Chatbots Are Set To Transform Industries Post Pandemic

Is your organisation taking full benefit of the chatbot marketing?

Pallavi Jaisinghani

Oct 06 • 11 min read

The COVID-19 pandemic collectively put people, places and processes under self-isolation. The entire world came to a halt, the effects of which are being seen in the global financial markets. 

$1 trillion- The estimated loss by the slowdown of the global economy caused by the coronavirus outbreak. (World Economic Forum)

2020 is about to end, still, there is no clear sight of when the pandemic will end. Though it will end, eventually, but as a business owner, you now know how important it has become to be prepared, plan for the future, when the pandemic is over and the dust finally settles.

Post-COVID- An unprecedented time in history

Everything is now open and there is an influx of people acquiring products and services they required earlier but were unable to due to the pandemic. As a business owner, you might be trying your best to offer your customers a safe and secure environment maintaining all mandatory requirements but is that enough to get your business back on track?

Businesses need to be quick on their feet as trends that existed prior have now evolved. As a business leader, you not only need to refocus your strategies but also search for ways that can help your business keep pace with the evolving trends. 

The lockdown gave a massive boost to digitalisation and business leaders across industries have finally taken notice of chatbots and digital assistants, reimagining the ways they can transform businesses post-pandemic. 

Chatbots And Digital Assistants- The time is just right for businesses to adopt digital transformation

Chatbots have been around for like five decades now, but the adoption has been really slow as it happens with most innovative technologies. But this pandemic has pushed most industries to digitalise and automate and the first thing most businesses sought were chatbots. 

It is now that the spotlight has landed on chatbots as with conversational AI they have become these no-code bots that can be created in a day or rather a few hours and integrated into a website or an application within three days. 

Impact of COVID-19 on Chatbot Industry

While we are talking about the future of chatbots, we cannot simply ignore the current world crisis and the turning point it represents. The question remains, 

“Is the impact of the global pandemic on the chatbot industry positive or negative?” 

While the individual experiences differ for different industries, the general notion remains positive. The pandemic has helped conversational AI, chatbots and digital assistants break into the mainstream consciousness. 

Build Your Chatbot

If you are still new to how chatbots work and how they can benefit your business, let us tell you 

    • 40% of Millennials converse or use bots on a regular basis (Mobile Marketer)

    • Chatbots allow 69% of consumers to communicate with a brand quickly. (Salesforce)

    • 8 out of 10 of consumers who have engaged with a chatbot report it as overall positive customer experience (Uberall)

    • Real estate, travel, education, healthcare, and finance are the top industries profiting from chatbots. (Chatbots Life)

Businesses, big or small, can take advantage of chatbots and digital assistants 

Conversational AI and bot marketing were already touted as the next big thing, the pandemic accelerated the adoption of them across industries. Here are some of the reasons why AI chatbots are becoming valuable across businesses:

  • Helps organisations increase their digital presence

  • Centered around customer experience

  • No physical attendance needed as consumers can interact online 

  • Available 24x7x365

  • No barrier of time or location or language

  • Can resolve many consumer queries

  • Streamline the sales process

  • Frees executives to focus on other tasks 

  • Convenience, accessibility, conversation

  • Use case can be found across multiple industries

  • Fits perfectly with the low-touch economy

Conversational AI- the most natural way to get things done

Gone are the times when chatbots were like these outdated machines that could only solve limited queries and when you throw a complex query it directed you to a human executive. 

Well there still are rule-based chatbots and it works well for organisations with limited use cases and they too are evolving but not like GenieTalk chatbots that are powered by AI, conversational AI to be more precise. They not only listen to what you have to say, they understand you- your accent, context and even your intent. They talk to you, initiating conversations just like we humans talk. 

Different kinds of bots are designed for different industries but one thing is common among all- Artificial Intelligence. 

What is an AI Chatbot?

Chatbot, virtual assistant, AI Assistants, Voice Assistants, automation are terms that people use interchangeably but there’s a big difference in all. Leave the rest, even an AI chatbot differs hugely from a chatbot. At the core of it, the difference boils down to artificial intelligence and automation.

Chatbots are generally rule-based, they stick to the scripts. Take for example a customer service bot, this is how the conversation goes, mostly

-Greetings
-What can I help you with? Ordering food online, play music, weather update


Or it might ask you for some information

-Greetings
-Let’s get you started. But for that need some info

-Are you looking to convert more traffic on your website?

