate results based off of a user’s exact circumstances, the whole experience feels tailored to them. And if marketing has taught us one thing… It’s all about ME. The calculator works based of the user’s age, type of license, endorsements, and sometimes even their expiration date of their current license to come up with the exact amount it will cost. The calculator is fast, exact, and unbelievably consistent. It’s the crown jewel of the whole experience. And all made possible by TARS!

Without further ado, I present a fully integrated website and bot experience https://mtrealid.gov . Please let me know what you think. Any feedback is greatly appreciated.


#2

Amazing work @Levi

This looks like one of the best public service delivery system in U.S.
It is unbelievable for me to see you approach this complex problem single handedly and make an entire self serving system to solve this.
I hope that this sets a new gold standard for the kind of service delivery experience people should get.


#3

@Levi here are the screenshots of the two windows. I am on MacOS 10.13.6 and Safari 11.1.2


#4

The bot looks great on the page and well integrated. What an achievement! Seriously to get this into the public space is amazing, well done!

I have a couple of things I see as a user that didn’t work for me.

I did two things, first I checked for the docs I would need for a realID and secondly to check on the cost for an out of state license to be changed to a realID in State.

In the first exercise I got to the bottom of the bot window, when I was presented with a option, “choose from options below”, however there were no options below and I had to click on the choose from below button(I think!) to have the options presented. It seemed the direction did not match the input required right there. Then it was plain sailing the rest of the way! As a non resident of the US I was a bit confused by the type of choices that didn’t seem to apply to any non-citizen who might be living in state to present valid ID, perhaps that is the 1-551 form? I don’t know, anyway that was all I could see for another option.

The second one for estimating the price was stellar! It seemed great until the end.
when I started and chose the calculate cost choice, It launched a new window which was fine until i reached the end of the exercise, where you do great to suggest what symbols can be pressed ( I highly, highly suggest these prompts for non bot people to know what the heck is going on as the bot choices can seem counterintuitive if you are not familiar. it will prevent a lot of unsure users from bot abandonment and extra call into the call center system)
the problem was that the last direction given was to press the X in the blue square Unfortunately that blue square was on the previous bot in the original window. as you loaded a new window, the blue box was missing. Hope I made sense!

suggest getting a bot neophyte with no clue to go through each route with you there, so you can see where they fall over and cannot work it out. Sometimes you are so close to it you don’t see it!

Great work all round @Levi!!!

I would love to approach a similar agency where I am currently based and offer this. Would you be interested in partnering?

All the best for your bot released in the wild!

Gerald


#5

Thank you, Vinit. Your words of praise and encouragement mean a lot. I’m hoping this does stand as the example to follow. Let’s keep pushing the edge my friend!

Thank you @gerald for your feedback. The REAL ID bot is part of a larger system. The fee calculator was embedded in the main bot, which (up until this point) was only accessible by the widget on the main MVD website. So thank you for catching this! I will add a conditional jump logic to reroute them to a different outcome.

I agree that the documents are pretty confusing. We worked really hard on simplifying an incredibly complicated process. There are some areas that will need more information, so I appreciate that feedback as well.

I do have a small start-up business, Servicebotz, that a partner and I are hoping to use to bring this type of service to agencies. That being said, we are certainly open to possibilities wherever they maybe. Drop me a line at leviworts@gmail.com, and let’s chat!


#6

Esto es increíble!!. Creo que soy unos de los primeros en probar esto en España. Lo haré lo mejor que pueda. Pero necesito por lo menos una beca, si ya se que soy mayor… Pero quién no merece una oportunidad


#7

Good luck! And everyone deserves an opportunity. I started this endeavor at almost 30 years old and little technical knowledge. It’s only been one and a half years working in this realm. Persistence, resilience, and determination will take you where ever you want to go!