The AA

Chatbot: innovating to engage and educate

AA Chatbot logo

Challenge

Mention “working for the AA” and many people can’t see beyond roadside roles– a roadblock when it comes to recruitment. Candidates assumed they knew what AA had to offer, and weren’t engaged with the wider culture and benefits. As a result, the AA was failing to engage and convert website visitors. It was clear that the careers site needed a new brand voice and experience – to shake visitors out of old assumptions, and to attract – and ultimately hire – more candidates.

Approach

Last year we launched a reimagined digital solution that could do justice to the new brand proposition, ‘Ready for ANYTHING?’. It’s a totally new way to access the world of AA, replacing the need for conventional website navigation – the AA chatbot. To achieve it, we sought out bleeding-edge software, Microsoft’s Bot Framework, which was still in beta, and constructed new bot pathways even as the core code changed under our feet.

The result, AAbot, is your guide to the world of AA. By asking him questions, candidates can access all website information from within the chatbot – utterly tailored to their interests, and, if desired, full job listings.

With expressive animations for any occasion, and banter full of cheek and surprise, AAbot is packed with personality. He takes the employer tone of voice in a playful, irreverent, funny and bold new direction. And he’s virtual proof that functional UX copy can entertain and build a brand, as well as inform.

  • See AAbot in action here

“This brilliant innovation has transformed how we engage candidates.” Craig Morgans, Head of Talent Acquisition, the AA

“I highly recommend AAbot. He’s the best robot in town. And the most modest.” AAbot

Results

With no other significant changes to recruitment activity, total job applications – via the website – have increased by 146% since last year (full year 2017 – 2018 YTD).

Direct hires are also at a record high: having increased by 38%, to 2,800 in total (full year 2016 – YTD 2018), amounting to 96% of all hires (full year 2016 – YTD 2018).

This is against a backdrop of steadily increasing site traffic since launch: with 10% YOY growth (full year 2016 vs full year 2017), and consistent progress in 2018 (visitors YTD 2018 = 75% of the 2017 total).

Since launching Bot-led social media pages and enhanced chatbot functions in 2018, we’ve also accelerated the impact. Notable increases include average page views (+15%), and returning visitors (+14%). Applications in 2018 have already totalled 85% of the total for 2017 (36,000 full year 2017 vs. 30,500 YTD 2018).

In a nutshell, this is a story of consistent, significant business impact. Let’s just hope it doesn’t go to AAbot’s head.

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