QR codes are not a new technology. Invented in 1994, they were intended to be used to track vehicles during manufacturing. But in more recent times, QR codes have begun popping up everywhere, from advertisements to product packaging.
While a few people still don’t know how to use them, QR codes are becoming increasingly popular in linking the physical and digital worlds. While the technology is nothing new, the way we are using it is, with the experience becoming much smoother in modern smart cams, many of which now have QR readers directly built into the camera software.
With the growing trust in QR codes, marketers and website designers are hunting for new and innovative ways to use the technology.
At Disruption Works, we have been increasingly linking QR codes directly to chatbots. Such a stalking to Gerald the Giraffe… try it out and see what we mean!
Because we know exactly where a customer might be or the product they have just scanned, based on the QR code, the chatbot AI can immediately begin a conversation about a topic the customer has already shown an interest in.
This is ideal for companies that need to answer questions about a product without staff necessarily being at hand to help. As you can imagine, a chatbot can check its database quickly and provide information on delivery timescales, materials used, etc. By keeping this process smooth ,customers are satisfied with the immediacy of the information provided, which improves the buying process.
For a retailer, linking QR codes and AI chatbots can be particularly powerful. The chatbot can capture all the details of all the enquiries it receives; feeding back to the company is a way that its human staff can never supply.
Imagine a sofa retailer. By providing a QR code for each product, customers can obtain information about the available range as they browse, without any over-the-shoulder pressure from sales reps. This is a more relaxing shopping experience for the customer, while the retailer can see a daily summary of which QR codes were scanned and what queries the customer asked the chatbot. The retailer can pull trends from the data to know precisely which sofas are being queried, which ones do not, and, most importantly, in both cases, why.
Embedding sales links into the chatbot completes the visit. Even if the customer chooses not to make their purchase there and then, they still have the information, including the link, on their phone. This allows them to carry on the conversation later, allowing the customer to make their purchase later.
The technology is helpful for more than just retailers. QR codes are already frequently used in museums and zoos, but savvy organisations can use the QR code to drop you into a characterised AI chatbot rather than a website that can entertain and educate them, like you can see from our demonstration with Gerald! Boosting levels of engagement through interactive activities, linking the physical and digital world, is a potent tool.
City planners can place QR codes in local areas to draw residents into conversations about their spaces. This can be implemented for notices of planning permissions, changes of use, etc. The interactivity is extremely useful, but it also engages a younger audience than typically engages with such notices.
Chatbot AI can boost inclusivity, drawing in different age groups, languages, etc. It can transform customer service, making it more immediate, convenient, and available 24/7. And it can connect the physical world around us with the digital one in our pockets, bringing a new level of convenience to our lives.
QR codes are just one way to do this. Paired with a basic chatbot, QR codes can provide a gateway to a world of information and new experiences, all delivered through the power of conversation. With such an array of uses, look out for seeing QR codes popping up in a much wider variety of locations.
We have our podcast about a variety of subjects including chatbots, voicebots as well as customer service or self service automation, we discuss how these impact business and some specific challenges or sector stories to help anyone looking to engage with this technology.