-Perfect! I can help you with it
 


 

Rule-based chatbots follow a structured dialogue that answers the specific question set in the program. They do not respond to change in language as the script is designed to extract the needed details from the user. 
So if a user asks a question that is not in the chatbot script, it will not be able to answer. 

An AI chatbot uses Natural Language Processing, Artificial Intelligence and human data to process while operating on its own, more or less, getting smarter with every interaction.

How To Choose The Best Chatbot- Rule-Based or AI?

The first thing you’ll need to do is assess the organization needs and technical capabilities. Will a rule-based chatbot work for you or is it an AI bot that would help you analyze datasets while building on its existing knowledge?

Rule-based Chatbots 

  1. Not as flexible as their AI counterparts

  2. Perfect for brands that want to create a tightly controlled experience for users 

  3. Guides the audience toward a specific goal

AI Chatbots

  1. Understands outside of pre-programmed commands sets 

  2. Become smarter over time as they continue learning based on the inputs and new experiences 

  3. Can be applied to a range of uses– sentiment analysis, identify intents, patterns, predictions

There are multiple examples of conversation AI chatbots including Apple’s Siri, Google Assistant, Microsoft Cortana, Amazon Alexa and our very own virtual travel buddy OGenie

Now that you understand what AI chatbots are, take a look at how chatbots can benefit your business post COVID-19

1. Round-the-clock service

Once the pandemic is over, the curve is flat, people will still continue working from home giving them a flexible schedule. This will in turn change the customer shopping behaviour as they can be looking for information at any time of the day or night. 

A chatbot is always accessible to provide information, service, solve queries and take a potential customer to the next stage of the sales funnel.

2. Customer Segmentation

People have been flooding the internet and with such high traffic, it is quite easy to lose leads. Segmenting the audience is important to separate the potentials from visitors.

A chatbot can segment the incoming leads by directing the conversation. It can understand the intent and assign a follow up to the team.

3. Data & Analysis

Collecting data is important for analysis and analysis is important to fine-tune your business processes. 

Chatbots can gather valuable information that can be used to analyse processes that can help you tweak your business performance.

4. Proactive Approach

The number of lookers is on the up and companies who are proactive are winning the race. It is not necessary that you have to wait for your customer to communicate with you.

Your chatbot can welcome visitors, initiate conversation, inform customers about updates, basically reach out to them.

5. Brand Positioning

Chatbots can set your brand apart from your competitors. All you need to do is give your bot a personality, brand voice, brand tone.

24x7x365 availability, problem-solving coupled with conversations and a personal touch can boost your brand image.

Let’s look at some examples of chatbots that are transforming industries

Marriott International's- ChatBotlr

Available through Facebook Messenger and Slack, ChatBotlr, Marriott International’s Hotel Chatbot allows Marriott Rewards members to research and book travel to more than 4,700 hotels. 

Members using ChatBotlr through Facebook Messenger successfully reported

  • 44% of people received assistance related to their stay or reservation

  • 53% of people received help with their Rewards account

HDFC Bank- EVA 

“Always at your service. Quick and Easy. Always learning and evolving.”

Using cutting-edge technology and predefined conversation paths, Eva the banking bot is redefining banking experience at HDFC. It provides information in simple language making it easy for bank users to access the right information by navigating them to the right page.

H&M- Kik

Kik bot recommends products based on customers’ preferences by asking customers to select photos of apparels that they like. It then asks customers to pick their style and based on it creates a style profile of the customer. It is then that Kik suggests personalized outfits for the customer.

Whole Foods- Messenger Bot

An exciting bot, it connects with users by providing recipes, products and cooking inspiration making it easy for users to narrow in on the kind of recipe they’re looking for. If you send a pizza emoji, the bot returns with a pizza recipe.

Duolingo- Chef Roberto/ Renee the Driver/ Officer Ada

A native chatbot in the Duolingo app built to be conversational and friendly, it helps users learn conversational skills and practice what they learned. To match various personalities and learning styles there are various language tutoring bots with different personalities. 

Slack- Slackbot

An internal help bot, slackbot sends occasional messages to team members that can be interacted with over chat.

GenieTalk- OGenie

The virtual travel buddy Genie makes travel effortless by offering the user convenience to search, book, board and arrive flight tickets over voice commands. 

