Nowadays, people are fascinated by the thought of having AI-driven gadgets ask them what they can do to help or simply how they're doing. So, it comes as no surprise that chatbots are becoming widely used in almost every industry. Even if you haven't had a conversation with Alexa or Siri, you've likely come across a chatbot online.
Chatbots are one of the most powerful tools that help customers and create connections with them.
How Do Chatbots Work?
Chatbots are a form of AI that is created to simplify human communication with computers. Through written or spoken language, chatbots can understand and respond to human input. Text and speech both rely on AI technologies like natural language processing and machine learning.
Chatbots are taught to display intelligent behavior equal to that of a human. The more you communicate with a chatbot, the more it learns to understand you and respond adequately.
Bots can communicate through many different platforms, for instance, websites, Facebook Messenger, messaging platforms like Telegram or WhatsApp, and mobile applications.
Chatbots eradicate the need for wait and drop times, inconsistent customer service, and traditional call channels.
History of Chatbot Use Cases
The history of chatbots begins in 1966 with ELIZA, a chatbot that simulated a psychotherapist. Then, after six years, PARRY was released by the psychiatrist Kenneth Colb. y. This chatbot tried to impersonate a person with paranoid schizophrenia.
One of the first milestones in the history of chatbots was bringing both the machines head-to-head. Computer science pioneer Vint Cerf set up the conversation between the bots during an international computer conference in 1973.
In 1988, programmer Rollo Carpenter created Jabberwacky. Jabberwacky used contextual pattern matching to simulate human conversations in an amusing manner. Carpenter's vision for Jabberwacky was to be more of a talking pet or entertainer than an assistant.
This bot collected phrases from users and added them to its database. After it was released, the bot gained massive popularity among research instates and academics.
Another machine that has exceptionally significant in chatbot history is ALICE or Alicebot. The bot had won the Loebner Prize three times for being an accomplished talking robot. ALICE managed to hold human-like conversations and was one of the most progressive bots of its time.
As the years progressed, new and exciting chatbots were created.
There are numerous benefits that chatbots bring. It depends on how stakeholders, businesses, and institutions can use them to enhance customers' experience. Following is a list of a few of the benefits of chatbots' use.
To boost your sales, one of the critical requirements you need to fulfill is customer engagement. Businesses can increase their sales up to 40% by effectively engaging with their customers, studies show.
For instance, a customer starts talking with a chatbot and shows curiosity in booking an appointment. The bot can try to close the sale by leading them to the booking page. The customer will be satisfied and happy thanks to the hassle-free and quick experience the bot provided.
By using chatbots, companies are able to answer a vast amount of customers' questions in a short period of time.
Even though implementing a chatbot requires a certain investment, this investment is undoubtedly lower than the traditional customer service model. The traditional model includes training, salaries, infrastructure, and multiple other resources that cost money.
Chatbots can increase brand credibility and face value by enabling multiple new customer service models. They enhance customer satisfaction and deliver quality support by scaling their chat support during peak hours.
Bots address daily business tasks and allow the support team to focus on more complex questions.
Chatbots have proven to be quite valuable for small businesses and start-ups that don't have a big enough budget to fund a department for customer relations.
50% of customers expect a business to be available round the clock, according to research. It can be frustrating for customers to wait several minutes for the next available operator to address their issues.
Chatbots present a perfect solution for this problem. Since bots don't need breaks as humans do, they offer nonstop communication between the customer and the seller.
However, it would be best if you made sure that your chatbots are always up and working. Having your chatbots down due to maintenance or security issues while highlighting 24/7 availability can create criticism among your customers.
Members are able to answer one question from one customer at a time. On the other hand, chatbots can answer thousands of questions at the same time. Thanks to the software mechanics, internet, and the speed of the cloud, bots can instantly provide responses. Bots can handle multiple chats and requests at the same time without making a mistake.
Bots provide customers with the precise information they need thanks to the way they are programmed. Efficiency is a critical factor in enhancing the customer experience, and chatbots offer a faster service delivery. While bots handle your customer support, you can expand your human resources in other sectors of your business or institution.
Besides providing instant answers, bots also provide consistent answers. You can't be assured that all of the customer service representatives offer consistent and similar responses.
A customer service representative or a chatbot is unlikely to be like your psychologist or hairdresser. They can't keep track of your personal or love life, or what is it that you're up to. However, when it comes to giving a personalized experience, bots are definitely in the lead.
