Mobile Presence Podcast host Peggy Anne Salz from MobileGroove catches up with Luc Dudler, jobpal's founder and CEO. They discuss why chatbots are a fit for much more than customer service and how chatbots are blurring the lines between desktop, mobile, voice, text and more. Listen to the full podcast here or read a full transcript below.
Cracking the code on how you can optimize, personalize and monetize your app marketing and mobile growth efforts. Welcome to Mobile Presence, hosted by Peggy Anne Salz.
Peggy, a top 30 mobile marketing influencer, nine-time author and content strategist, brings you her pick of tech, trends, guests and cool stuff to help you drive growth and create deep connections with your customers. Now, prepare to get motivated and activated with our host.
Peggy: Hey hello, welcome to Mobile Presence. I’m your host Peggy Anne Salz from MobileGroove, where I plan, produce and promote content that allows my clients to reach performance goals and scale growth, and of course mobile is what we cover here at Mobile Presence. It’s in the name and it’s in our mission how you can grow your mobile app or audience through tools and technology, how you can improve mobile marketing, and in this case it’s understanding one of the hot topics in mobile, which we’re going to be hearing a lot more about, which is chatbots. Now initially we’ll hear about the advantages for say for example customer service - that’s a given - but there are many other ways to be looking at chatbots, many other ways to be integrating them into what you do. Here to talk about this and more is Luc Dudler. He is founder and CEO of jobpal, a Berlin-based tech venture that I got a little bit of a look into because I’m based here in Germany but also because it specializes in the development of chatbots. Welcome to Mobile Presence, Luc!
Luc: Hi Peggy!
Peggy: So, I told everyone it’s all about chatbots, so that’s what we’re going to do for the whole show. But give me a little bit of a background here, you know, you’re founder and CEO of your company, it’s based in Berlin but has clients and reach all over the world, including the states. What got you into chatbots?
Luc: Well, it all started in April 2016 when Facebook Messenger was the first messaging platform in the states or in europe, the western world, to open their messaging platform for chatbots with an official API. It was at the developers conference F8 from Facebook and basically everybody was jumping on customer service and how chatbots and automated messaging could improve and really change automate relationships between brands and consumers. And that’s when we thought whether there is an analogy to recruiting, we found some really interesting use cases. And that’s when we got started.
Peggy: We can talk about these use cases in a moment, but I want to keep on about the opportunity here, because you know that’s pretty much the shot heard around the world. Facebook says you can do it, we have the APIs on out platform. Jump in and get in on the action, chatbots. What about the other drivers? I mean, what makes it such a hot topic now? Maybe there are some other things at work here or maybe some other numbers that are gonna wet our appetite to get excited about chatbots now for example?
91% time spent on a smartphone is actually within messaging apps.
Luc: Absolutely. Many people who hear or speak about chatbots, they often simultaneously speak and think of artificial intelligence. But what I think is important first is the channel chat. Which is in itself is so exciting. And what we saw in 2016/2017 happening is that messaging apps actually become more popular and more often used than social networks. So in the states, 91% time spent on a smartphone is actually within messaging apps. So it’s basically 9 out of 10 minutes are on WhatsApp, text message, facebook messenger or any other messaging app. So, it’s a different game. So people and we all know how much time we spend in messaging apps, in groups on WhatsApp, none of these opportunities, and there was basically no space for businesses in there. Although people spend so much time on it. And then suddenly these platforms opened up for businesses to do different things there, and obviously that’s a massive opportunity.
Peggy: I mean, we’re talking about this: Most of the audience here at Mobile Presence is going to be into mobile marketing and engagement, but it’s also about empowering your business with mobile. And you’re talking about the other use cases, so yes, customer experience, that’s a given. That’s probably where we’re all focused, but you focused on something different. You focused on recruitment. Now, how does that fit?
Luc: Well, yeah, you have a lot of similarities actually. You want to track people, you want to attract the right people, which one-to-one translates to targeting. You then want to engage with them in a automated but hopefully also personalized and engaging fashion. And you then want to convert them if you have attracted the right people, if you were able to engage with them, you want to convert them to become part of your community. And all of these things translate one-to-one to marketing. In general actually, in the recruiting, especially in the recruiting tech industry, we see a lot of the learnings that marketing made in the marketing industry made. We now see implemented in the recruiting industry. There are a couple of other problems in recruiting, it’s not only about engagement and converting them, it’s also a lot with working with a lot of noise, like companies get a lot of the time the same question about you know “can I do a certain traineeship at a certain company location” or “what are the main challenges of the job”. Companies get again and again the same questions from job seekers and talent. And obviously they want to answer these questions as quickly as possible because metrics show that companies who are really good at attracting high-class talent are actually the ones who are offering a quick hiring process. Any level of automation there helps a lot.
