What’s common between the customer service offered by a hotel, a retailer, and a bank these days? Chatbots! Chatbots today are being deployed across industries to assist customers (customer service), or engage with customers (sales and marketing), or do both. However, there are a few chatbot applications that are unique to each industry. In this blog, we explore the different applications of chatbots in six key industries, along with real-life examples. You can use this index below to jump to the industry you are most interested in:
Before we dive into the chatbot applications, let’s understand the benefits that a chatbot brings to the table in customer service, and sales and marketing.
When it comes to customer service, chatbots are generally thought of as a customer-facing channel. However, chatbots can also work well as assistants to customer service agents themselves. With Freddy AI for CX, you can deploy a customer-facing chatbot, and also access an agent-facing bot right within Freshdesk. Let’s take a quick look at what you can achieve by setting up chatbots for your customers, and your agents.
– 24/7 support: Chatbots are perfect to scale your support capabilities without having to scale your team. They can be available around the clock to offer instant and accurate responses as they don’t tire or feel the need to take breaks. Chatbots can also be built to assist customers in their preferred languages, and can be deployed across channels to improve accessibility.
– Automated resolutions: In addition to suggesting solutions from your knowledge base, chatbots can also automate resolutions to frequently reported issues. Using Freddy Self-service, you can build robust workflows by integrating with an array of third-party applications, and offer resolutions within seconds.
– Lower operational costs: Deploying an AI-powered chatbot to tackle the increasing number of customer queries is a cost-effective way to scale your customer service efforts. These chatbots can handle multiple customer conversations at once, and significantly reduce the costs that are associated with scale.
– Better customer experience: AI-powered chatbots can be designed to understand the intent of the customer and automatically trigger the right conversational flow to offer a proactive and complete customer service experience.
– Contextual assistance: Chatbots can help agents with troubleshooting customer issues, getting a better understanding of the problem, and identifying the next best step. Chatbots can also reduce internal dependencies, especially in a remote work environment by offering quick and easy answers without having to reach out to a colleague.
– Training and onboarding: Set up an agent-facing bot to ensure that new agents are able to access all the information they need to get up to speed with their jobs, right within your helpdesk software. This way, agents can easily go through help-guides or FAQs whenever they are stuck or confused instead of depending on someone else or switching between tools.
– Improved agent productivity: Automate complicated backend processes that would otherwise involve agents juggling between multiple tools, with the help of agent-facing bots. This frees up your team’s time by getting the complicated processes such as logging in to the order management system or the billing application to get an update out of the way.
– Automatic routing: Bots can automatically and intelligently route tickets to the right agents. These bots can also detect the intent in customer conversations and help teams overcome common challenges such as preventing ‘thank-you’ responses from being reopened.
Outside of customer support, AI-powered chatbots can also go a long way in assisting you with your sales and marketing initiatives. Chatbots assist customers through the entire customer journey and play an important role in pushing customers further down the sales funnel. Here’s how:
– Personalized product recommendations: AI-enabled chatbots learn from past customer interactions, retain important details about the customer’s taste and preferences, and offer personalized product recommendations.
– Easy lead prospecting: Chatbots can initiate the right conversations to identify prospective leads and pass it onto the right sales rep who can take the conversation forward.
– Better segmentation: Chatbots can segment your audience based on different factors such as demographics, interests, age, gender, etc, using the data gathered during the conversation.
– Insightful feedback: You can embed a feedback form in your chatbot widget, and trigger a popup when a customer is about to leave your website. By doing this, you can identify the reasons for drop-offs and make improvements accordingly.
Now that we have covered the basic benefits of chatbots, let’s take a look at specific use cases in each industry.
In a highly competitive market like retail and e-commerce, you need to engage in personalized conversations with customers to grab their attention and get them to a purchase decision. But when you have a growing customer base, engaging in 1-1 conversations might not be viable. Here’s how an e-commerce chatbot can act as your sales and customer service sidekick:
Product and price notifications: Chatbots can field questions about the price and availability of your products. With rich media interactions such as pictures and carousels, your chatbots can also give your customers a visual idea of what your products look like, along with suitable options or alternatives.
Card abandonment: Chatbots can notify customers when the products there were viewed and added to their wishlist, favorites, or their cart are running out of stock. Additionally, chatbots can also provide relevant promotional offers to prompt customers to make a purchase.
Purchase assistance: With the right integrations, e-commerce chatbots can assist customers with the entire process of placing an order, and paying for it too. By showing personalized recommendations, conversational commerce also improves the shopping experience for customers. For example, the H&M chatbot plays the role of a personal stylist – at the end of the conversation, the bot recommends an outfit based on the customer’s taste.
Post-purchase customer service: By building automated workflows, you can equip your bot to resolve issues related to post-purchase customer service issues such as:
– Order tracking
– Rescheduling date of delivery
– Cancelling order
– Refund request
– Replacement request
Just like e-commerce and retail, customers in travel and hospitality prefer personalized experiences (planning a vacation can get quite tedious!). Chatbots can provide a range of services in customer service from customizing itineraries to managing bookings and reservations. The most popular applications of chatbots in travel and tourism have been listed below:
Reservations: Be it hotel reservations or restaurant reservations, chatbots can take care of the entire booking process for your customers and send confirmations within seconds. For instance, Edwardian Hotels, a UK-based luxury hotel, and hospitality brand offers an AI chatbot for their guests. Their chatbot guides visitors to local restaurants, bars, famous spots and can also handle their complaints.
Bookings: Powered with the right conversational bot flows, flight or hotel bookings can be automated according to customer preferences. For example, Goibibo, an online travel booking brand, uses their chatbot ‘Gia’ to assist customers with booking tickets, seat selection, and also post-booking queries.
Refund or reschedule assistance: Chatbots can automate the entire process for refund and reschedule queries, and offer customer resolutions in the blink of an eye.
Ordering and delivery: Famous restaurant chains like Burger King and Taco bell have deployed chatbots to help customers place their orders with minimal effort.
Food delivery services also use chatbots to enable customers to place, track and manage their orders. Chatbots also play the role of a virtual agent by assisting customers with any other grievances that they might have after placing or receiving the order. For instance, Dunzo, an on-demand delivery app, resolves 48% of customer queries with Freddy AI-powered chatbots.
Customer issues in banking and finance often require immediate attention. Chatbots provide fast and accurate responses, making them increasingly popular in this space. In fact, experts predict 90% of customer interaction in banks will be automated by 2022.1
By implementing conversational banking, you can ensure that customers have access to immediate help whenever they reach out to you. In addition to offering 24/7 support, here are a few other use cases of chatbots in banking:
Personal financial information: Customers can gather important information such as their account balance, transaction details, and payment dues by simply interacting with a bot. Thus, a chatbot enables customers to take the right action at the right time.