Mission impossible: trying to communicate with a company. Or may the Vibe be with you.

Mission Impossible | Viber | AltSolution.net Blog

I would start with the definition of the problem.

— I looked and searched through the FAQ page… But alas, didn’t find the answer.
— I messaged them on Facebook……and got a standard reply.
— I then emailed them… No clarifying answers and it seems that no one cares.
LinkedIn? Do they have an official page? …Yes, but I only found like-minded consumers, but no answers to our questions
— Pffft….talk about mission impossible!

Sometimes you face a number of obstacles in your attempts to reach a big brand company. You want to spend and give them your money, as you like their offering. But then you have some questions and want to communicate with them…and it becomes virtually impossible. There are so many channels to communicate with them. You try them all, but it’s all in vain.

We decided to share our own story.

Almost every company has to communicate with its consumer (user, reader, etc.). The message should be personalized. E.g. companies of the Ecommerce sphere should notify the consumer of the order created, received, processed, then confirm the product availability, send payment details and inform of the delivery details. This can be done via email, telephone, sms notifications, etc. Most of the companies prefer sms (believe us, we have made a bundle of eCom sites). To sync the process of order creation and sms broadcast, integration with the sms service should be done. It is not a new and unfamiliar process, so we integrate the API, sign the contract for the service provider, choose the tariff plan and start notifying. But in the era of messengers, this process can be more cost-effective.

In December Viber announced their new ‘Public Accounts’ option.

Our conclusions:

1.

‘Public Accounts’ option is very close to the business’s official group (‘company — clients’). It is about putting the brand’s / business’s community together by adding them manually to the account or asking them to join you, choosing ‘Follow’ option.

Mission Impossible | AltSolution.net Blog

It can help you to communicate with the brand or with the user, e.g. to get their TOP news or spread your news.

BBC main | AltSolution.net Blog

TIP: You can register it on your own. Just click the link.

After registration, you will get a confirmation to the telephone number you have entered.

Congrats

Thus you will be able to work with the whole group (promotional offers, company news, etc.). If you still want to communicate with the client tete-a-tete, please, read further.

 

2.

Official channel (this how we call it) is about a direct communication (‘company — client’). Its peculiarities are the company’s logo and the alphaname that is verified by Viber.

Mission Impossible | Viber | AltSolution.net Blog

What does it mean? You will get another official brand’s communication channel.

Instead of the telephone number you get the name of your company in the top. And the green mark near the company’s name means the company passed the verification. The messages from the verified company come to you without asking a permission, as if this telephone number is in your contact list.

Mission Impossible | Viber | AltSolution.net Blog

We did it. But we managed to register it only after writing to the living person to Viber after sending her / him the link to the public channel registered. So to obtain an alphaname you should reach the first person from Viber. ONE.

And to get your channel verified you should write to the second person which is responsible for it. TWO.

TIP: To get the sign, write to the Viber business development team from the mail box which consists of the domain name e.g. if I want to verify ALTSOLUTION, I have to send my request via marina@altsolution.net.

3.

Bulk sms vs. Viber messages. To minimize your costs, you chose to send your notifications via Viber. They call it the ‘Service messages’ option. At first sight, everything seems to be quite clear. You go to their website and fill out the form.

Mission Impossible | Viber | AltSolution.net Blog

We have filled it out several times (three times, to be true) and no one contacted us. But we managed to contact another living person (the third one) and finally managed to ask the questions concerning the tariff and the conditions. Eureka!

TIP: Be ready to translate the service messages you are going to send into English even if the preferred language is Ukrainian or Russian. You need to translate them as your letter with those translations will be sent to Israel for approval. Only after that you can ask how much it costs and get the API.

 

To summarize, we can conclude and declare that we wrote 4 times via Facebook, 2 times to support@viber.com from one mail box, 2 times from another one (which consisted the domain name of the company we were trying to register) and commented on their LinkedIn page, but received no response.

After contacting one living person from the company (Thanks God, they do work there. I am very obliged to her for the answer and help), we were redirected to 3 different people and FINALLY we have got the price and conditions (nearly 40 letters to get the truth)

 

The price.

If you have 60K as the total number of messages sent, you will pay 0.14 UAH for 1 service message.

If you do not have such an amount, you can choose to pay 250 EUR monthly.

 

We got through: we received the information, we found the right people to communicate with, we can help to make the API integration. It means that the mission is possible, isn’t it?

You are very close. Don’t stop!

And do not despair!

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Why AMP?

The AMP-technology has been introduced in October 2015. What has been discovered since then? Does it really work and how? What are its pros and cons? Does it really make our surfing experience faster? Let’s try to find it out.

