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Conversational Chatbots for SMEs to continue business from home

3 minutes, 59 seconds read

SMEs are acclaimed to be the backbone of the Indian economy. They are crucial to achieving the nation’s dream of a $5 trillion economy by 2025. But, the sudden outbreak of Covid-19 and the prolonged lockdown has brought about a very distressing time for small and medium enterprises in India and across the world.

On May 14th, 2020, the Government of India announced a Rs 20 lakh crore stimulus package, which includes 6 relief measures to bring India’s vast MSME sector back to life. Banks and NBFCs are also willing to offer up to 20% of the entire outstanding credit to MSMEs. However, the root cause of disruption in small & medium enterprises, which relies heavily on personal communication will remain unresolved unless the sector readily opts technology to drive their business amidst social distancing and staggered workforce. 

The economic stimulus will help many SMEs resume operations by providing access to credit to help overcome near term loss of income. This will help businesses..to also grow and maintain business continuity. The long term focus on enabling SMEs with technology also provides a great opportunity for our business.”

Saahil Goel, CEO and co-founder Shiprocket

Here’s how simple technology solutions like conversational chatbots can help SMEs to continue their businesses remotely.

The need of time

While running a small business can be challenging even in favourable times, productivity suffers a lot when such an unanticipated time stacks against the business. Because of the small size of the business, lack of resources and restraints on investing in workforce training are the biggest challenges with employers.

Moreover, most MSMEs rely on persuasion, for which communication is the key. The communication gap may lead to losing customers, which businesses certainly cannot afford at this time. In lines with the Government of India’s move towards self-reliance (Atma-nirbhar Bharat), reducing dependencies of any form can help startups and SMEs sustain their business.

A feasible solution to resolve communication-related concerns is deploying technologies for customer support, scheduling and reminders. 

How can conversational chatbots help SMEs and consultants

Chatbots are a great medium to automate customer support and helpdesk conversations and release human resources for sophisticated tasks. Conversational chatbots have NLP (Natural Language Processing) capabilities that understand different forms of queries and deliver more human-like responses.

In this pandemic time, where social distancing will be the new normal and business travels will suffer a setback, chatbots can make contactless, global customer support a new reality. Key benefits:

  1. 24X7 communication support: with context-based automated replies, chatbots help in lead generation and nurturing.
  2. Multiple language support: conversational chatbots support regional languages and many chatbots are trained for industry-specific jargon. This makes communication more realistic (human-like).
  3. Platform integration: it is possible to integrate chatbots on WhatsApp, Facebook messenger, skype, and many other platforms where the consumers are most active. Enterprise chatbots also have the facility to integrate with CRMs.
  4. Video conferencing: some chatbots like Hitee have video conferencing features along with chats to enable face to face and more personalized interaction.
  5. Data collection: the chatbot platform maintains data records which can be utilized in the future for analyzing consumer intent and preferences.

SMEs that benefit the most by chatbots

1. Private clinics

Juniper research suggests that worldwide, the adoption of virtual assistants in healthcare will reach $3.6 billion by 2020.

Private medical practitioners can use chatbots to schedule appointments, share diagnosis results, video chat (telehealth) to understand the condition and provide instant support and prescribe medicines.

2. Legal consultation services

Clio reports that law practitioners spend only 2.3 hours of 8 working hours in actual practice every day. Their rest of the time is consumed in administration, marketing and business development activities. 

work distribution of legal professionals

Law practitioners are already using chatbots to generate legal documents (e.g. AILira), privacy policy or a non-disclosure agreement (e.g. Lexi) and support customers with legal FAQs (e.g. Lawdroid).

Chatbots can also help the legal consultants to automate due diligence procedures, schedule meetings with clients, setting reminders, and answering firm related questions.

3. Career consultation & educational institutes

Chatbots can act as virtual teaching assistants for managing student queries, lesson plans, assignments and video FAQs.

Education institutes can also automate helpdesk queries related to admissions, fees, and curriculums.

