Chatbots: What are they and How to Use them in Business?
The era of chatbots has already begun. It doesn`t matter whether you are ready for it or not, this fact should be accepted and considered as an opportunity to improve communications with customers in your business.
They exist, but we did not notice them
A chatbot is a program that uses “communication” patterns to simulate a conversation with a person to solve various tasks on the messenger platform (for example, Facebook Messenger, Slack, Skype, Viber and Telegram). Chatbots fever started in 2015, in 2016-2017 they were introduced by many large companies. Chatbots are already used by L`Oreal, Bosh, SONY, Forbes, Uber, HP, KIA, MasterCard, Disney and hundreds of other market players.
According to the Forbes research, about 100K bots have been created in Telegram alone.
Where can I come across chatbots?
Chatbots were so organically integrated in our modern technological life that most people take them for granted. Communication with the bot is perceived as communication with a polite client manager. So let us see where to find them and how to use them for the benefit of the business.
What tasks are bots able to cope with?
They help us pay utility bills, carry out bank operations, draw up the contracts, delegate tasks, and much more. The chatbot is never “offline” and it instantly answers within the limits of its functionality. They are “ideal employees”, working 24/7. They don’t have any vacations and don’t demand a salary.
Financial transactions are the most common scope of chatbots application; banks actively transfer clients to chat with chatbots in order to reduce the burden on call centers.
According to the Humanity in the Machine research, most people are likely to opt for the businesses providing their services with the help of chatbots for the sake of getting prompt and accurate answers. It means that bots will be able to become an alternative channel of search and communication with customers, a means of selling, consulting and client service for brands.
The Most Impressive Examples of Using Chatbots
1. Aida: A chatbot used by Swedish banks
The virtual support service of the largest Swiss bank SEB AB is presented by a chatbot Aida. It helps the bank solve “simple” customers` issues, giving the employees more time to perform complex tasks. The bot can give advice on investments, block lost credit cards, open savings accounts and perform other similar operations.
2. YouDrive: Car sharing bot
It was created on the Telegram platform by the company’s full-time developers. For a customer it is targeted at accelerating and facilitating the process of notification of car and rental problems. For an owner it can reduce the load on the call centers through operational consulting the company`s customers. The “search for solutions” patterns were developed on the basis of analysis of inquiries to other communication channels such as telephone, mail, social networks. Besides answering various questions ranging from “how to start a car” to “what to do if I got into an accident”, the chatbot distributes users’ inquiries among responsible managers. The result is the following: the load on the call center decreased by 66%, the bot processes about 1200 calls per day.
3. DiDi: intellectual property of Dmitry Gorlin and ABM Cloud
This is the first chatbot, which was created for the needs of distribution. The chatbot rapidly makes decisions on any business tasks of your distribution. DiDi fantastically copes with the routes organization for the sales representatives, showing the distance to the retail outlet, transmitting the location, notifying of changes in the route. Sales representative`s requests are automatically transferred to the manager, and he promptly agrees on the changes, makes decisions on offering a discount, gives commands to the agent. In fact, this is a dispatcher and a supervisor in one person, thus saving time on organizational issues.
4. Melody: medical chatbot, the development of Chinese search service Baidu
Melody has an avatar of a nice nurse. It helps simplify the patient’s primary diagnosis, asking leading questions. Then it contacts local doctors and makes appointments for the patients. The bot is integrated into the proprietary Baidu Doctor application and it has access to medical disease information databases.
5. AirTrack bot: the brainchild of Ukrainian developers
The bot in real time checks all available air tickets for the specified direction and date, monitoring about 225 thousand changes per minute. AirTrack has access to databases of almost all companies of the world, including lowcosters. Also it can inform you about the slightest change in airline ticket prices in order to choose the most lucrative offer. At the moment the bot knows three languages: English, Ukrainian and Russian.
6. Azuma Hikari: a chatbot created by Japanese developers
Its functions slightly resemble Siri`s, but it is more “intimate”. The bot has a virtual hologram in the form of an anime girl. Its main task is to create the illusion of real-time communication for lonely Japanese. Azuma can tell you the weather forecast, wake you up, remind you of important things, control lighting and other functions of a smart home, and most importantly it listens to and supports its master in a crisis. It might be difficult for us to understand it, but Japan has a really high suicide rate caused by loneliness, so we can say: Azuma saves lives.
7. Quo Vadis
The integration of chatbots into existing management and communication systems allows to reduce significantly the time spent on performing simple tasks, improve customer service, help people solve their problems, and in some cases even to save people`s lives. A lot of corporations in the CIS markets are actively transferring their clients to communication with chatbots and they are automating business management systems.