4 ways Chatbots are digitally transforming organisations today

The dawn of the machine is here but when will it impact your organisation? The Chatbot is the first real application of artificial intelligence that has mass market and wide-reaching capability that could find a use in almost any organisation. This article explains Chatbots and how businesses are applying these in real life now.

What is a Chatbot?

A chatbot, or as they are sometimes known, an Interactive Agent, is a computer program which mimics a conversation via auditory or textual methods using artificial intelligence. A bot is trained to understand natural language, act on the request and reply to the user with an answer or the result of the action taken.

Chatbots can also connect to other reporting and analytics platforms like Power BI to export valuable information on what kind of the data the Chatbot is accessing and statistics on the type of natural language used to improve and train itself to deliver better results.

What can a Chatbot do?

The short answer is- anything. For example, a Chatbot can connect to your calendar and set up appointments for you, it can connect to internal systems and answer questions for you, it can forecast actions based on outer-organisation disruptions, it can act as a customer care agent to resolve issues or report on the status of an issue raised.

How are organisations using Chatbots today?

Below are 4 areas where Chatbots are making a real difference, showing that customers and users are happy to have a bot-focused experience.

1. More efficient customer service

Businesses are now having success using Chatbots in their customer service.  We know some people still have an aversion to talking to a machine, mostly due to poor past experience, but with the newer generation of bots this is becoming less of an issue as they offer a much better experience. Chatbots offer a cost-effective alternative to traditional human powered call centres and it is now driving results.

Tec inStore, a German company that had a problem scaling their customer service to deal with the same questions from customers. They launched a customer service Chatbot in 2016. After one month of usage, chatbot had an 80% success rate. More than 1500 people had requested help from the chatbot. It reduced requests to the customer support team allowing them to focus on more valuable activity. Chatbot received more than 1,000 “Thank You” messages of 10,000 total messages.

In the banking and healthcare sectors Chatbots are now more effective at dealing with an inquiry than a traditional call centre with an on average saving of 4 minutes per inquiry. By 2022 this will have saved a massive $8 billion.  According to Gartner, chatbots will power 85% of all customer service interactions by the year 2020. The average person will have more conversations with bots than with their spouse.   If you have a large or costly customer service area, then you really need to be exploring how a chatbot could be helping you.

2. Extend the life of legacy apps

Some legacy applications like travel booking systems, old HR  systems etc have outdated and hard to use interfaces which reduces user adoption. By connecting a Chatbot to these types of applications, it can effectively sit on top of that app and provide a new easy to use interface to your users, without the need to re-develop your legacy app. A Chatbot can connect to any type of application, whether it is on-premise or cloud based.

3. Appointment and travel booking

Bots can look up calendar’s, use website and record transactions so it’s fairly easy for them to book travel with some training. This is a growing trend where the task is repeatable Bots can take over and run with a high level of success. Have a look at our travel booking assistant here.

4. Customer sales 

JustEat is the first big name to launch a sales journey through Facebook messenger with a fairly successful set of results. Thousands of people have used JustEat’s chatbot since the launch in September. The average user spent 1.53 minutes interacting with the bot. 13.5% are repeat users – and improved awareness of JustEat’s 27,600 partner restaurants. Data shows the chatbot drove a 266% higher conversion rate than interacting with an average social ad in November 2016.

How difficult is a chatbot to develop?

Building a Chatbot for your organisation is more achievable than you might think. The technology offers a flexible delivery approach and it doesn’t require months of resours to build. Within weeks we can analyse your requirement, build the Chatbot and train it to communicate using natural language, designed specifically for your business needs.

The future 

Chatbots provide an easy interface and, with the correct application of artificial intelligence and training, you can now achieve a strong user experience in a range of different applications.  We are also seeing a number of businesses and platforms bringing in more natural language interfaces with analytics tools like Google Analytics and Microsoft Power BI providing an easy interface using the chat format.  As this grows it will support the use of more and more chatbots. Incremental Group is currently developing chatbots for our customers. Interested in discussing how a chatbot could help your organisation?

[1] https://chatbotnewsdaily.com/5-industries-that-benefit-from-chatbots-already-b1cee62e7dad

[2] https://www.juniperresearch.com/resources/infographics/chatbots-infographic-key-statistics-2017

[3] https://www.forbes.com/sites/gilpress/2017/05/15/ai-by-the-numbers-33-facts-and-forecasts-about-chatbots-and-voice-assistants/3/#ab845fb3efdf

[4] https://www.marketingweek.com/2017/05/18/how-adidas-just-eat-and-htc-are-using-chatbots/