Why Answer Engines Are Necessary For An Evolving Consumer Base, And How They Will Influence The Future

Answer Engines are conversational search engines that answer on behalf of a specific brand; however, they can only be as good as the data they collect. Data is king. But we’ve heard that story many times. The thing is, it doesn’t matter how much data a company collects if they don’t utilize it to the best of their abilities. That component is what separates companies no matter what industry they’re in.

Companies are always searching for the next big thing to bring in new consumers, but at its simplest form, it comes down to properly using the data that customers are already giving up. Everywhere we go, there are data collection opportunities in the form of questions. The questions come up at the theme park, the mall, or an outdoor concert. We could spend an hour walking around searching for things we want, and by that time, we’re missing out on the experience. Specifically, directing a question at a  brand’s Answer Engine takes away the guessing game and allows us to find exactly what we want at our fingertips. New technology and improved guest experience go hand in hand; leveraging that technology to keep consumers engaged after discovery is the goal.

Many brands misuse the data they receive, which has them missing huge gaps between what the consumer wants and how the right technology can help them deliver it. They’re not filtering information in a consumable way for the buyer to re-consume or purchase what they want. “You can keep the customer engaged after discovery if you have the right technology,” says Satisfi Labs CEO Don White. “However, a lot of companies push their customers back to search engines, making them the go-to for all information. But the thing is, they pull from wherever they can, and it won't necessarily always be you. Our vision was always to enable our clients to be their own search engines.”

If you create the right portal, you will learn everything you need to know about your customers and how to retarget them. All consumers are not equal, just as all questions are not equal. Sometimes, the most specific questions have the most value. Brands who understand that are uniquely positioned to have that power by leveraging the zero-party data.

If you created a way to listen to what your customer, or potential customers, were trying to tell you through their questions, then you wouldn't need to spend so much time and money on other resources to figure out what they want. That’s where AI technology comes into play. An Answer Engine is built on AI and machine learning to allow clients to invest in the consumers already in their digital ecosystem at scale. This allows them to convert those sales and bring in more revenue. In a world that is now focused on how to function successfully amid a global pandemic, maintaining and growing revenue is key.

One thing the pandemic has shined a light on is voice assistants. Voice assistants like Alexa, Google, and Siri had already become the norm in households around the globe. These products have evolved from enabling us to ask simple questions to purchasing on our behalf. With so many people forced to stay indoors, voice will continue to grow, and with that, the need for Answer Engines.

“Voice is instantaneous; it takes the need to search away. It is a guaranteed way to avoid a bad website experience. It is convenient,” explained Donny. “Voice is already connected to your digital wallet, so locating and purchasing are intertwined across many disciplines. You can dictate as if you're talking to a person. Think of these voice assistants as salespeople living in your house.” Voice enables an even more direct and specific level of service than a traditional text application would provide, and with the added benefit of being more personable and human-like.  

The pandemic also exposed a need for consumers to be able to request information that was not yet available or even known. For example, when sports seasons were put on hold, a lot of fans had questions of when their favorite team would be playing again. This concept of being able to subscribe to future answers was created, and we call it Knowtifi. In this instant gratification world, what knowtifi provides is not just the ability to subscribe to future answers, but the instant gratification that your request has been acknowledged and a future answer will be provided.



“Knowtifi has a past, present, and future that can topple the foundation of how we think about search because we are removing a huge barrier to a limitation of its function, which is time,” says Donny. “We need to take time out of search. If I have a question, it shouldn't be limited to the answers that exist today.”

Answer Engines with answer subscription capabilities can allow companies to measure demand long before something takes place. Based on the data gathered, a brand can decide how to proceed. That can look like adding an additional show because answer subscription data shows high demand for tickets on Saturday. As a consumer, we could say, “​When tickets in right field near section 17 drop below $100 on a Saturday in March, buy me 4.” Imagine a world where you can dictate your relationship with a brand. Brands can now spend less money trying to figure out what their consumers want, and more time presenting them with what they asked for, which almost certainly guarantees a sale. It’s as simple as that.

“If you just listen, then people will tell you what they want and we are enabling that listening at scale,” says Donny. “Customers today ask, I believe we can enable customers to tell. Today we are in the answer business, but I see us growing to a place where we're in the tell business. I'll feel accomplished when people say if you don't have Satisfi, then you don't hear your customer."

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