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How chatbots are changing the digital Indian

3 minutes, 39 seconds read

Chatbots have come a long way – from a hyped technology under the AI umbrella to a direct-to-consumer product, that has incessantly penetrated the tech-enabled services we use today. While the adoption of chatbots is still in its infancy, the proliferation and mushroomed effect it has had so far is remarkable. Most of us, are perhaps not even aware of how seamless this transition has been – since many now interact with several bots almost everyday!

Nearly 1 in 4 customers have interacted with a brand via chatbots in the past 12 months, according to a Salesforce study published in late 2018.”

Chatbots have permeated the Indian Landscape

In India, like most countries, both businesses and consumers rely on telephone and email as the most preferred channels to conduct business, yet they are also the slowest for quick resolution. The average time-to-resolution using email interactions was reported at 39 minutes while in India it was reported at 2 hours 17 minutes. In addition, global data shows only 49% of problems are solved on the first interaction.

Most people in India (59%) however, still prefer to talk to an actual person for customer service needs. While this is true, customer service experts believe this trend will reverse in the near term. A majority (61%) of “the Digital Indian” or tech-savvy users see the benefits for chatbots in customer service.

How Chatbots are changing the Digital Indian

AI is already providing benefits to e-commerce businesses in India by improving decision making & recommendation systems using machine learning algorithms, while simplifying the product search journey for the customer. When done well, 43% feel chatbots can be almost as good as interacting with a human, revealed a study titled “Efficacy of AI” conducted by digital marketing solutions firm iCubesWire.

Bots among us

Conversant bots have augmented our ability to quickly access information, services, and support – even taking over some of our day-to-day tasks. The passage deeply signifies an unmistakable shift in our digital communication patterns. Here are some well-known instances of chatbots in use, around us.

GoHero

This AI-enabled personal travel agent assists customers in booking flights, hotels, taxis, buses etc. It integrates with messaging apps to use sophisticated algorithms to understand traveller’s preferences and is available across nine platforms such as Facebook Messenger, Telegram & Skype.

Aisha

A voice assistant (similar to Siri, Google Assistant) by Micromax performs daily tasks like initiating a google search, fetching movie reviews, making calls, reading news articles, view stalk market details and more. The Handset Speech Assistant with AI integrated into its backend is gently becoming an accepted, must-have tool for the average consumer.

Lawbot

A customer facing AI application that automates specific legal tasks that would otherwise require extensive legal research. It analyses and reviews legal documents, like contracts or agreements, and identify problems in them in seconds – saving customers valuable time and money.

FitCircle

This health and fitness chatbot offers its users personalised weight-loss workouts, yoga guides and nutrition guides. The AI empowered fitness companion, called ‘Zi’, helps the Digital Indian achieve fitness goals through custom-fit workouts and diets.

Oheyo

Formerly Prepathon, Oheyo helps students (the digital Indian of the future) prepare for exams, by connecting them to experts anywhere. It messages students the subject of the day, answers queries and additionally sends across motivational messages. They also provide a video Q&A platform through which students can find a lot of their queries answered and archived for later use.

Skedool

Skedool’s ‘Alex’ is a B2B smart assistant, that excels at automating repetitive everyday tasks for business executives, sales and recruiting professionals. It handles B2B scheduling activities and calendar management. The AI assistant uses natural language processing and machine learning supervised by humans to enable customers to communicate with the service via e­mail just as they might with a human assistant.

Hitee

A one-of-a-kind chatbot with voice, video, and multilingual features. It’s custom NLP-powered workflow builder solves a number of purposes like operations, HR, IT, logistics, and more.

While these are just a few highlighted examples, there are many more in use across the country, each with a unique use case and problem it is trying to solve. For example, Aapke Sarkar – a chatbot (developed by Haptik) launched by the Maharashtra Govt. for people to access information regarding public services in the state, in Hindi or Marathi; or the bot introduced by IRCTC called ‘AskDisha’ (Digital Interaction to Seek Help Anytime) that helps railway passengers access customer services support in multiple regional languages and even voice-enabled chat.

