Chatbot Use Case Examples in Business
As understanding of what a chatbot is and 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.
UTILITY PROVIDER CHATBOTS
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.
TELECOM COMPANY CHATBOTS
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.
Technical Support Chatbots
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 COMPANY CHATBOTS
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.
Claim Filing Chatbots
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.
Furthering our examination into use cases of specific industries, we’ll now take a look at the realms of travel companies, financial services, and healthcare.
TRAVEL COMPANY CHATBOTS
The travel industry is something of a wide net to cast, so in the interest of brevity, we’re going to specifically use the examples of airlines, which unfortunately are renowned for stories of poor customer experience, particularly in the arena of miscommunication.
Reservation Management Chatbots
In the above image, the left example shows a customer that wants to change their flight. Typically they would have to do so over the phone—which could possibly involve lengthy hold times, further delaying the necessity to quickly change travel plans—or online, which requires navigating an account or contacting a representative via email.
However, as you can see, a chatbot makes this process fast, efficient, and entirely text-based. Managing reservations—not only for flights, but also for hotels, excursions, and other modes of transportation—is an obvious use case for nearly any travel company, since it can alleviate the headaches generally associated with what should be a simple task.
Deliver Updates and Bulletins
A popular use of chatbots is to deliver updates and bulletins to consumers en masse in a way that is both personalised and easy, which is precisely what the example on the right is showing. In this case, the bot is using a previous trip to inspire the customer to use the company’s services again. Note that the dialogue is in no way pushy or gimmicky; it is simply asking if the consumer would like more information based on the relevance of her past travels. In this way, chatbots can use inspiration to drive revenue, and though it is a good example for travel companies, it works equally well in other sectors.
FINANCIAL SERVICES CHATBOTS
The single most important aspects of customer experience in the financial services sector are privacy and security. Thanks to strides already taken with chatbots in this industry, modern platforms are safe, private, and secure—which is good news for any industry using bots.
Chatbots Protect Against Fraud
In both of the examples above, a financial service chatbot is helping a customer avoid a situation that potentially avoids fraud. In the case on the left, the customer is requesting assistance; in the case on the right, the chatbot has reached out due to unusual activity on an account. Both examples require a four-digit PIN to verify the user’s identity.
If escalation was required, the bot can easily and quickly route the user to a human representative for intervention and resolution—but if you recall from the first part of this post, up to eighty percent of nearly any industry’s customer inquiries tend to be repetitive, so the bot’s ability to handle most of these simpler tasks reduces stress on customer service agents.
Increase Revenue with Chatbots
Much like our example above with the travel industry, which used inspiration to drive revenue, chatbots can reach out to consumers regarding new offers, better options, and promotions. Bots can be programmed to either suggest new offerings at a specified time (for example, when a subscription or contract is about to expire) or to proactively open a dialogue.
Wire Money Transfer via Chabot
In the past, transferring required visiting a bank or broker in person or calling over the phone. Today, a lot of transfer providers have shifted to be able to accommodate transfers online, and those that have utilised this approach can put a bot to work to make the process even easier and faster. In the above example on the right, we see a customer making a simple inquiry to send money overseas, and bot guiding them through the transfer, as easily as if the consumer were having a conversation with another person.
Healthcare is another industry in which privacy and security must be of the highest standard. Beyond that, the use case of a healthcare provider might be influenced by legislation (such as HIPAA compliance in the US), and patient confidentiality.
Scheduling Appointments via Chatbot
Traditionally, scheduling an appointment with a healthcare professional is not terribly difficult, but there’s still room for human error. Chatbots can be embedded with scheduling capabilities to make the process simpler, improve efficiency, and decrease the margin of error, as shown to the left in the examples above.
Paper invoices and so-called “snail mail” is already becoming a thing of the past as more people opt to pay bills online. Chatbots make this process even easier, using saved payment methods for faster processing. And with a bots’ ability to integrate rich media into the conversation, a record of the transaction can be stored in the cloud for users to reference anytime in the future.
Education and awareness are areas of healthcare that, unfortunately, fall somewhat flat using even newer technology. We previously mentioned chatbots’ ability to disseminate information quickly and in a way that feels personalised. For the healthcare provider, that means a bot can use rich media, such as photos and videos, to help educate patients—as in the example on the right above. This strategy increases value in a consumer’s eyes, and as a result, drives loyalty.
Deploying Bots in Business
Now that we’ve explored several industries and the use cases of each, we hope you can see the variety of uses and capabilities and how businesses can benefit from automation. Once you’ve established your own use case, the next question will be, how do I go about getting started?
The solution is simple. Here at Snatchbot, we want to make the process of building your own chatbot as easy, inexpensive, and user-friendly as possible. Our platform is private and secure enough for any industry, and subscription fees are as inexpensive as any you’ll find on the market today.
SnatchBot’s revolutionary approach blends the smartest ML (machine-learning) and AI (artificial intelligence) technologies with the peerless conversational design. We’ve created bots for some of the world's premier brands, For the business looking to use chatbots to drive marketing, SnatchBot has developed a striking new feature called the broadcast message function, which allows a bot to send marketing notifications to all users. Each time a user chats with your page via any channel—for example, Skype—they become a subscriber. With the broadcast message, you can essentially message thousands of subscribers at once to notify them of content updates, news, or anything else pertinent to your business.
There’s no doubt that businesses across a wide range of industries can benefit from automation. Contact us today for customer solutions and ideas on how you can improve customer communication with the help of bots.