4. Insurance companies

Amid this pandemic, health insurance and claims-related queries have skyrocketed. From making claims to browsing new plans, increasing one-on-one conversational efficiency and nurture leads into sales, chatbots can help insurance companies with customer query support.

Also read: Adoption of Chatbots across Insurance

AI Chatbot in Insurance Report

AI in Insurance will value at $36B by 2026. Chatbots will occupy 40% of overall deployment, predominantly within customer service roles.

5. Stock brokers & wealth managers

Stockbrokers can personalize the interaction and resolve queries irrespective of the client’s location. Wealth managers can continue their lending business from home using chatbots. Bots with video conferencing tools can help them understand the clients’ sentiments and improve conversation efficiency. 

If you need customer support automation solutions, we’re here to help. We’ve made India’s leading industry-specific chatbot — Hitee to empower SMEs with AI-based chatbot solutions. For your specific requirements, please feel free to write to us at hello@mantralabsglobal.com.


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How To Get Design Inspiration?

3 minutes read

Did the egg come first or the chicken, it makes you go round and round in circles. That’s the feeling you get when you start designing something new. 

Inspiration can come from everywhere, especially if you are a designer. To create your finest design, you must get into the nitty-gritty of everything. I began my journey as an interior designer which gave me an edge when I transitioned to UI/UX Design. When we start working on projects, the first thing we do is construct a mood board. But for me, the challenging part was deciding what was good or bad and what worked in the real world.

So, I began with extensive thought about the problem at hand, followed by conceptual visualizations of all possible solutions. It seems intimidating, but it worked for me. I’d later project all those things from my imagination onto the screen. This process didn’t always produce viable solutions, which was a major problem to cope with. After all, what’s the purpose of having a good design if it doesn’t work? So, I merged this approach with swiping and gathering inspirations that I loved by favoriting my way through multiple sites to create a perfect Mood Board.

Next, was putting the mood board into action and creating something unique.

And, in my opinion, this is the most basic process chosen by designers.

Then I joined Mantra Labs, which was intimidating since I went from being a loner to being a loner in a group. From analysing my own ideas to working with a group of amazing designers who don’t hold back on their criticisms. (They never stop talking :P.) It was also intriguing to observe every designer as each one had a different approach to getting design inspiration and it was reassuring to know that there is no right or wrong way. It can come at any moment, anywhere, and in any form; all you have to do is enjoy the experience because it’s a Pandora’s Box, where you get lost and then come out with something amazing you weren’t expecting to find.

I try browsing design websites and talking to others about their work to get insights. And I can say that I’m definitely getting better as a designer day by day- the key is to stay curious and explore new things.

Here is a compilation of some wonderful exercises I intend to try on my projects as soon as I have the opportunity.

Create a lot of opinions and then pick the best one.

Creating a lot of different variations for one project and then critiquing it to bring it down to one which you like. 

Take a counter intuitive path

Going crazy with the thought process, and breaking the stigma of keeping basic, and crazy is fun, and it might surprise you.

Inspiration outside

This includes everything we have done or do on a regular basis, such as opening a bottle or flicking through the pages of a book.

Try apps in your category

Like for an education app, look for inspiration on social media, in travel, or something else.

Visit design websites

As you examine different types of designs, it inspires you and gives you a bank of ideas; all you have to do now is learn how to use those ideas on time and on the right project.

Ask a friend

This is one of the best ways to get better insights and diverse perspectives which can be very helpful.


The exercises listed above may or may not work for you because there is no perfect science to getting creative inspiration.  Lorinda Mamo once stated, “Every great design begins with an even better story.” So, in order to find design inspiration, you must first find the story. Keep experimenting with different ways; you never know what might work for you.

About the author: Neha is a designer at heart who walks and talks too fast and is always willing to try new things, whether in business or in life.

Want to know more about designing?

Read our blog: 5 Things to Consider while Designing an App for Gen Z’s


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