Chris Messina, Inventor of the Hashtag

Show Notes:

You pull up your auto insurance company’s chatbot.  

It asks: “What can I help you with?”  

You respond: “I need to revise an insurance claim.” 

But the chatbot can’t understand you. It gives options to file a new claim, cancel a claim, and other unhelpful things. Minutes pass without progress. You’re frustrated. Plus, the chatbot keeps cracking jokes and posting emojis instead of solving your problem. That’s it! You’re canceling your policy.  

Such is the risk of poor relationship design. Technology has enabled brands to converse with customers. But to do so successfully, brands must engage in empathy and self-awareness, letting customers lead the way instead of forcing the conversation into boxes. After all, some brands shouldn’t act like best friends and some valuable customers aren’t looking for a best friend. 

In this week’s What It Means episode, hashtag inventor and product designer Chris Messina delves into the future of brand conversation, from the dangerous temptation of scale to the opportunity to meet customer needs better than ever.  

Listen to all of Forrester’s What It Means podcast episodes at forr.com/what-it-means