Customer service representatives need to understand the context of the call and don't have time to prepare for it. On the other hand, bots can deliver a personalized experience by accessing the history of interactions you had with a company.
Infinite Reserves of Patience
Customer support representatives can sometimes lose their patience while communicating with customers. To keep customers' satisfaction at a high level, customer representatives are expected to be always patient with customers. Bots have infinite reserves of patience, something that no customer support representative has.
Chatbot Use Cases in Customer Service
Let's discuss how chatbots have transformed different business functions in terms of customer service.
Answering Questions and Inquiries
Let's say you're a business that's holding a seminar. Before the seminar, you will work on its marketing to attract as many people as possible. Then, the customer support team will need to answer any questions that guide the audience. If there are around 50 people who will attend, this shouldn't be an issue.
However, what happens if 1000 people are planning to come to the seminar? Providing quality customer support will be a difficult task.
A chatbot can immensely help thanks to its ability for instant replies and 26/7 availability. The chatbot can answer common questions about the seminar like:
- Are there any hotels near where the seminar will be held?
- What is the price of the ticket?
- How do I get to the location of the seminar?
- What is the schedule for the seminar?
- Who will be speaking at the seminar?
A chatbot is a great tool that will reduce the workload of your customer support team, whether you're launching a big product, organizing a big event, or you generally have a lot of customer inquiries.
Checking Inventory and Finding Products
Sometimes, a customer can't find what they want, and that's the only thing standing in the way of them buying a specific product. This can be easily fixed by checking the inventory for a specific item or providing a recommendation.
While a customer support representative will need to check the inventory manually, a chatbot can provide a prompt answer by looking through the site's database. Chatbots ask questions to customers and, depending on their answers, can make personalized recommendations for them.
This can free up the time of your customer support representatives, which can attend to more severe issues in the business. Flower delivery services, food delivery, clothing stores, and other similar e-commerce websites can use bots for this type of task.
Building Amazing Customer Experience
Chatbots don't need to be purely transactional and deadly serious. You can design them to send an occasional meme, tell some jokes, or create quizzes.
In addition, bots are efficient at giving instructions. For instance, they can provide Google Maps directions to your physical store. They can show pictures of products, and much more. Customers can have fun while interacting with a chatbot. These fun experiences that your customers will enjoy will do a lot for your brand's image in the long run.
With Ideta’s chatbot, you can completely personalize your chatbot’s design. Do you want to change your bubble colors? You can. Do you want to change your bubble’s shape? You can. Do you want to have a square pop-up? You can! So, come on and try Ideta’s chatbot!
Helping with Exchanges and Refunds
Exchanges and refunds are one of the most regular requests that customer support representatives get. For processing these types of requests, businesses usually have a specific policy in place.
The existence of an approach means that the customer support representatives that perform these exchanges and refunds do monotonous and repetitive tasks.
A correctly implemented chatbot can do these tasks instead of the customer support representatives, saving some time.
Collecting Customer Feedback
Delivering excellent customer service is closely connected with using the feedback your customers give you. No one can tell you how to improve your business better than a customer, no matter how many capable and smart people your business has.
But, how do you collect feedback from a wide range of customers? Companies usually do surveys to find out what their customers think. However, it can sometimes be hard to get people to participate in surveys.
Customers are taken aback by the thought of filling out an extensive form. Unless it's a company that they are loyal to, most customers won't even think about actually completing a survey.
Chatbots can get more people to complete surveys thanks to their conversational nature. Bots drive a high level of engagement, and customers won't even feel like filling out a survey.
After customers confirm their order, they want to know how much time until the product arrives at their address.
This can be a somewhat complicated process. First, they will need to find the shipping number of the product in their mailbox. Next, they will need to go to the delivery service website and enter the shipping number.
When you consider this, you can understand why so many customers call a customer support representative to give them an update on the shipping status of their product.
A chatbot can be the perfect solution for this problem. Customers can get an update about the shipping status of a product by a bot.
Chatbot Use Cases for Marketing
Although marketing is not static and is constantly changing, its goal is the same, i.e., convenient and instant service. We will now highlight chatbot use cases for marketing.
Many businesses try to contact cold prospects and get them interested in the products and services that the company offers. However, nowadays, companies use another practical approach, called "warm leads," which is focusing on people who are already interested in their products. Warm leads usually answer sale questions and are engaged with the website of the company.
A live sales team won't be able to get in touch with warm leads. They won't have a way to contact their site's visitors since the traffic is anonyms, and there isn't a way to identify anyone.
