How businesses are making the most of chatbots

Tom Passmore

Among the many ways in which AI is slowly revolutionising our lives, is the chatbot. A chatbot is a program that uses AI to simulate conversation, and the chances are you will have used one in the last year, to find the answer to a question or to tap into a brand’s customer service.

Chatbots

They vary greatly in complexity, but essentially they exist to streamline the dialogue between a brand and its customers. Helping a consumer find what they need in the most efficient way possible.

Chatbots have been a slow burner, but we are now starting to see how businesses are making the most of them.

Assistants

Perhaps the most prolific use of chatbots is in products such as Amazon’s Alexa, which according to CNBC, currently has 70% of market share. The possibilities on Alexa are seemingly endless, with businesses using the tool to manage productivity and work schedules by setting reminders and creating to-do lists, ordering products, controlling smart appliances and helping to manage transport.

Patient care tools

The healthcare sector has seen promising advances in patient care, through the creation of certain chatbots.

For example, HealthTap, a medical platform on Facebook messenger, provides doctors’ advice, when a user inputs certain symptoms into the bot. The potential for this platform is huge, particularly for those in developing countries around the world who don’t have sophisticated or convenient healthcare systems, but it also impacts patients who are part of developed economies.

Florence goes one step further, by reminding patients to take medication, helping them to check symptoms and sending health tips on a daily basis.

At OJO solutions, through the projects we have worked on in the healthcare sectors, we have seen first hand the importance of giving patients the power and independence over their own care, so we welcome these advances.

Customer service

For any service provider across any sector, effective handling of customer service is paramount to growing a customer base and converting enquiries into sales. With shoppers needing support in the early stages of a transaction, chatbots have been instrumental in streamlining communications between a brand and its customers.

Chatbots provide real-time assistance, ask questions and suggest products and solutions to help the customer. It has revolutionised brand engagement, because even if an immediate solution can’t be offered, a holding response can, while the bot responds.

With brands now using chatbots to inject brand personality into their dealings with customers, they’re really gaining ground.

In fact, Gartner predicts that by 2020, a customer will manage 85 per cent of the relationship with a business without interacting with humans at all, so utilising a chatbot can be a significant help to charities, retail brands, startups and fintech businesses, all of whom are looking to have the most successful and profitable relationship possible with their customers – because it enables those organisations to use tech to become who they want to be.

Added to the fact they can be incredibly low budget and reduce the need for multiple customer service agents, and the benefits are hard to ignore.

Whether your business is large or small, chatbots could be an effective means of growing and retaining your customer base, and they could be the solution for you.

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