Peggy: And into your point, we talk about the customer experience and marking but this is about marketing your company to the talent that is going to ultimately make it successful. So it makes a lot of sense to take this type of technology and turn it around and put it in a model like this. What are you actually seeing out there? Let’s just start with the user experience. Let’s say I want to work for a company, they have jobpal in place. What is it I’m contacting them via their mobile website or app and them I’m hitting into the chatbot that you created and it’s helping me through this job seeking process? How does it actually work?
There are many more ways to really well reengage talent.
Luc: So, first of all, you don’t actually realize that the chatbot comes from jobpal. The chatbot will be branded with the employer brand of our client. Maybe that's going a little bit sideways. But what's interesting is I think I always say if the candidate experience is good, the person won't realize it. And I think that's also true in marketing and any kind of commerce thing. When the experience is really intuitive and seamless you just go through it. But it's a little bit besides the point. So you come to the career page and that means you already have a concrete interest into the employer brand. You maybe want to check out the jobs. Maybe you find something interesting but you have a question about the job before you want to apply. That's a question you can ask a chatbot powered by jobpal on the career page or on the job ad. Imagine a chat window pop up on the low right corner. You can ask this question the chat will answer the question and hopefully you then are ready to apply for the job. And then perfect the chatbot was able to answer the question. It's a great experience for the candidate, for the company - they were able to automate a certain step in the process and more importantly, they actually enabled the person to apply afterwards. Right. So the automation is just the enabler to get the talent to the next stage. So this is one experience. The same chatbot can be implemented on Facebook Messenger or on WhatsApp and can be implemented on any social media activity the company's doing for the employer branding, it can be implemented on job ads and really help the employer brand to help interested talent. And you know, people are to different extents interested throughout the process. And what's also interesting is they own more of the value chain if you want to say so because at the moment we have many job aggregators and companies spent money for the job ads. And then in the end some apply for the job through the conventional way. With a chatbot for example on WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger, anybody who had a question to the chatbot at any stage, has a connection to that chatbot and the chatbot can reach out to that person with content around your career offerings, around new perks, around new career events the company participates in, … So there are many more ways to really well reengage talent.
Peggy: It's interesting we're talking about engagement, reengagement, ... You know there's so many parallels with marketing here and I guess also other parallels. You know you always have to be where your customers are in marketing and here you have to be where your candidates are. They are millennials or younger. They're going to want to use the tools that they know. Chat is working. Chat is one of them. It's the one that is you. I think you've put it before in some of your writing. You know it comes between desktop, mobile, voice, text, I mean everything and even more. Imagine that you're pretty excited about the opportunities here bridging those gaps.
Luc: Absolutely. I mean it's an exciting time when you have messaging apps becoming more popular than social networks, when you have human assistance like Google Home or Alexa taking off, when you have since years digital assistants like Siri becoming more popular. I think that's something we we'll see in discovery. It will be totally dominated by voice. And then the interactions: Every digital interaction will be conversational in the future.
Peggy: Well that's a fascinating topic area you're getting into here Luc, but right now we do have to get a break. So listeners don't go away - When we get back we'll be talking about how you can solve the talent war using chat and other great technology. So don't go away. We'll be right back.
And we're back. Welcome back to Mobile Presence, I'm your host Peggy Anne Salz with MobileGroove and we have today Luc Dudler. He is founder and CEO of jobpal. Right before the break we were talking about just that amazing fit with chatbots and companies to market and to do customer experience, the ones we've already heard of, but also to get the right candidates for the job to react and just to be there throughout that process because you can engage and reengage candidates who are interested in working for you. So what are you actually doing at jobpal? I mean it's about recruitment but how does it really happen. Maybe you can tell me about a customer case study or two
Luc: Yes of course. So one thing you already explained to yourself or you did explain really well is you need to be where your target audience is. And that's the same in recruiting as it is in marketing. So that's why companies are really excited to step into this in a messaging space where their talent an audience of younger generations, millennials, spend so much time with peers, friends and family on for example WhatsApp and suddenly you're as an employer brand able to message with them automatically 24/7. The second thing is that people expect actually to hear back. So people want to have feedback. People want to have answers to that question. People want to have knowledge about what's going on with their application. In recruitment, we always speak about the black hole. That people apply for a job at a corporate and they send their application, they invest time in it, they put together all the documents, they send it off and they never hear back. It's the worst that you can do to a talent. And the consequences are terrible for the employer brand. People want applying for another job. People of your consumer brand are very likely to stop consuming your products so it even hurts your business. And people speak with each other - where they’d like to apply and where they had a good experience or not. So it's not hear back is the worst and that's really the first thing where chatbots can help.
