Chatbot Applications: Top 10 industries that Use Chatbots
By Anush Clive Fernandes / In Case Study, Customer Success / October 3, 2018 / 14 Min read
By Anush Clive Fernandes / In Case Study, Customer Success / October 3, 2018 / 14 Min read
Chatbots have been the technological talk of the town over the past few years, as customers and companies collectively jump on board with the revolution. For customers, chatbots mean faster replies, better customer service, easier sales flows and a more personal connection with the companies they purchase from. For companies, chatbots aid in lowering support costs, increasing conversion rates, boosting customer loyalty, accelerating sales cycles and generating more leads.
We’ve seen a lot of different industries using chatbots for different use-cases, so we’ve decided to identify the top ten industrial adopters of chatbots and how companies in these industries have used them.
To understand how chatbots are used in the e-commerce industry, it helps to understand some of the challenges the industry faces.
The e-commerce industry worldwide has been booming. In 2017, retail e-commerce sales worldwide amounted to $2.3 trillion dollars and e-retail revenues are projected to double to $4.88 trillion dollars by 2021.
With this near-exponential growth, traditional means of customer support and sales tools like phone calls, emails, and social media have collapsed because of the sheer scale of the problem. Chances are if you’ve been using just those three for your e-commerce platform, you’ve been struggling too.
There simply aren’t enough support representatives or salesmen to go around. Take, for example, India. In India, the number of internet users is expected to increase from 481 million as of December 2017 to 829 million by 2021. India’s E-commerce revenue is expected to jump from US$ 39 billion in 2017 to US$ 120 billion in 2020, growing at an annual rate of 51 percent, the highest in the world.
Fully human support and sales systems simply can’t be used in companies who aim to succeed, at scale or otherwise. We’ve worked with various e-commerce companies, from $450 million dollar behemoths to Shopify startups, all who have seen various benefits from using a chatbot for their platforms.
Chatbots can help e-commerce companies make more money, save time, shorten sales cycles, boost conversion and aid in cross-platform performance. Chatbots are also language agnostic and can cater to a truly international audience.
Doctors have a hard job as it stands. The absolute focus and attention to detail that being a medical professional demands takes a toll on doctors, nurses and employees of the medical industry alike. In fact, research has shown that administrative work consumes one-sixth of the average physicians’ working hours, taking away time and energy on more important responsibilities while reducing overall career satisfaction.
Take, for example, the simple task of scheduling appointments. What would usually involve forms, misinformation and manual entry into computers by staff can easily be automated using Chatbots.
Chatbots can also help in synergizing front office healthcare; patients can pre-emptively provide information to the bot. This information that their bed-side nurses or doctors will use to reduce unnecessary readmissions or organize post discharge follow-ups. Bots can streamline admissions, discharge, and transfer requests, schedule patient consultation requests and send and receive referrals.
And while it may seem impossible to integrate information sources, chatbots can create a single system of records by transferring data from legacy systems to new databases, saving the systems time and money.
Alerts are an intrinsic function of a Medical chatbot too. Chatbots can signal hospital staff if patients need assistance and even inform care teams of urgent changes in a patient’s status or in an emergency situation, all from the palm of their hand. Chatbots are programmed to facilitate collaboration between peer systems, update records with the patient’s medical history, send alerts and notifications for prescription refills.
Chatbots can save thousands of working hours a year for hospitals and doctors, taking the burden of doctors and making hospitals easier for customers.
Human Resources is one of the most essential internal factors in a company’s long-term success. While hiring often takes center stage, your HR team is responsible for a million other duties that directly influence your bottom line but aren’t as visible. These could be responsibilities like legal compliance systems, audits, conflict resolution, policy creation, streamlining, training and leadership development.
Given their importance to the organization, you’d want your HR team to be as proactive and future-forward as possible, but this is often not the case.
However, research has found that between 40-50% of HR time is spent handling talent management and responding to internal queries and questions. This takes away from your teams time, time that could be better spent on planning, strategizing, recruiting and developing talent.
Your company probably attracts hundreds, if not thousands of prospective candidates; and deservedly so. But as you scale up, the hours and energy spent on recruitment become increasingly unsustainable. With an HR chatbot, you can handle everything from interest generation and simple screening to tackling background checks and qualifying candidates.