But, adding a bot to your site can ask potential customers questions that are sales-oriented and lead them through the buying process.
Customers can get confused by the range of available options when they go to the pricing page of a particular business. If they feel overwhelmed, they might not purchase the item they originally intended. Companies can use a chatbot to avoid this problem. A chatbot that helps customers in getting the product or service they want can increase sales significantly.
Building Email Lists
For companies to collect prospects' and customers' emails, customers typically need to fill out some type of form. The form can be barely visible, placed in the corner of the website, or a pop-up spread across the whole page.
On the other hand, bots provide a more engaging way of collecting emails. Unlike forms, which can be annoying for customers, chatbots try a more thoughtful way of asking visitors for their mail. The intelligent conversation increases the chances that customers and visitors will enter their email.
Different types of audiences require different marketing strategies. For instance, one kind of audience might be interested in quizzes. Another type of audience might be interested in a more serious conversation about your products. The needs and requirements of your audiences require adaptable marketing channels.
With chatbots, you can use fun content like emojis, images, GIFs, and memes. Bots also allow people to engage in conversations. They can quickly adapt to the conversation depending on the answers of your customers.
Chatbot Use Cases in Healthcare
Chatbots are popular in the health industry. In an industry where time is of crucial importance, chatbots can prove themselves to be helpful. Hospitals and clinics won't get overwhelmed with basic questions and queries, and on the other hand, patients will get prompt answers. There are many uses of chatbots in healthcare. We are now going to go through several chatbot use cases in healthcare.
Giving Medical Information
A chatbot can be used for providing accurate and timely information on things like health insurance, symptoms of illnesses, medical procedures, costs of medical procedures, and much more. The bot can be programmed to share helpful advice with patients. In addition, bots can give information on medication, standards, dosages, and so on.
Imagine some of your patients feeling sick. The first thing they will probably do is look at their symptoms online and stress out even more. Imagine if, instead, they could describe their symptoms, and in turn, get help with finding a doctor and making an appointment.
The chatbot can find a relevant doctor for your problem, send an email with your information to the doctor, and book an appointment. Instead of making a call or physically going to the doctor's office to make an appointment, this can be executed instantly and without any hassles.
Chatbot Use Cases in Banking
A chatbot can be useful in reducing a bank's costs and benefiting its employees while simultaneously supporting its digitalization efforts. Another added benefit is reducing the lines at the banks as well. Here are some of the chatbot use cases in banking:
Answering Basic Questions
Chatbots are able to answer some basic questions from customers, and in that way, ease the workload of the employees. These questions include things like: "What’s my credit card balance?” or “When’s my next loan payment due?”.
Giving Info About Banking Products
Chatbots can offer people different types of information. This includes information about the available loan types of banks, their online services, bonus points options, and so on.
Detecting Fraudulent Activities
It can be pretty frustrating if you’ve been the victim of fraudulent activities or a hacking attack, and you have to wait for half an hour to tell the agent at the bank. A chatbot can instantly register these reports and even take action in some cases (for instance: lock a credit card).
Besides the industries mentioned above, there are many chatbot use cases in other different fields.
For instance, chatbots can be helpful in real estate by answering general questions that potential buyers have.
The travel industry can utilize chatbots and cater to customers 24/7. Chatbots can answer questions about tourism, generate leads, and handle customer queries.
Food services are another industry that can benefit from chatbots. We’ve seen lots of pizza chains that have adopted this technology. The bots can provide the latest promotional details, create a robust experience for the customers, and answer common questions by customers.
Many more industries utilize chatbots, including financial services, legal services, airlines, entertainment, and railways.
Final Thoughts About Chatbot Use Cases – Are Chatbots Here to Stay?
Chatbots provide a whole new way for customers and prospects to connect with you. They require minimal work and are easy to implement. Given all the advantages that chatbots have, it’s no wonder they’re taking the world by storm.
Even though certain communications need the human touch, there are repetitive processes in every industry that chatbots can handle. Chatbots allow increased efficiency and expense reduction, which can help any business or institution.
Chatbots will grow even more in the future if they find a way to provide solutions for more complex problems without needing human assistance. By using sentiment and predictive analysis, they can maybe one day be as equally efficient as human support.
Bots have lots of potentials, and they will keep improving over time. They will continue to support businesses and institutions with sales, lead generation, human resources assistance, marketing, and customer support.