Peggy: So that’s definitely so to speak the fail. So what are you doing and who are you doing that with. I mentioned at the at the start of the show you're based in Berlin but you've got large tech companies worldwide lining up for this. So what's going on, what do you offer them and who are they?
Luc: So we work mostly with pretty large companies. Often enterprise level clients. The reason is that actually at such an early stage of an industry and in this new wave of automation they have much higher volume and scale to do these business cases so it makes a lot of sense they started. We work with companies in Germany like Deutsche Telekom, T-Systems in the States, KellyOCG, we just went live with Airbus, they have real volume. So pretty large companies from Europe, from the U.K. from Germany, from the U.S. all over the world. One large multinational company we are now going to Asia which is pretty exciting so they're the dominant messaging platform, which is actually the example for any of the players like Facebook Messenger, is WeChat. It's like a second mobile Internet. So we are very excited to launch a chatbot with this brand in mainland China. So really across the globe by now.
Peggy: I mean I guess I can congratulate you on that one as well. I mean expansion to Asia is not an easy one and this is on an entirely different platform. I mean we here - I know in the industry I heard about it - you know we need to focus our efforts on the platforms that matter. What are the options out there. We talked about Facebook a lot but I'm hearing a lot coming from you about WeChat? I mean is there a checklist which platforms really matter and what do I need to do?
Luc: It's actually pretty straightforward. I mean the numbers are on the Internet, whatever country you live in you put in “Most used messaging platforms in the Philippines” or “in Switzerland” and then internet will tell you what's the dominant messaging platform right. For example in Switzerland we have WhatsApp where I think 87 percent of people who use a smartphone use WhatsApp in Switzerland, which is crazily dominant. So obviously if we would build a candidate-facing chatbot in Switzerland - and candidate-facing basically means consumer facing - we would certainly advise the client to go for WhatsApp. So in Europe and in Northern America we have WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger and then in Asia we have WeChat and Line, which is pretty dominant in Japan. So it's actually pretty straightforward. And then we can also for example the FAQ part of the of the chatbot on their careers page without any platform in the background. Many of the use cases we do in recruitment go beyond talent engagement. It's also about helping people discover the right job, help them to apply - all within the chat interface - we then connect these chatbots to the talent management software the company already uses. So an application that happens in the chat pops up in the dashboard of the recruiting team. We then can take candidates through screening questions and we can even set up the first interview with them, all automatically within the chat interface. All very intuitive and seamless. And people don't have to leave that channel which makes it very candidate friendly. So obviously these use cases make much more sense if you go onto a messaging platform like WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger or WeChat or Line.
It's also about helping people discover the right job, help them to apply - all within the chat interface.
Peggy: And to be straight about this and to be clear rather it's possible to simply integrate because you're using the APIs or are you bringing some special sauce, some of your own IP to this to make it make it possible, because you make it sound so simple like it’s just like well there’s these platforms, they're very popular. Check out which ones are the most popular and integrate. But I'm sure it's not quite that simple, otherwise your space would be completely crowded. So what do you bring special to the table here.
Luc: Good question, sometimes I skip that part.
Peggy: Not for your VC’s I hope!
Luc: The upside is: Chatbots are pretty light-weight companions, so it's not the difficult part to connect it to the messaging platform. They want it, we want it, they make it possible. Both sides try to make it is as straightforward as possible. That part might sound pretty easy. But then the other one is the actual language understanding, the actual natural language processing. So we need to understand what the person wants right, the person might come in and say “Hi, do you have a marketing job in London?” and then the person wants to see marketing jobs in London from the company. Or the person comes in and says “How large is your marketing team in London?”, so the person actually has a question about the the team size in London - the person is not ready yet to see actual jobs from their team. We need to be able to understand what is the person actually onto and how can the chatbot help that person. And that's actually where we come in because all our natural language processing is proprietary technology from us, from jobpal. We don't build that on top of IBM Watson or on top of Google or any other language platform. The reason why we can do it and why we are competitive is: We focus on the interaction between employer brands and job seekers and candidates. And that's a niche compared to what language platforms try to do. But a pretty big niche because any larger employer - and any large employer means any company above 100-200 employees - is interested in something like this.
We focus on the interaction between employer brands and job seekers and candidates.
Peggy: Because you have IP, you could expand into areas of marketing. But I guess you don't have to, I guess there's a lot of opportunity in recruitment and probably at some level some sort of HR ongoing social media with people because it's sometimes, well at least what I'm reading in the research, is that people join companies because one, they're aligned somehow with the mission, so they have to feel that there's some level of social corporate responsibility. And another big attraction is the tech. People, you know millennials, will not go to companies that don't use the tech that they want to use. So those two notes I could imagine there's a fit?
