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5 Reasons why Customer Service Chatbots are the Need of the Hour

3 minutes, 59 seconds read

The rapidly advancing world suddenly came to a halt with the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. If anything positive that has come out of this crisis is that it has made people more comfortable with technology. Even people from non-tech-savvy older generations are readily adopting technological advancements. Especially the customer service verticals (helpdesk and support portals) if businesses are seeking automation the most. 

Chatbots have come a long way since they were first introduced. In 2016, Facebook allowed chatbots into its Messenger platform to let businesses deliver automated customer support, e-commerce guidance, content, and interactive experiences through chatbots. From answering simple queries to scheduling appointments, chatbots have evolved into AI-driven Virtual Assistants. Given the variety of purposes they solve, chatbots are here to stay. The chatbot market is projected to reach $1.25 billion by 2025

Let’s look at some of the most pressing points which make Customer Service Chatbots so relevant in the current period.

1. The Need to Save Time, Money and Resources

The prolonged lock-downs have left a deep impact on the business cash-flows. To manage the business with limited resources and constraints on budget, this is the right time to integrate chatbots which can take up routine tasks and save bandwidth of human resources for more complex ones. These days, chatbots are available at affordable prices and even on monthly subscription models.

2. Elevate Digital Customer Experience

During the initial stage of the COVID outbreak, people struggled to get essentials. The volume of customer grievances and queries were very high. Businesses struggled to address them. AI-driven chatbots in such situations prove to be a great asset in acknowledging the problems and providing relevant solutions. 

Voice-enabled customer service chatbots give a human-like experience to customers which helps add that personal touch in a digital environment. Unlike command-based chatbots, AI-based or Machine Learning chatbots can answer ambiguous questions. Based on the responses, chatbots are learning and can provide better answers over time. NLP chatbots will take the digital CX to another level which is a crucial differentiator for businesses in these times.

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.
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3. Build Customer Engagement and Brand Loyalty

One of the biggest pain-points of the lock-downs and social distancing is keeping the existing customers and clients engaged and building trust amongst them. Retaining brand loyalty has been challenging since customers during these times will watch out for businesses that provide the best services. Big names with a huge customer base may fail if they continue with legacy systems and traditional models even in these crucial times. 

To keep the business running, organizations will have to engage with customers. Bots can derive data through it’s AI capabilities which can be used to re-engage with customers. Especially in the e-commerce sector, bots can remind customers of the unbought items from their wish-list, suggest items to pair with the selected ones, take feedback, and so on. 

Customers remember brands that provide good services during difficult times. 

4. Dealing with the Issues of Modern Workforce

Due to lockdown, organizations faced a pressing challenge to ensure the smooth functioning of business with a remote workforce. A part of this challenge was also to ensure healthy and transparent communication with the internal workforce i.e. employees.

Especially the larger organizations and MNCs faced communication challenges with their employees across the globe. For instance, the HR department might not be able to reach all its employees. This calls for a need for chatbots that can address some of the basic queries. As Gartner predicts — by 2022, 70% of white-collar workers will interact with conversational platforms daily. The current pandemic is just fueling the adoption of helpdesk automation. 

5. Lead Generation

The business development and sales departments have a difficult road ahead. Given the economic slowdown, how to generate leads? Considering the current situation, many businesses are going digital as sales representatives cannot meet clients in-person. 

In the B2C space, cold calling and email marketing will soon become redundant. The situation requires an interaction with people through which leads can be found. Bots can provide data on the back-end while interacting with prospects and help businesses reach out to them. Thus, enabling more sales conversions. 

[Also read: Conversational Chatbots for SMEs to continue business from home]

What Does the Future Look Like for Customer Service Chatbots?

Modern customers include Millennials and Gen Z who represent 2 billion (27%) and 1.8 billion (24%) of the population respectively. They have a high affinity for self-service portals and look out for their query resolution instantly. Chatbots with integrated workflows can drive historical consumer data and accordingly suggest resolution. 

Companies like Uber and Amazon are already deploying self-service customer support, which not only releases the load from call-centers but also satisfies the growing preference for convenience. According to a recent Salesforce survey, 60% of businesses are ready to adopt self-service portals and chatbots are a crucial part of facilitating this. 

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Enhancing digital patient experience with healthcare chatbots

5 minutes read

Chatbots are fast emerging at the forefront of user engagement across industries. In 2021, healthcare is undoubtedly being touted as one of the most important industries due to the noticeable surge in demand amid the pandemic and its subsequent waves. The Global Healthcare Chatbots Market is expected to exceed over US$ 314.63 Million by 2024 at a CAGR of 20.58%.

