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BillyBot: What is our new chatbot? How does it work? What is its purpose?

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BillyBot: What is our new chatbot? How does it work? What is its purpose?

The new Aston Villa chatbot launched earlier this week, as BillyBot became the official identity of our Facebook Messenger service. 

BillyBot, nicknamed after one of the club's key historical figures and Football League founder William McGregor, offers a host of functionalities for supporters to enjoy – from upcoming fixture details and stats to jokes and bitesize updates in and around matchday. 

You can speak to BillyBot here – simply ask it a question or explore the options presented on screen. 

In the meantime, here's a quick guide to the ins and outs of BillyBot and how to get the most from our new-look messenger personality... 

What is a chatbot? 

Simply put, a chatbot is an automated Facebook Messenger tool built to engage with fans and provide an alternative, innovative connection between the club and its supporters. 

How does it work? 

All you have to do is open up a conversation with BillyBot in Facebook Messenger, and you'll be introduced to each other. 

After that, you can either explore its initial functions – the main menu, select the kind of updates you wish to receive and request a joke – or ask it a question.

What can I ask it? 

Whether it’s regarding our next fixture, a ticketing query, a request to see the Sky Bet Championship table, stats around form, our top goalscorer or even a Pride Rewards question – we've covered off a host of FAQs through the development stage. 

But this will also be a two-way street going forwards. We'll ask you things from time to time to better understand what you want from BillyBot, and make your experience more personal. 

What if I hit a stumbling block? 

Realistically, there's some things BillyBot won't be able to answer and/or recognise, especially in its infancy. 

However, the development of our chatbot will be completely organic, and conversations are monitored manually to ensure we enhance and add to our responses on a daily basis. 

What will updates get me? 

There's a number of updates that you can subscribe for. 

You can get all our pre-match content before each Villa game, with weekly Man of the Match votes and video clips of our goals also available to you post-fixture. 

On matchday, we also want to know where you're watching from – whether it’s at Villa Park, viewing on AVTV from abroad or following via our social media channels. 

Such questions then allow us to gain a better understanding of your frequent matchday activity and personalise content you receive from BillyBot. 

What will BillyBot give me in the future? 

We'll be treating our chatbot like all our other social media channels – ensuring it has its own look and feel, personality and tone of voice. 

That means it'll have exclusive content from time to time, that may not be available anywhere else.  

Explore the mix of knowledge, assistance and fun that BillyBot possesses for yourself – speak to it now.

AVFC Official
By @AVFCOfficial 29th March 2018