Industries that have the greatest potential for chatbot disruption post-pandemic

1. ECommerce

The e-commerce industry is booming worldwide. By 2021, e-retail revenues are projected to touch $4.88 trillion. With this near-exponential growth, traditional means of customer support and sales just won’t suffice. 

Chatbots can help e-commerce companies shorten sales cycles, boost conversion, aid cross-platform performance and enhance the customer experience. Also, being language agnostic, chatbots can cater to a truly global audience.

2. Health Care

One-sixth of the average physicians’ working hours are consumed in administrative work. The regular task of booking appointments, cancellations, no-shows that takes up so much time of the medical staff can easily be automated by a chatbot.

Chatbots can synergize front office healthcare by providing pre-emptive information to the bot, send patients timely reminders of medicine to be taken, appointments, routine checkup, streamline admissions, discharge, schedule patient consultation requests and send and receive referrals.

3. Human Resource

The HR team is responsible for multiple duties that directly influence your bottom line. Responsibilities like legal compliance systems, audits, conflict resolution, policy creation, streamlining, training and leadership development and of course handling talent management that takes up most of their time.

An HR chatbot can assist your HR team handle everything from interest generation, screening, background checks and qualifying candidates. The HR bot can help with the paperwork, introduce new employees to the teammates and also, answer company-related questions for new joiners.

4. Travel 

Travel is one of the worst-hit industries but once the pandemic is over, travel will resume, maybe even cross expectations as travellers across the world are struggling to resume their love for the beautiful world. 

Your chatbot can provide information related to travel booking, choosing a trip, travelling in a group, room types, dietary requirements, travel insurance, visa information, safety and medical information, accommodation, transport, forex exchange, seasonal information and more.

5. Real Estate

Hundreds of these potential leads visit your website sifting through your offerings. Every lead you miss, you lose a sizable chunk of revenue. 

The potentials are on your real estate website to get information property either to buy, sell or rent and what they get when they visit your website- a lot of information that might not be even related to them.

But your chatbot can offer them tailored information simply by asking them a few questions and in return share information related to their choice of area or property.

6. Finance

Conducting transactions, transferring funds, requesting cheque books, technology has made banking simpler. There’s almost no reason to visit a bank physically and chatbots add to the convenience.

Available 24x7x365, a banking chatbot can work as an on-demand personal banker, responding instantly to any issue, sharing transaction details and even suggesting investments.

7. Hospitality

Once travel picks up, so will hospitality. People might be a little scared to share accommodation, touching things in a hotel room but your chatbot can help with that also.

Your hospitality chatbot can act as a cloud-based digital concierge making your hotel room a smart room with connected devices that can be commanded over voice. It can also be used to gain insights and information on customers and companies by analyzing data allowing them to perform multiple tasks based on customer behaviour. It can book meeting rooms, cabs, auto-order based on previous voice and text commands. 

8. B2B

The B2B market is literally double the size of the B2C market. There are various stakeholders in the B2B market including marketing, sales, product, services. You wouldn’t want to miss any lead or prospect and your chatbot can help you with that.

Your conversational AI chatbot can talk to, generate and qualify your leads, using metrics like what the potential customer is looking at on your site and even how long they’re there for. Your bot can be trained to complete a sales cycle or nudge the potential to take a particular action or simply share information about your company.

 

Is your business post-pandemic ready?

The coronavirus has had unprecedented impacts on the world and we don’t know how long it will continue or how long will it last. If businesses are to bounce back, they need to act today. Doing so will not only help one business or one industry recover but help the world as a whole and hopefully become more resilient in the process.

 

A lot of different industries are already using chatbots for different use-cases and a lot more industries are looking at ways to integrate chatbots in their processes to prepare their business for the changes to come post-pandemic.

For customers, chatbots mean 

    • Easier sales flow

    • Quicker solutions

    • 24x7 accessibility

    • Personal connection

    • Enhanced customer service 

For companies, chatbots mean

    • Lowering support costs

    • Boosting customer loyalty

    • Generating more leads

    • Increasing conversion rates 

    • Accelerating sales cycles 

An essential piece of the workplace technology stack, businesses that have already embraced chatbots have an advantage over those who are yet to make a move toward automation. Are you ready to transform your industry with a customised chatbot for your business? 

Talk to our chatbot expert now.

Written by

Pallavi Jaisinghani

Steady in soul, free in spirirt!

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