Chatbots are being seen as those with high potential to revolutionize healthcare. They act as the perfect support system to agents on the floor by providing the first-step resolution to the customer, in terms of understanding intent and need, boost efficiency, and also improve the accuracy of symptom detection and ailment identification, preventive care, feedback procedures, claim filing and processing and more.

At the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, digital tools in healthcare, most commonly chatbots, rose to the forefront of healthcare solutions. Providence St. Joseph Health, Mass General Brigham, Care Health Insurance (formerly Religare), and several other notable names built and rolled out artificial intelligence-based chatbots to help with diagnostics at the first stage before a human-human virtual contact, especially while differentiating between possible COVID-19 cases and other ailments. The CDC also hosts an AI-driven chatbot on its website to help screen for coronavirus infections. Similarly, the World Health Organization (WHO) partnered with a messaging app named Ratuken Viber, to develop an interactive chatbot for accurate information about COVID-19 in multiple languages. This allowed WHO to reach up to 1 billion people located anywhere in the world, at any time of the day, in their respective native languages.

For Care Health Insurance, Mantra Labs deployed their Conversational AI Chatbot with AR-based virtual support, called Hitee, trained to converse in multiple languages. This led to 10X interactions over the previous basic chatbot; 5X more conversions through Vanilla Web Experience; Drop-in Customer Queries over Voice Support by 20% among other benefits.

Artificial Intelligence’s role in the healthcare industry has been growing strength by strength over the years. According to the global tech market advisory firm ABI Research, AI spending in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries is expected to increase from $463 million in 2019 to more than $2 billion over the next 5 years, healthtechmagazine.net has reported. 

Speaking of key features available on a healthcare chatbot, Anonymity; Monitoring; Personalization; collecting Physical vitals (including oxygenation, heart rhythm, body temperature) via mobile sensors; monitoring patient behavior via facial recognition; Real-time interaction; and Scalability, feature top of the list. 

However, while covering the wide gamut of a healthcare bot’s capabilities, it is trained on the following factors to come in handy on a business or human-need basis. Read on: 

Remote, Virtual Consults 

Chatbots were seen surging exponentially in the year 2016, however, the year 2020 and onwards brought back the possibility of adding on to healthcare bot capabilities as people continued to stay home amid the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns. Chatbots work as the frontline customer support for Quick Symptom Assessment where the intent is understood and a patient’s queries are answered, including connection with an agent for follow-up service, Booking an Appointment with doctors, and more. 

Mental Health Therapy

Even though anxiety, depression, and other mental health-related disorders and their subsequent awareness have been the talk around the world, even before the pandemic hit, the pandemic year, once again could be attributed to increased use of bots to seek support or a conversation to work through their anxiety and more amid trying times. The popular apps, Woebot and Wysa, both gained popularity and recognition during the previous months as a go-to Wellness Advisor. 

An AI Wellness Advisor can also take the form of a chatbot that sends regular reminders on meal and water consumption timings, nutrition charts including requisite consultation with nutritionists, lifestyle advice, and more. 

Patient Health Monitoring via wearables 

Wearable technologies like wearable heart monitors, Bluetooth-enabled scales, glucose monitors, skin patches, shoes, belts, or maternity care trackers promise to redefine assessment of health behaviors in a non-invasive manner and helps acquire, transmit, process, and store patient data, thereby making it a breeze for clinicians to retrieve it as and when they need it.

Remote patient monitoring devices also enable patients to share updates on their vitals and their environment from the convenience and comfort of home, a feature that’s gained higher popularity amid the pandemic.

A healthcare chatbot for healthcare has the capability to check existing insurance coverage, help file claims and track the status of claims. 

What’s in store for the future of chatbots in Healthcare? 

The three main areas where healthcare chatbots can be particularly useful include timely health diagnostics, patient engagement outside medical facilities, and mental health care. 

According to Gartner, conversational AI will supersede cloud and mobile as the most important imperative for the next ten years. 

“For AI to succeed in healthcare over the long-term, consumer comfort and confidence should be front and center. Leveraging AI behind the scenes or in supporting roles could collectively ease us into understanding its value without risking alienation,” reads a May 2021 Forbes article titled, The Doctor Is In: Three Predictions For The Future Of AI In Healthcare. 

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