Replicating your CEO’s quick wit or your company’s team spirit with a custom-made HR chatbot that interacts with your potential employees and new recruits. Answer their questions while engaging employees through interactive feedback loops, pepper it with cute gifs. accelerate team performance, and measure the impact of better learning through quizzes. Chatbots can help them complete paperwork, introduce their teammates and answer company questions even before the new hire joins the company.
With Verloop, you can use your HR chatbot to increase engagement, identify more accurate representations of employee performance, and identify opportunities to address problems at the moment—instead of one year from now.
As the world grows smaller and smaller, more people across the globe have taken up traveling. Travel and tourism companies today probably see more international customers wanting to do business with them than ever before.
And this is good news; for the first eight hours.
Because one of the problems with running a travel business catering to customers from around the globe is that you work local business hours. Your customers, on the other hand, are global citizens, who will visit your website at any hour they’d like. So if you only talk to your customers for 1/3rd of your day, you’re losing 2/3rds of your leads.
You could circumvent this by plastering your website with forms, but even then, you’re probably losing between 70%-90% of all your potential sales. Using forms as your primary generator of leads comes with its downsides. A “contact us” submission portal feels like a survey that you’re forcing your customer to fill, for a product they’ve never tried. This shows in the way customers treat forms. as the average fill rate for contact forms is only 1%.
A chatbot, however, allows you to field questions and generate leads around the clock. Additionally, bots don’t take days off, don’t have bad days or compromise on customer service. so you can wake up every morning to piping hot sales while you slept.
Another problem arises in an efficient handoff of important travel information between company and customer.
Information such as, but not limited to, choosing a trip, traveling in a group, room types, food drink and dietary requirements, trip notes, travel insurance, visa information, safety, and medical information, backpacking list, accommodation, transport, money matters, climate, and seasonal information.
Real Estate the world over is booming.
From downtown L.A., to the suburbs of South India, we’re seeing the real estate market growing in shape and size. This confidence has been fueled by globally low-interest rates, improving job markets worldwide, rising consumer confidence and growing interest from foreign buyers.
The average cost of a missing a customer in real estate is far higher than the average cost in e-commerce, so every lead you let go represents a sizeable chunk of lost revenue.
Hundreds, if not thousands of these potential leads come to visit your website and sift through your offerings every week. They’re greeted with a barrage of information about how you’re the best in your industry, and how many customers you have.
But is that what they’re really there for?
They’re there to ask questions, and get answers. They want to know more about that house, about what the neighborhood is like and where the nearest school is. But because they’re on a computer miles away, one of two things will happen.
And when customers in your target market are left untouched, they eventually go to one of your competitors. Most times, to the one that answered their question quicker.
The increased complexity and sophistication of technology has allowed customers to engage in fiscal behavior that was impossible ten years ago. From the palm of one hand, customers can transfer funds, exchange details, authenticate and conduct transactions, with a cup of coffee in the other. It almost seems like the only reason you’d have to physically go your bank nowadays is if you wanted to talk to your bank teller. And with the rise of chatbots, more institutions seem to be gaining that conversational edge.
With a banking chatbot, financial institutions can be there whenever their customers need them, regardless of time or location. A chatbot is available 24/7 and with a 99% uptime, so there’s no need to only work bankers hours anymore.
Chatbots can be trained to serve any purpose you deem for it. Customers can have an on-demand personal banker, wealth manager, loan service agent or an ATM locator at their fingertips. Chatbots make banking as easy as sending a text, instantly responding to queries from mundane requests to complicated tasks — whether it’s on an app, website or Facebook page.
Chatbots are also the pinnacle of data-driven insights, something that is particularly important in the banking industry. With chatbots, companies can make data-driven decisions, aiding in sales, marketing, trends and product launches based on the trove of data that the bots provide. This means increased customer loyalty, better resource allocation and higher growth using conversational analytics. Bots and bot analytics help reduce this burn time on operations and can deliver key information and metrics faster, allowing your company to focus more on planning for the future, instead of simply reacting to the present.
One of the major deterrents for the adoption of new technology in the banking industry is compliance and security. Chatbots allow you to build security protocols from the ground up. Depending on your choice of a vendor, you can integrate 2-factor authentication and authorization tools, isolation of data stores and sensitive backends, aggressive use of firewalls and network isolation in its infrastructure, anonymized token integration, and 24/7 built-in monitoring. Additionally, all of a chatbots backend communications are encrypted, to protect our customers’ personally identifiable information and meet regulations.
