Chatbots are an increasingly popular digital customer service tool being used by businesses in almost all industries across the world. Running either on desktop or mobile devices, a chatbot uses familiar chat platforms to help users find information, ask simple questions or solve issues.
By 2020 over 85% of all customer service interactions could be happening between users and chatbots rather than their human counterparts. With this in mind, in this article we’re going to take a look at some popular uses of chatbots in a variety of situations and industries:
Customer services and support channels
Chatbot use in the customer services sector is growing rapidly as businesses start to appreciate the cost and time-saving advantages both to their own organizations and to their customers. While human staff members might be needed for complex or sensitive issues, a chatbot is more than capable of dealing with simple questions and support queries.
There are advantages on both sides here as huge savings can be made for an organization with a chatbot being capable of handling thousands of customer service issues at a time; human reps may be far better at handling deeper issues, but they are limited in terms of how many ses-sions they can deal with at once. At the other end of the equation, consumers are able to enjoy super quick response times and a slick guided experience at the hands of a chatbot, reducing frustration and increasing customer service satisfaction. Businesses are increasingly learning how to use chatbots to make their businesses more efficient and profitable.
Given the familiar, chat-based format of a chatbot interaction, chatbots are very good at ex-tracting information from potential customers that can be used to suggest other products, move a sale closer to completion or pass on precious data to a human sales team. This simple machine learning is a very cost-effective way of boosting profitability.
Although not a replacement for a trained doctor or medical professional, a chatbot can be used to offer simple, easy to find information and advice to people. A chatbot could act as a helpful reminder to take medication, guide a worried patient to the nearest hospital or medical center or perhaps even recommend some home-based remedies.
Banking and financial help and advice
Many banks are already using chatbots to present guidance and advice in Internet banking en-vironments and apps. Not only are they being used to improve the experience of navigating financial tools, but in some cases, they are being used to offer real financial advice and even suggest investments and saving strategies that can then be actioned if sufficient permissions have been granted to the bot to access the requisite banking facilities. Will we see bots making big financial decisions on our behalf in the not too distant future?
Your digital personal assistant
In the business world, a chatbot can be a useful member of the team; working collaboratively to collect customer data, filter leads and enquiries, do the heavy lifting in terms of fielding incom-ing customer service requests and helping their human colleagues to more effectively help their customers, organize their day and close more sales.
A chatbot could also be useful in finding and using helpful resources and make day to day tasks quicker and easier. Equally valuable for the office as at home, a chatbot can also act as a personal assistant; adding meetings and appointments to calendars (perhaps checking multiple calendars to makes sure there are no accidental double bookings), filtering emails and other messages and generally keeping your life in order. Who wouldn’t love their own digital butler?
Teaching and instructing
Chatbots are fabulous at holding and organizing access to huge amounts of information; this allied to the accessible, approachable chat format used on familiar devices makes then ideal tutors. They are already being used to deliver courses on a wide range of subjects with lan-guage learning being a particularly popular use of the technology. In the future, we may start to see chatbots being used to deliver more sophisticated courses at far higher levels and per-haps even used in official educational institutes.
Video gaming and entertainment
Chatbots have been used in the video gaming industry for some time and are getting more so-phisticated by the day. They are the ideal entertainment companion as they can increase inter-actions in gaming environments, provide extra challenges to gamers, and add more fun to the experience.
Chatbots are not limited to these uses, and in the future, we can predict faster processing speeds and more efficient machine learning making chatbots a bigger part of the digital com-munications landscape. As both the technology and the platforms that can utilize them in-crease in sophistication, we will see many more useful chatbot applications. We will all become more familiar with chatbots as we increasingly interact with them in our daily lives and inte-grate them into our business strategies.