Why AMP | AltSolution Blog

WHAT IS AMP?
AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) technology was conceived to render static content faster. It means that the page is loading instantly.

It’s about speed and readability. As a result,

  • low bounce rate,
  • high page depth and
  • a satisfied reader who consumes more of your content.

And what about search results? Yes, AMP-valid pages are showing above the regular (non-AMP) links.

HOW?

There are 3 components that help to make it happen:
• AMP HTML (extended HTML with some new AMP properties)
• AMP JS (the optimization of all JS and CSS elements, as well as, sandboxing of all iframes)
• AMP Cache (the selection of AMP pages that fetch and caching them).

AMP HTML. On this stage the regular HTML tags and attributes are being replaced by AMP-equivalents which make the process more performant.

AMP JS makes the elements from the external resources optimized without blocking on the page loaded.

AMP Cache makes the delivery process of all the AMP-pages accurate and fast. Due to the previous validation of them and caching.

 

HOW THE PAGE CAN BE AMP-ed?
A page can be adapted manually. Some of HTML tags should be replaced, f.i.: instead of <img> one should use <amp-img>. And to make a fully responsive image one should add layout=”responsive”.

img or amp img

Read more — AMP HTML Specification

Contribute — GitHub

Automatically adaptation into AMP-format can be done with the help of plugins (see below).

 

HOW TO TEST AND VALIDATE?

We should inform Google Search of the existence of AMP and non-AMP version of the page (if the content coincides), using <link> tag.

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The validation can be done with the help of Google Search Console

Google Search Console. AMP validation | AltSolution.net

or AMP Project Validator 

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AltSolution Lifehack

In order to solve the problem of validation, use Google Chrome extension, which works more accurately without additional tabs opening.

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FORCE TO INDEX FASTER. 

To speed up the indexing process you can use Google Search Console.

Use ‘Fetch as Google’ and ‘Request indexing’ options.

Fetch Google and Request Indexing | AltSoluution.net

 

MANUALLY OR AUTO?

It is not obligatory to adapt your pages into AMP-format manually. You can if you like. But in case you don’t, there are a number of AMP plugins that relieve the user from such a pain.

For WordPress use AMP WordPress plugin.

For Magento — AMP Magento plugin.

For Drupal — AMP Drupal plugin.

 

IF IT’S A SELF-MADE PHP?

info

 

You can request a follow-up revision.

Drop us a line! We will help you to develop an AMP-module for your website.

2 BOTTLES, PLEASE

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We can discuss extensively whether chatbots are effective or not, until we come across a scenario like the ‘N’ water delivery service.

We have been their clients for a long time. Every 2 weeks, we order exactly the same:  2 bottles of 13 litres of mineral water. Just 2 bottles of water. Not more. Not less. To the same address, at the same time.  However, every time we want to place an order, we need to go through the whole order process again.

  • We tried to call them to make an order via telephone — we listened to a number of music tracks, minutes were ticking away and our nerves were severely tested.  Only brave and very patient people finally get through to an operator.
  • We tried to make an orders via their website

2-bottles

Eureka, we found there is a repeat order feature for returning customers on their website.

But, oh dear, we have to

  • remember our login and password (Why? We can’t remember it. We can’t even remember what email we used when we first registered),
  • enter the delivery address every time we make an order (The address is still the same. Why not save it and propose it to us by default? We don’t want to order water for all our neighbors and acquaintances to different addresses),
  • enter the order details (Nothing has changed since the previous order. We still only want 2 bottles of water. Still ‘N’. Still 13 litres. Very simple!),
  • repeat the time for the delivery (Yes. Like the address, it’s still the same time we want it to be delivered at the same address. Why did not you try to save it?)

So, a simple process becomes a cumbersome process for the customer. We are tired of having to make the same order, the same quantity, to the same address and delivery time in such a way.  And we are not the only ones. We know there are a lot of people who are in the ‘same boat as us’.

The solution we propose is simple; use a chatbot, based on Telegram.

Why is it good?

register

 

ONE-time registration for the client

NO login and password is required for the next session

 

store

 

The system stores the client’s data

and makes the repeat order EASIER

 

call

 

The client does NOT call

The purchase is realized in several clicks

 

carl

Guys, it saves you the money on having to employ more people to answer the phone (reducing costs!). You’ll have satisfied customers who will recommend other people to use the company, which is so client-oriented, which cares (increasing profits!).

Now you have the solution, we can breathe deeply and relax!

Last but not the least.  We should explain the necessity of the chatbot implementation to the company. And this is not easy!

