Artificial intelligence or AI is touted as one of the most revolutionary technologies of the current times. A spin-off of AI, chatbots are getting increasingly popular among businesses. Organizations are deploying sophisticated AI algorithms to build advanced chatbots in areas of customer support, sales, marketing, and internal process automation.
Chatbot services are helping businesses drive customer engagement, streamline key processes and bolster productivity. In fact, in 2016, close to 80% of the businesses claimed they planned to have some kind of chatbot automation by 2020. In this article, we will discuss how chatbots are being incorporated into the various facets of business operations.
Chatbot services are increasingly used for scheduling appointments for personal services. People can book appointments with doctors, fitness instructors, beauticians, legal consultants and other service providers using virtual assistants.
Traditionally, these tasks were carried out by human assistants. While appointment scheduling isn’t a complex task, still there’s room for human error. AI chatbots can be embedded with scheduling capabilities to make the process faster and minimize the room for error.
These chatbots also collect the requisite contact information from the user and pass it on to the correct person. All this shortens the lead generation cycle considerably.
Chatbots are being used in the food and retail industry to place orders online. Chatbots gather the necessary information from the customer and recommend products that fulfill his requirements in the best possible manner. They also provide real-time support by answering all the queries the user may have during this buying journey.
For instance, Pizza Hut deployed a chatbot that allows users to place orders for pizza and other products from their Twitter and Facebook accounts. Users can reorder saved or older orders and also access information on Pizza Hut’s latest promotions. Likewise, Taco Bell’s TacoBot allows you to place an order through the instant messaging service, Slack.
Traditionally, money transfer to a person or institution required you to call a bank or a broker. Though the process has been made simpler through online transfers, the task can be made still easier by deploying chatbot services. When the customer makes an inquiry about money transfer, the bot guides the person through the money transfer process. This facilitates a smooth and fast transfer of money.
For instance, BBVA, one of the largest banks in Spain, now allows its customers to transfer money online through its bots on instant messaging services such as Facebook Messenger and Telegram. With such a facility in place, customers don’t need to use BBVA’s mobile banking application.
With so many news portals available today, browsing through multiple websites can indeed be time-consuming. Chatbots can facilitate the news reading process by offering curated news and headlines right in your messenger app.
For example, CNN developed a chatbot on the messaging service Kik. Users can choose to read top stories or get news articles by topic. Over a period of time, the chatbot learns to deliver stories to users based upon their interests.
NBC launched its chatbot on Facebook Messenger shortly before the US presidential elections of 2016. The bot not only allowed users to read breaking news but also provided them with customized results depending on their preferences. The chatbot helped NBC study what kind of news was more popular among users, allowing the network to refine its content depending upon user choice.
Chatbot services are being used by healthcare organizations to diagnose diseases faster and more accurately. Equipped with robust machine learning algorithms, these chatbots offer accurate responses to user queries and draw upon a vast amount of medical knowledge and research papers to build and enhance their expertise.
Important examples in this regard are Medwhat and HealthTap.
Medwhat is a virtual assistant that answers medical and health questions for both consumers and doctors. The bot crunches new information about medicine every single day. Over time, it also learns user medical history-all this allows it to become more intelligent with time.
HealthTap has built a chatbot on Facebook Messenger that allows users to find out what they may be suffering from and how to treat it. Users can also access responses to questions that are similar to their own. The bot allows users to submit questions and lets them access the company’s repository of knowledge.
Recruitment is a time-consuming and often cumbersome task that can be easily managed with the help of a chatbot. The HR chatbot Mya, for instance, chats with applicants across different channels-Facebook, SMS, Skype, email-and aggregates all the data to select suitable applicants for subsequent rounds.
It even provides recruiters with information related to experience, recent activity, and other metrics of the candidates. It also administers assessments, offers updates on application progress, sends alerts to the candidates, and answers questions related to the company.
Xor is another example of an intelligent recruitment bot that interacts with candidates, guides them through the recruitment process and screens the right candidates for further rounds.
Chatbots have become immensely popular among retail and e-commerce players who are using them for helping users shop the best possible products. eBay Shopbot from the retailer giant eBay is a personal shopping assistant that helps customers discover new products, whether they are looking for something specific or just browsing for ideas. The bot also helps customers find new offers. Users can use text, voice or image to let the bot know what they are looking for and the bot will recommend products accordingly.
Multinational clothing brand H&M has also launched a bot on messaging app Kik that helps users shop the right products after asking a couple of questions. Users can also share the product page with other Kik users.
These are only some of the interesting use cases of chatbots that help businesses boost customer engagement, streamline operations and reinforce RoI. Are you aware of any such applications of chatbots? Welcome to share in the comment section below.
About the author: it’s a guest article by Sophia Johnson, a dynamic technophile, writing on all aspects of the technological world, with wide and deep experience of covering all matters related to Technology, App Development, Cloud, software development outsourcing, SEO outsourcing, Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, and Digital Marketing.
Title image from Hugo pack in Ouch vector library
Read how to make an effective chatbot, check how travel brands apply conversational AI, and try the library of AI-generated faces