Much like the travel and tourism industry, hospitality has seen a major uptick over the past few decades. Globally low unemployment rates have allowed for individuals with disposable income to be able to afford the luxuries of travel and free time. And with inexpensive, better-connected flights combined with cheaper accommodation, they’ve been spending that time away from home.
Take employees of the hospitality industry success as the marker: In the fourth quarter of 2017, full-time job holders in the hospitality industry experienced wage growth of 4.7 percent, according to the WVR. Additionally, full-time employees who switched jobs within the hospitality industry saw a 6.3 percent increase in wages — more than any other industry wage growth for people who switched jobs.
So how can chatbots help the hospitality and hotel sector?
For starters, it helps to understand that a chatbot effectively is a cloud-based digital concierge. And while low-level chatbots can reduce time spent on generic FAQ’s, and automate repetitive behavior, the bots of today and tomorrow can provide insights and information both to customers and companies in real time by analyzing data; both structured and unstructured. This allows them to perform multiple tasks on its own, such as scheduling of meeting rooms, booking of cabs, and auto ordering of items based on voice and text commands.
This can allow customers to book and reserve rooms, with a payment gateway built in. Chatbots can also act as virtual concierges, providing information about local bars and restaurants. Cross-sell to your customers by promoting services like spas, massages and room service. Chatbots can also provide customers with inbuilt review models that can boost your social scores (positive reviews on Google and Facebook).
One of the most emerging applications within this sector is that of Roombre‘ wherein they use automation to manage your accommodation and budget. It’s a fairly simple way to book your accommodation with ease without charging you any additional fees.
They also have an interesting concept of “pay as you go“, where if your bookings are less than 50 per month, then you don’t have to pay any additional fees, Roombre’s service becomes free of cost. If it exceeds that number, then you have to pay a very trivial amount.
Conveniently, you can use Roombre’ in whichever language that you’d prefer to communicate in. If you prefer to use Spanish while communicating and the hotel manager is only comfortable with English, you will still be able to continue your conversation. It gets translated on time, ensuring that there’s no language barrier. As they rightfully claim, Roombre’ speaks your language!
All of this is done 24/7, 365 of course, making sure that your customers are always cared for. In international economies, it’s important to remember that your customers speak different languages. And while your staff could be trained to speak multiple languages, they don’t cover the length and breadth of the world lexicons. Such language barriers can open up the door for miscommunication, and mistakes. Even integrations as simple as Google Translate or iTranslate can provide the complete spectrum of your services in the language of their choosing.
Much larger transactions – On average, the B2B market is near twice the size of a B2C market and transactions in the B2B space are in the thousands, millions, billions even. The global B2C market is $250 billion in value, while the global B2B market is $560 billion.
More difficult – Unlike when dealing with regular consumers, B2B sales deals with professionals who’re trained to get the best possible deal. Buyers are experts, so B2B salespeople have to match up.
More stakeholders – Depending on what you’re selling, a B2C product usually only has a single stakeholder involved in the transaction. In a B2B market, however, there are various stakeholders, like the marketing, sales, product team who’re affected by what you’re offering.
Increased purchase time – Given the difficulty of the sale, and the number of stakeholders involved, the average purchase time for a B2B transaction is much longer than that of a B2C sale.
More value sensitive – Unlike consumers, companies are far more quality and value sensitive, and look for the product or service that best suits their needs.
Buyers today want to buy, but they don’t want to be sold to. This means salespeople have had to completely change their approach. The best pitches from the most successful sales reps today aren’t pitches at all; they’re consultations. Salespeople that listen for opportunities to help, teach and delight the buyer are those that complete sales and create loyal customers.
The average cost of missing a B2B lead is far higher than its B2C alternative. A B2B company, for example, identifies three major data points that are required to set up a meeting or demo with a prospective client who’s on their website. These three data points are the clients’ number, their email ID, and their name.
Using a conversational Sales platform, you can talk to, generate and qualify your leads 24/7, regardless of where they are, using metrics like what they’re looking at on your site and how long they’re there for.
To create a conversational sales platform for free, in under five minutes, check this out.
Content and Marketing, Verloop.io
Love Canines, Conversational Automation and Curry - Steph and otherwise.