“We’re in a competitive business climate. It’s not only about working with edgy startups – although we keep tabs on what’s happening – but about delivering fast innovation to solve immediate consumer needs,” said Vincent Leroudier, Digital Customer innovation manager at Nespresso.
Nespresso Assistant was launched in the US and Germany in September on Facebook Messenger. It offers information about special offers, recycling, how to clean a coffee machine and new coffees in the market. The coffee company said that about 70 per cent of users reported a positive experience. By 2020, its consumers worldwide will be able to order their coffee via the app without leaving Facebook Messenger. Nespresso plans to scale the platform globally over the next two years.
“We think the bot will work because it’s easier than a website or proprietary app. People want simplicity, and a messaging app is up-to-date 24/7, on mobile or desktop. Conversations follow you, from the office to the home, for example. And bots are more personal, interactive and entertaining,” said Leroudier.
Nespresso Assistant might ask consumers what coffee they would like with a cheeky smile emoji or answers questions on machine descaling using easy-to-follow GIFs. The coffee giant said that if the bot fails to deliver, its artificial intelligence is improving continuously and a human customer service is just a click away if needed.
It also created the new Nespresso Voice Assistant, a simple voice request, set to launch in France via a pilot program with Google Home to offer consumers similar services to the chatbot. From 2020, consumers will also be able to say, “Ok Google, ask Nespresso to reorder my coffee!”
In 2016, the global brand digitised its machine concept with an augmented reality (AR) app that allowed coffee lovers to see what Nespresso’s Essenza Mini would look like in their own kitchens.
In 2018, Nestle’s B2B sales teams began using the same technology. The Nespresso coffee machine can now sit in a hotel or a restaurant as a salesperson showcases it using a special app, share the image or print it out for consumers.
In the future, Nespresso said AR could enable consumers to do an overlay to an image of a coffee machine on a smart phone with graphics showing how to change its brew settings, descale it and even suggest new coffees to try.