In this futuristic world led by heaps of advancement with a never-ending horizon of opportunities, industrialists and entrepreneurs are neck throat spiking against each other for integrating the latest technology into their system with the main aim of improving customer involvement and experience. Conversational AI, one of the outgrown branches of AI technology has gained relevance in this landscape due to its promising returns and services. One most deployed avenue of conversational AI is the addition of chatbots in the retail sector. Being older than the internet with its initiation in the year 1966 chatbots have come a long way from just being an assistant.
What is a Chatbot?
A chatbot is an AI simulated advanced conversational AI that can initiate a conversation with the user through chat in the natural language. These are the digital assistants that are capable of understanding the user’s intentions, interpreting them, processing and giving prompt replies based on their queries.
With human interaction holding the key to personalize the experience, chatbots can take inputs from the user, understand and converse with them depending upon the customer inquiries. It is an active interaction system that perceives and executes actions based on customer preferences. According to a recent report by PSFK, 74% of the users consider chatbots a better avenue compared to human interaction for simple queries.
A report by Juniper Research also claims that for every quick query resolution through a chatbot, organizations can save an average of 4 minutes of an agent. These 4 minutes mounting up will eventually lead to a magnanimous amount of productive time. This research further stated that it can save an average of 0.70$ per chatbot interaction by the year 2022. Chatbots have also gained relevance in the banking sector. A few of the examples of successful banking chatbots are Erica by Bank of America, EVA by HDFC Bank, Amex by American Express, etc. Forbes estimates that by the year 2025, the chatbot market is expected to reach $1.25 billion with an average CAGR of 24%.
Use-Cases of Chatbot
What exactly are the avenues these chatbots are deployed for? While customer interaction is the prime motive for their deployment, chatbots are capable of delivering services like the following-
Chatbots are capable of handling numerous inquiries from a varied base of customers. They are inbuilt with NLP software to handle smart conversations with the users. Natural Language Processing (NLP) is broadly inferred as the automatic manipulation of natural languages by the software which enables the systems to revert to the queries. Along with the official websites, these chatbots can also be integrated into various customer touchpoints like social media pages which would solve the query instantaneously or get redirected to a human assistant.Lead GenerationWith the pace at which email marketing and cold calling are losing their effectiveness and relevance, chatbots promise an excitingly curious way of lead generation. These bots are usually embedded into a brand’s official website or their applications to interact with the customers.
These chatbots then converse with the customer to know their affinity towards purchasing a product or service and scale up their potential in terms of purchase. This information can be forwarded to the team who would then follow up the potential customers. Brands have witnessed an almost 600% increase in the number of leads using chatbots as compared to the conventional methods.
- Customer Feedback
The essence of any business lies in its active effort to take constructive feedback from its customers and improvise on similar lines. Researches show that traditional survey methods of customer feedback collection have a devastating opening rate of only 10% with a completion rate of less than 5%. With surveys not being so responsive, chatbots offer a more interactive as well as a promising form of collecting customer feedback. The chatbot takes up the basic idea of a traditional form survey but instead makes it a lot more interactive and conversational for the user thereby compelling him/her to give their response without considering it a monotonous form-filling exercise.
- Scheduling Appointments
Appointment booking is crucial in almost every industry including banks, healthcare, consultancy, shopping etc where there is usually a lot of engagement. Customers who would want to consult a human assistant for their concerns can quickly interact with the chatbot mentioning their concern or request. With the primary objective of solving the query itself, chatbots can schedule an appointment with the agents if required thereby also helping streamline the customer presence to ensure a hassle-free environment.
- Customer Education
Many global companies use chatbots to educate their customers about their products and services with a detailed explanation of every aspect. This can help the customers make an informed decision. Bots can also be used to send out promotional messages, seminar or webinar information, etc.
- Handling complicated and unique Queries
Using an API, chatbots can be modified to handle a multitude of questions ranging on any spectrum of complications. This would help the brands to set up a complete automation process thereby helping them reduce the cost of customer service by improving efficiency.
- Sending Reminders
Chatbots can be used to send reminders for due payments, deadlines, and documents required for services or processes. They can also be used to let the customer know their latest update in their profiles or purchases. These notifications help customers stay informed of the new provisions and decisions of the companies.Some of the other aspects of business where chatbots have proven a record of success are-
In today’s world of decentralized information and readily available resources, the margins of competition are rigorously dimming forcing businesses and industries to stay on the verge of improving customer experience in the most optimum way to stay ahead of the game. It’s high time every industry embraced conversational AI in its diverse forms and utilize it’s commendable services to amplify the overall experiences.