The Lego Ralph Chatbot: All You Need to Know

The Lego Ralph Chatbot is one of the best examples of a Sales and Marketing Chatbot. Facebook has lately become more of a marketplace and advertisement space than a social media platform. No brand exists on the earth without a proper presence on Facebook. When you are on Facebook, potential customers and clients naturally want to interact with you, and the way they do this is by using Facebook Messenger. If a brand were to appoint people to respond to all the millions of text messages originating on Messenger, they would have to hire a small army of support agents.

However, this has been made easy by the availability of Facebook Chatbots. Lego, the legendary toy manufacturing company has used the same approach to handle the large volume of text messages they get on Facebook Messenger. The Lego Ralph chatbot from Lego not only responds to messages from customers and fans but can also help you select the correct Lego set that you want to purchase for someone as a gift.

Before we take a deeper look at Ralph, let’s answer the basic questions like, what are Facebook Messenger bots, and how do they work?

What are Messenger Chatbots?

Facebook Messenger chatbots are artificially intelligent computer programs that are designed to produce meaningful replies for people trying to connect with a brand or business via Facebook. As of 2019, there were more than 300,000 chatbots available on Facebook, deployed by different companies and brands to serve their customers.

Messenger chatbots can be rudimentary that can only give pre-fed responses like telling that a support agent will be available the next morning, and they can be so advanced as to match the level of Ralph, who can help you select gift toys and can give reasonable advice about shopping Lego.

Most of the Messenger chatbots are cloud-hosted, meaning that you don’t have to install anything on your computer and the chatbot just operates from the cloud and seamlessly integrates with your Facebook account.

At it's core, the Lego Ralph Chatbot is a 'giftbot' that guides users to the perfect purchase.

The Lego Ralph Chatbot – Lego’s Gift Expert

In 2017, Lego noticed a pattern in their customers coming in to shop online for Christmas and found out that a considerable portion of the potential buyers skipped shopping for a gift just because they could not find the right gift and there was no one available for them to consult with. It was, obviously, not a good approach for Lego to deploy an army of support agents to assist indecisive buyers with buying gifts for Christmas. Instead, the company decided to develop a chatbot (or a “giftbot” as they call it) to solve this problem, and Ralph was born. It was initially deployed for the 2018 Christmas season in UK, US, Canada, France, Germany, and Poland.

At a very basic level, the Lego Ralph chatbot, is a guide with the job of helping people find the right set of Legos they want to buy for someone for Christmas or any other occasion. Ralph has not only been hugely helpful for people trying to buy Legos but has also given Lego a competitive edge by improving the level of service it provides to the customers. Lego’s overall online presence has also benefited a lot from Ralph by decreasing the response time for customer queries and making them feel better interacting with Lego.

Why Ralph was Created?

We talked to Genelle Holton, the digital marketing manager for the UK, and he explained that the main reason behind creating the Lego Ralph chatbot was to catch indecisive buyers, but Facebook did have such a magnitude of potential customers that it would just not have been wise to not create a chatbot to serve the fanbase of Lego on Facebook. Holton further added that Facebook Messenger is a platform that offers a convenient way for people to interact with businesses and that businesses need to come up with innovative solutions to provide a better level of service to their clientele on Facebook.

What Does Lego Think of Ralph?

The senior manager of digital customer engagement at Lego, James Poulter, said about the Lego Ralph chatbot in 2017 that their company had always been looking for innovative and productive ways of interacting with their consumers. He added that the companies and brands were widely using chatbots at that time. The purpose was to connect with their customers efficiently, and that has caused a positive impact on sales. He further said that Lego is one of the pioneers in using this technology in all of the toy industry.

A sample chat with the Lego Ralph chatbot.

How does Ralph Work?

Ralph has been developed to act as a smooth interface to help buyers select the right set of Lego as a gift. The mode of interaction with the chatbot is by answering the on-screen questions it asks of the user. It asks the users to enter the age of the person the gift is meant for, the budget, and their preference of Lego types. After factoring in all the parameters, the bot comes up with the best options available for the buyer.

The limited user input and controlled interaction environment was developed to keep people from confusing the nascent bot. The chatbot is, however, equipped with machine learning, and it learns from the choices people make, and all that data is taken into account for the next advice that the bot offers to potential buyers.

The choice of gifts it offers to the buyer is obviously influenced by the response the user gives to the various questions asked by the Lego Ralph chatbot, but it is also dependent on the geographical location of the buyer and their demographic data available on Facebook.

Final Thoughts

Facebook has become a major medium for brands and companies to connect with their customers and fans. Messenger chatbots make it easier for brands to manage their communication with customers. Lego, the legendary toy company, commissioned Ralph as a “giftbot” to help people select the right gift for someone. The chatbot operates based on the input given by the user, and it simplifies the process of selecting a gift by showing a list of the available options within the budget and matching the preferences of the buyer. Ralph improved customer satisfaction level on Facebook and increased sales of the company too.

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