Salamuzik.com chatbot, a Tidio integration
Recently I was googling an instrument I had never heard of (a daf), and ended up on the Salamuzik website. Once there, a chatbot popped up! One thing I noticed is that it is powered by Tidio, a company I hadn’t yet heard of.
I’m interested in the technology companies behind the conversational experiences we come across in everyday life, so it was an opportunity to see what they’re all about, and what an example integration looks like. I don’t know how much Tidio controls how their chatbots are integrated, so it’s unclear to me who made what decisions behind the Salamuzik.com experience.
The Webpage UI
Let’s start by looking at the web page UI where the chatbot is integrated.
The first notable thing is that the chatbot drawer pops up in the bottom LEFT corner. Most web chatbots that I have seen are in the bottom right corner. Interestingly, the bottom right corner has an icon that suggests something like a chatbot. Clicking it reveals a vertical list of communication channels (WhatsApp, Email, Instragram, Telegram).
So what’s happening on the bottom left corner? A lot.
- A couple floating elements for currency and language.
2. Then, the chatbot appears. Notice how the currency is behind the chatbot, but the language selector is above (this seems unintentional).
There is a lot going on here. But it turns out, there’s more!
3. A pop-up notification saying that somebody recently purchased something. This pop-up lays on top of the chat window, though the language selector is still mixed up in it.
The result is a super cluttered corner, with elements appearing and disappearing. Here is a short video capturing it in real time:
All in all, this is a cluttered, confusing experience to start with. The challenge seems to be adding a chatbot into an already busy website.
The Chatbot UI
Once opened, the chatbot UI has a clean, simple look and feel (other than the language selector).
The color scheme is a gradient blue, consistent across the mix of elements. The bottom of the blue section has a unique wavy curve, and a blurb about the bot’s (or live agent’s) responsiveness. Here is the Salamuzik responsiveness blurb put side by side with a couple examples from the Tidio.com website.
All three have a gradient, though the last changed the color to a red. The blurb can change (“We typically reply within a few minutes”, “We usually reply within 5 minutes”, “We’re online”). I like the information contained in this blurb. It helps orient the user and their expectations.
One point of confusion I see is between whether the bot is a live human agent or an automated AI bot. In all three cases, the blurb uses a “we” pronoun, which suggests to me a human. Only the last example uses a specific person’s name. And a responsiveness blurb only really makes sense anyway with a live agent. With a bot, you would expect the response to be immediate. It is confusing that the Salamuzik.com bot says they “typically reply within a few minutes” when in practice, as I click the buttons, the responses are immediate. Are they trying to maintain an illusion that there is a human on the other side? Why bother discussing responsiveness at all if it is an automated, instantly responsive bot?
The chatbot supports user inputs with buttons and with free text.
The free text field has the text “Hit the buttons to respond”, even though you are able to enter free text there. And while initially it accepted free text, after a few tries it responded to every attempt to enter free text with a prompt asking for my email and no ability to continue without doing so.
It seems that efforts to enter free text instead of just using buttons was met with an effort to elicit contact info. I can’t say it’s satisfying for me, but it does prioritize what is likely high value for them, i.e. getting sales leads.
The Conversation Structure
The conversation starts with an initial promo code offer.
If you say yes, you enter an email and then get a code. Then you get a general help question. There is inconsistent capitalization in the buttons: “My order status” vs. “Frequently Asked Questions” and “Shipping Zones”.
If you click on “My order status,” you can enter an Order ID and do a lookup. My random number just got an error, but this looks like a backend integration to check order status. Cool!
If you click on “Frequently Asked Questions,” you get another help menu.
If you click on “Shipping Zones,” it asks for your delivery address. Once supplied and matched to something (I used “New York City”), it tells you about time, cost and options to that destination.
Tidio, the company powering Salamuzik’s chatbot
Salamuzik.com is a retail website that integrated a chatbot from Tidio, a company that appears based on Poland but with offices in London and San Francisco. Tidio seems focused on customer service and sales conversion, using a text-based conversational interface with either an automated bot or a human. A likely competitor is Drift. The reviews of Tidio at Capterra are super interesting to read, including the competing companies that the reviewers had considered using.
Insights for conversation design
Tidio seems to be targeting chatbots at scale, where customers build their own bots and do the integrations themselves. This means customers are likely to use tools from Tidio to design the conversations (a review talked about Tidio’s drag and drop design tool), including writing copy and building flows. As a result, quality could vary widely. It also means that one priority for Tidio would be reducing friction to onboarding new websites. Presumably their tools prioritize making it easy to get something up and running quickly, and deprioritize a robust set of features for complex conversations. The priority is service and sales at scale. Between Tidio, Drift and others, it seems like there is a market for simple chatbots that are quick and easy to integrate.