Back in August, I wrote about Sgt. Star, a new interactive feature that the U.S. Army deployed on its Web site to help answer questions about military service for prospective recruits.
This “chat bot” uses technology made by NextIT that allows site visitors to “chat” with Sgt. Star in an instant message format. To get a taste of how it works, check out A Soldier’s Perspective. He posted a really funny conversation he had with Sgt. Star recently.
As an update from my original post, I now have stats on the effectiveness of Sgt. Star, which were provided to me by Lucas Dressel at Desautel-Hege Communications (try saying that ten times fast). From the information he provided, it appears that Sgt. Star has had quite a positive effect on the military. Consider the following data:
- The average site session at goarmy.com, the Army’s recruiting site goes from 4 minutes without interacting with Sgt. Star to 16 minutes with a Sgt. Star chat.
- Sgt. Star has answered over 500,000 questions since the technology was launched less than six months ago
- Sgt. Star as a 92% accuracy rate in answering questions
Well done, Sgt. Star. I salute you, and the folks at U.S. Army Accessions Command for taking a risk and implementing a technology that seems to be providing a great service to the command.
PS — Sorry Lucas, but you are the topic of my next post. Coming up next, the highs and lows of Lucas’ pitch (as well as some tips that everyone should know about pitching milbloggers.)