A lot of chatbots have launched on Facebook in recent months, but the Ticketmaster bot launching today is among the best that I’ve been forced to work with.
Normally I avoid reaching out to businesses through Facebook (it still doesn’t seem like a natural channel to me — and I’m old), but there’s real utility in Ticketmaster’s bot if you’re willing to give up a certain amount of privacy.
The bot’s natural language processing works well and not as programmatically as some others I’ve had to deal with. Instead of walking someone through a transaction using prompts that feel unnatural, the bot can recognize prompts like “What’s happening tonight?” and come up with responses.
The bot will literally show you every event that Ticketmaster is serving up in an area (in a place like LA, that can be a little overwhelming).
It’ll also respond to requests about the schedule for specific artists… so if there’s a band you want to see and don’t know whether they’ll be coming to your area, the message bot can tell you (so long as they’re playing at a Ticketmaster venue).
Search data covers 83 countries, so the bot has you covered even if you’re on the road. The company says the information is shareable, too, so if (unlike me) you have friends who care about you, you can gather a gaggle to take in a show.
The one issue I had with the bot was the lack of in-chat purchasing. You still need to click a link that takes you into Ticketmaster to make a purchase. It’d be better if the buying option were seamless, but I was told by Ticketmaster developers that the in-chat buying option is something they’re working on.
As the convergence of online and offline commerce continues to dominate the thinking among physical stores, and as experiential marketing and events become more of a thing, expect to see Ticketmaster continue to expand its digital footprint. I’ve been in LA at Ticketmaster’s Summit and there’re definitely some more interesting things coming down the road from them.
Here are some screenshots to give you a sense of the experience: