San Diego brand intelligence and reputation management firm Chatmeter is harnessing the power of generative AI technology to respond to customers’ online reviews. The firm’s clients can access brand-specific reviews, comments and questions that are posted to platforms like Google, Yelp or Facebook and then initiate an AI generator to leave a tailored response.
Chatmeter specializes in multi-location brands and believes that the new capabilities will allow businesses to dramatically decrease the time it takes to respond to customer reviews – and draft engaging social media posts without losing the human touch.
In a recent company survey, Chatmeter found that almost 90% of respondents viewed online reviews as an essential step in the process of making purchase decisions. More than half of consumers said companies should acknowledge their comments and address their issues quickly.
Responsiveness is clearly important, but accuracy and authenticity are key.
Widely published articles have revealed AI generated responses that are dead wrong. These AI systems can sometimes hallucinate, providing false answers to questions they don’t interpret correctly, fueling concerns about misinformation.
“We acknowledge that there is much uncertainty and conversation in the market regarding the impact of generative AI. However, we believe that today’s AI breakthroughs — and our specific solutions — are uniquely suited for our industry because Chatmeter’s AI review responses are not automatically published,” said Chatmeter Chief Technology Officer Dan Cunningham. “It’s up to the person charged with review response to read and edit, if necessary, and then publish.”
“The responses are not those of an impersonal chatbot,” he stated. “The models are trained to best represent the business’ brand voice while taking into account the specific details in each customer’s feedback.” The goal is to provide an experience that meets or exceeds whatever an actual human would write.
The firm also leverages AI to generate social media content. After a client selects what type of post they want and provides a short description, the AI technology generates a post optimized for Apple, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, or Google which can be edited before it’s published.
Chatmeter’s announcement comes as a wave of high-profile companies are embracing generative AI chatbot integration, including Salesforce, Snapchat, Instacart and Shopify.
San Diego-based marketing platform SOCi announced in March it raised $120 million to invest in AI marketing, including the integration of chatbots to respond to customers’ online reviews.
Since the launch this spring, Chatmeter customers have used the AI generator to facilitate review responses more than 30,000 times.
The AI integration is set to slash spending, but Chatmeter hasn’t revealed the magnitude. “Likely in the next six months to a year we will have enough data for statistical accounting of return on investment in terms of marketing budget dollars. One immediate value is linked to time saved: It takes mere seconds to generate an on-brand, grammatically correct response that only requires a quick check before posting,” said Cunningham.
Chatmeter has teams scattered across the country, but its headquarters are here in San Diego. Its first customer was a local auto repair shop that fixed Chatmeter founder Collin Holmes’ car.
The company is heavily involved in the community, regularly donating to local nonprofits.
“This year when we achieve our revenue goals, we’ll donate 10K apiece to three local San Diego nonprofits. Community support activities are built into every major corporate gathering such as a cherished annual company event we lovingly call ‘Chatmania’,” added Cunningham. “Earlier this year [we made] blankets and chew toys for local animal rescue nonprofit The Animal Pad and stuffed hygiene and supply packs for houseless youth for local nonprofit StandUp for Kids.”
The company is in “growth mode” and anticipates expanding its team substantially with new offices around the nation. “We recognize the power of real-time review response and social engagement and its impact on the customer experience,” added Cunningham. “By leveraging state-of-the-art AI technology, we are empowering businesses to deliver the personalized and dynamic experiences their customers expect.”
CEO: John Mazur
NOTABLE: In 2023, tech marketplace and review platform G2 honored Chatmeter with 24 industry leader and high-performance badges in categories like online reputation management and local marketing.