Luc: Yeah, I mean there's a lot of cliches around chatbots, who wants to use chatbots and who doesn't. We don’t in our data see so much about the young people are totally onto this and others not so much, we actually see pretty even data. But of course, I mean it's it's a communication thing. I think that's coming back to your question in the first part. This continuously more blurred line between what's mobile, what’s desktop, what's chat, what's text, what's voice. We also see like a blurred line in general in digital interactions. And I think that's what the what the younger generation is after: To have this flexibility in their interactions and simply share with a chatbot what they want to know whenever they want to know this. We see 64 percent of the interactions between job seekers and our chatbots happen outside of business hours and conversation intelligence can give them this flexibility and the employer brand.
Peggy: I can imagine that because everything I'm reading about how people engage with technology is that it is sort of an after hours thing, it's a it's a lean back maybe on the on the couch in the evening and checking through things maybe you know between shows checking what are my options. So I can I can see that fit very much.
Luc: We do have to go to a break at this point but listeners don't go away because when we get back we'll be talking about best practices, some advice on how you can run a pilot with your company what you need to do or what you just need to know about chatbots to catch up.
Peggy: Now Luc, we've been talking about all the opportunity around chatbots, we've been talking about the fit with how we behave as human beings. We love conversation, we have conversation after hours. So now I'm listening and I'm saying OK how do I get a chatbot up and running? Because it makes a lot of sense, even for the mobile marketers in our audience, because I'm reading about the need for people in user acquisition, agencies need people. Everybody needs talent. This is one way to do it. So that as a given. What do I need to do. What are some steps to set up a chatbot in my company? Maybe a pilot. How do I do it?
Luc: I think pilot is the exact right keyword. So the first important thing is to keep it small in the beginning. People always think they get a chatbot, they get some kind of artificial intelligence assistant. People don't really know initially what part of it is actually artificial intelligence and what of it is just code. So, keep it small and really be certain about what do you want to achieve. Do you do you have a high volume challenge and you want to process more people quickly through a certain process? Do you want to engage people? What is it that you want to achieve with it? And then really keep the pilot focusing on that. As soon as you try to cover too many different areas and implement the magic solution, after six weeks in in one go you just increase the chances of failure by so much. So really try to keep it small and then you need to find a vendor for this. So at the moment, because this is such a hyped topic, many people are obviously very happy when you approach them with a chatbot project. So then you need to be sure about how do they tackle the language understanding challenge. Do they build their own technology? If so, ask them for example cases and also ask them how many developers do they have in-house. Like, you can’t run a proprietary natural language processing engine with two developers. I mean technically you could, but then they couldn't run a business. So you need to have a certain threshold of developers. If they do build it on other technology like IBM Watson or Dialogflow from Google, again, ask for examples. So then also really important is: Let them show you their dashboard. How does the dashboard work? Can you train the chat in real time? How is this working? So that's really really important. Companies need to learn to navigate this new technology space because the reality is: People launch a new homepage or new careers page in our case and sometimes they implement technology. But technology so far was always “We know what kind of dashboard we get. And if we actually spent the time, we know also exactly what functionalities we’re going to get." A chatbot is different because it's continuously evolving and it never stops to evolve. And you don't launch the perfect chatbot, you launch a chatbot you're happy with. But you know it's going to improve over time. So it's it's something much more flexible that companies need to be willing to work with. That's also a learning process companies go to. And then more practical feedback: A chatbot is very intuitive, it's extremely interactive technology. But then also it customizes the language and tonality for your target audience. In our case for example: A burger food chain has a different target audience than McKinsey, than Airbus. And obviously, we should address their talent target audience with a different tonality, with a different way of wording things. And obviously, this can really improve the interaction.
Peggy: Absolutely, because if genuine, it seems real. As you said, the magic of chatbots is almost not knowing that there's one there to begin with. Great advice, Luc! I mean really very practical, very hands-on. I'm sure listeners will want to keep up with you and stay in touch with you after the show. How can they do that, how can they stay in touch with you or find out what's going on over there at jobpal?
Luc: Feel free to check out our home page jobpal.ai, feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn (Luc Dudler) or write me an email to luc [at] jobpal.ai.
Peggy: Perfect! And listeners, if you want to keep up with me throughout the week or find out more about how you can be a guest or sponsor on Mobile Presence, than you can E-Mail me: peggy [at] mobilegroove.com, mobilegroove.com is also where you can find my portfolio of content marketing and app marketing services. And that my friends is a wrap of yet another episode of Mobile Presence. You can check out this and all earlier episodes of our show by going to webmasterradio.fm or you can find our shows on iTunes, Stitcher, Speaker, Spotify and iHeartRadio simply by searching Mobile Presence so until next time! Remember, every minute is mobile, so make every minute count! We'll see you soon.
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