As the chatbot industry grows, more and more businesses are deploying bots to convert users to customers, drive sales, and improve the overall consumer experience. The question is not whether or not your business can benefit from a chatbot, but rather whether or not you should invest in the creation of one. Will the return on investment be worthwhile?
Recent trends say yes, but the use and functionality of a bot may also depend on your industry and use case—the factors that identify and clarify your requirements for a real-time chatbot. For some, the benefits are obvious; for others, it may be more ambiguous.
In this two-part exploration of use cases, we’ll look at the functionality and capability of chatbots in various industries and the benefits thereof, starting with utilities, telecom, and insurance.
Let’s be realistic; no one likes calling utility companies. Though they cover a range of providers—electric, gas, water, etc.—it seems that utilities are all under the same umbrella of having unfavourable customer service, often in the form of complex processes, lengthy hold times, and an overall lack of communication.
Here we see three examples of a consumer interacting with a chatbot. On the left is a simple inquiry from which the bot can extract information to provide an accurate response. In the centre is an example of a bot scheduling an appointment. The rightmost image shows a chatbot delivering an important update, and then replying to the customer’s note regarding an outage.
Note how the bots use a conversational tone; this is a primary goal of a chatbot, as well as an effective method to strengthen customer relationships and improve their experience.
Customer Service and Account Inquiries
Chatbots are readily available to answer customer issues twenty-four hours a day, which eases consumers’ minds; they know they can always have a connection to the company if need be. In an age where accounts are accessible from anywhere at any time, it is equally important to maintain that always-on connection.
Studies show that up to eighty percent of a business’s customer queries are repetitive, so automating those routine requests streamlines the interaction from both sides—the business and the customer. For the business, it means reducing stress on customer service representatives who spend a large percentage of their time on medium. For the customer, it means virtually no time spent waiting on hold or for an email reply.
Chatbots are particularly adept for providing updates to a consumer base, but the concept of emergency updates is a situation unique to utility providers; for instance, power outages, weather warnings, or construction work that affects water lines. These are examples in which automated chatbots can be put to work to update customers with real-time information in seconds. This helps the customer stay safe and informed, and improves the provider-consumer relationship as well.
For the sake of this article, we’re going to use the term telecom, short for “telecommunications,” to represent telephone, internet, and cable providers. Competition is quite fierce in these industries, and with frequent price fluctuations, it can be an uphill struggle to acquire and keep customers. Despite this, it seems that customer service tends to be generally lacking across the board. Below we’ll look at a few ways that telecom companies can benefit from chatbots.
On the left in the image above, we see a customer inquiring about an upgrade to her subscription. The chatbot simply offers her a choice of options, and she chooses the one best for her. Not only does this effectively drive revenue, but the bot features a built-in payment option to make the upgrade fast and easy. Also noteworthy is the complete lack of sales tactics; all too often consumers prepare themselves for a lengthy sales pitch from a human representative. Bots make it simple, hassle-free, and no-pressure for the customer.
In the centre of the image above, we see a bot using a simply text-based flow chart to aid a customer with a technical support query—no hold times, no extraneous question-and-answer. Keeping in mind that a majority of customer inquiries are similar, a bot can aid in all of those simple solutions. If a more difficult issue arises, the bot can seamlessly transfer the customer to a human representative for further assistance.
Payment and Account Assistance
Finally, the rightmost image shows a customer requesting their balance, and then inputting a new payment method. With identity theft being such a rampant issue these days, fewer and fewer people are comfortable issuing their personal details by email or phone. Today’s chatbots are safe, secure, and maintain privacy with the help of authentication gateways.
Insurance companies are constantly seeking ways in which to gain more customers, and over the past few years huge amounts of money have been funnelled into AI research. Let’s look at a few instances of use cases of insurance providers.
Much like the technical support decision-tree from our telecom example, the leftmost image above shows a chatbot guiding a customer through the process of filing a claim. The key benefit here is simplicity and speed; by answering a few questions, a customer can efficiently log a claim without needing to make a phone call or wait on hold—which can be very frustrating for someone who has just experienced an incident.
Enhanced Customer Service
Both the middle and right images show a chatbot answering customer service inquiries. Both cases are fairly standard questions that an insurance company is likely to receive often—essentially, the chatbot is an automated FAQ that engages with the customer and makes the interaction conversational. The simplicity of use and streamlined approach enhances the consumer’s experience while reducing the impact on customer service representatives.
Just the Beginning
Though the technology for chatbots has existed for some time, it’s important to keep in mind that we’re still at the onset of putting these bots to use; there is a multitude of functions and capabilities that have yet to be discovered, and as they advance, so will the opportunities that they can offer.
Here at SnatchBot, we are keenly aware not only of what bots can do now, but what they will be able to proffer in the near future. That’s why we work to keep our subscription costs as close to free as possible; our goal is to make the process of building your own chatbot as easy, inexpensive, and user-friendly as possible for anyone, regardless of your business’s size or customer base.
SnatchBot is proud to be making great strides in the efforts of advancing chatbot technology; not only does the SnatchBot platform gives you the ability to process any type of files—voice, video, or text input in conversation with your end-users—but front-end development with SnatchBot means you can directly build, test and deploy your chatbot.
Furthermore, SnatchBot is the only platform on the market today that allows you to sync across chat channels, which means that a user can start a conversation on Facebook Messenger, continue on a website, and end in SMS with no interruption, allowing for seamless consumer interaction.
We staunchly believe that there will be a lot more opportunity that arises for businesses to deploy bots and use automation to improve service and efficiency. What matters now, however, is that companies evaluate use cases of their own and determine the pertinence of bots in their industry so they too can take full advantage of this technology as it matures.