So keep calling! Or stop water drinking 🙂

 

Problem: testing our nerves while ordering bottled water.

Solution: a chatbot based on Telegram.

Status: resolved.

https://telegram.me/water_delivery_bot

@water_delivery_bot

 

Photocredit: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/

 

Customized web-solution. Why to choose?

The task of the customized solution is to create a unique business solution that takes into account the specifics of the industry applied.

bespoke-14

Very often the client, searching the opportunities to save the money, decided to turn to the standardized (or the template solution). It is, for sure, profitable at the first stage of the product development as it is cheaper and quicker. But then it turned out, that some features should be customized or added. At this stage, it became clear, that the product needs the additional elaboration and reprocessing. He faces a disappointing conclusion: to get the product he wanted, he needs more time and far more money to accomplish the task. As the result, the time-frame of the product development has been expanded and the total cost of the product several times exceeds the limits mentioned earlier.

Making a customized product from scratch is always cheaper than making constant modifications to the template solutions.

 Customized solutions always assume the product architecture, as well as the admin panel, being worked out, based on the client’s needs.

Initially it is an individual, personalized solution.

 This made-for-order solution will be perfect for start-ups as the architecture is developed originally for the client’s needs (this very client, not the group of clients with the similar requirements, being unified). That is why the creation of the MVP can be more meaningful. MVP implies the development of the core product functionality with the ability to add functions any time you like. F.i. after testing the service / product / idea and realizing it does work.

project

Any further work with the product is just a continuation of the product development, but not the modification of the core functionality.

The customized solution is always more expensive at the first glance, but, no doubts, cheaper in summation in terms of the money and time spent.

Still wonder?

Look at the customized projects we have done for our clients.

 

Photo Credit: http://m.cdn.blog.hu/la/lauren/

LUIS? What is LUIS?

AltSolution Blog. LUIS. Language Understanding Intelligent Service from Microsoft

 

 

 

 

 

 

LUIS (Language Understanding Intelligent Service) is the Machine Learning API for language understanding, a part of Microsoft Cognitive Services (you are not mistaken; it was used to be Project Oxford). Microsoft provides a number of SDKs, APIs and services for devs to make their applications smarter, more intelligent and inspiring.

How it works

LUhelp-youIS helps to deploy an HTTP endpoint, which quickly takes the sentences sent to it, interpreting them in connection with the intention conveyed and the main entities presented. With the help of LUIS one can design any bundle of entities and intentions which are applicable for his business. After that the system of language understanding is to be built. LUIS will guide you.

 

The сore problem of computer-human interractions is to make the computer understand the intention of the user and divide his request into some blocks of information which can be analyzed, structurized and processed. F.i., in an online store app one might say “buy a white jacket in Kyiv”. And the intention here is “BuyJacket” while “WhiteJacket” is the subject entity. In most cases the intention, containing a verb, is supposed to be the desired action. While “WhiteJacket” is the subject entity and “Kyiv” is the location entity.

And the last but not the least. It does learn, improving itself. LUIS analyzes the intentions and entities, asking the admin to label the interactions it is unsure of. So with the help of LUIS one can extend the set of connections. The more it asks, the quicker it learns.

Supported browser

Internet Explorer 10/11, Chrome

Localization

English. French, Italian, Spanish, and Chinese can be supported after it can understand utterances.

Pricing

Free trial for 10K transactions per month.

AltSolution about LUIS

Availability

Unfortunately, not yet global. West US only.

Can’t wait to test it…

BOT PLAYING? WITH OR INSIDE?

Telegram has launched a bot-powered Gaming Platform. From now one can easily play games directly with a bot or inside the chats, sharing their results with the friends.

AltSolution about Telegram Gaming PlatformAltSolution about Telegram Gaming Platform

30 games are already available, most of them are powered by @gamee.

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You can start your game, writing a direct message to @gamee and make your choice. And then you can choose a  friend to play with. You will get the chart where all your results will be listed.

AltSolution about Telegram Gaming PlatformAltSolution about Telegram Gaming Platform

You can also inspect the results of your friends from the other chats (we are not sure that this feature is very useful, but nevertheless). Every time you will be notified of the scores your friends gain.

Telegram devs state that building Telegram HTML5 games is quick and simple. They provide as the examples their MathBattle (@gamebot) which took just 3 hours to build, LumberJack that won’t surprise you with its graphics and the demo-version of Corsairs, which includes animation, sound and graphics, took 5 hours to build, even set it up.

AltSolution about Telegram Gaming PlatformAltSolution about Telegram Gaming Platform

A new opportunity for marketers?

We’ll see…