Bots and The Digital Indian

The Indian chatbot industry, although still in its nascent form, is a $3.1B market, according to analysts. The market, in the coming years will evolve to a point where interactive and intuitive AI will become the bare standard for customer service across a variety of sectors.

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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Retention playbook for Insurance firms in the backdrop of financial crises

4 minutes read

Belonging to one of the oldest industries in the world, Insurance companies have weathered multiple calamities over the years and have proven themselves to be resilient entities that can truly stand the test of time. Today, however, the industry faces some of its toughest trials yet. Technology has fundamentally changed what it means to be an insurer and the cumulative effects of the pandemic coupled with a weak global economic output have impacted the industry in ways both good and bad.

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Source: Deloitte Services LP Economic Analysis

For instance, the U.S market recorded a sharp dip in GDP in the wake of the pandemic and it was expected that the economy would bounce back bringing with it a resurgent demand for all products (including insurance) across the board. It must be noted that the outlook toward insurance products changed as a result of the pandemic. Life insurance products were no longer an afterthought, although profitability in this segment declined over the years. Property-and-Casualty (P&C) insurance, especially motor insurance, continued to be a strong driver, while health insurance proved to be the fastest-growing segment with robust demand from different geographies

Simultaneously, the insurance industry finds itself on the cusp of an industry-wide shift as technology is starting to play a greater role in core operations. In particular, technologies such as AI, AR, and VR are being deployed extensively to retain customers amidst this technological and economic upheaval.

Double down on digital

For insurance firms, IT budgets were almost exclusively dedicated to maintaining legacy systems, but with the rise of InsurTech, it is imperative that firms start dedicating more of their budgets towards developing advanced capabilities such as predictive analytics, AI-driven offerings, etc. Insurance has long been an industry that makes extensive use of complex statistical and mathematical models to guide pricing and product development strategies. By incorporating the latest technological advances with the rich data they have accumulated over the years, insurance firms are poised to emerge stronger and more competitive than ever.

Using AI to curate a bespoke customer experience

Insurance has always been a low-margin affair and success in the business is primarily a function of selling the right products to the right people and reducing churn as much as possible. This is particularly important as customer retention is normally conceived as an afterthought in most industries, as evidenced in the following chart.

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        Source: econconusltancy.com

AI-powered tools (even with narrow capabilities) can do wonders for the insurance industry at large. When architected in the right manner, they can be used to automate a bulk of the standardized and automated processes that insurance companies have. AI can be used to automate and accelerate claims, assess homeowner policies via drones, and facilitate richer customer experiences through sophisticated chatbots. Such advances have a domino effect of increasing CSAT scores, boosting retention rates, reducing CACs, and ultimately improving profitability by as much as 95%.

Crafting immersive products through AR/VR

Customer retention is largely a function of how good a product is, and how effective it is in solving the customers’ pain points. In the face of increasing commodification, insurance companies that go the extra mile to make the buying process more immersive and engaging can gain a definite edge over competitors.

Globally, companies are flocking to implement AR/VR into their customer engagement strategies as it allows them to better several aspects of the customer journey in one fell swoop. Relationship building, product visualization, and highly personalized products are some of the benefits that AR/VR confers to its wielders.  

By honoring the customer sentiments of today and applying a slick AR/VR-powered veneer over its existing product layer, insurance companies can cater to a younger audience (Gen Z) by educating them about insurance products and tailoring digital delivery experiences. This could pay off in the long run by building a large customer base that could be retained and served for a much longer period.

The way forward

The Insurance industry is undergoing a shift of tectonic proportions as an older generation makes way for a new and younger one that has little to no perceptions about the industry. By investing in next-generation technologies such as AR/VR, firms can build new products to capture this new market and catapult themselves to leadership positions simply by way of keeping up with the times.

We have already seen how AR is a potential game-changer for the insurance industry. It is only a matter of time before it becomes commonplace.

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