Michael Lovegrove
July 1, 2017

How chatbots can add immense value to every major industry

‍Whilst you may often read about how every bank, insurer and professional service is about to be cannibalised by AI powered chatbots, the reality is that such organisations are actually primed to use this technology to their advantage right now.

Related: Wining and dining with Silicon Valley’s finest — what we all need to start doing today

Before I explain how to use this technology, let’s quickly explore chatbot fundamentals.

A chatbot is a system or intelligence that typically use social messenger apps to communicate and serve consumers at scale.

To put the potential of the chatbot into perspective, here are some relevant stats:

Over 4 billion people are active on messenger platforms (Whatsapp, WeChat, Facebook Messenger etc)51% of people say that businesses need to provide assistance 24/745% of people would prefer to message a business than contact said business by emailThe average consumer opens one of these apps 17 times per day.

With the above knowledge, we have a massive opportunity to provide real time value to all of our customers within a chat interface, by deploying an intelligence into a space that the majority of consumers already understand — Messenger platforms.

Below are a number of different ways we deploy bots in different industries so that we can serve our customers better than we have ever done before.

Banking Chatbot

Through a chat interface, we have the ability to allow users to check account balances, transfer funds and pay other parties. Yes, this is no different to what is already achievable via an app, but the difference is your users do NOT have to download anything new.

As a bank, you can also provide extra value add utility to your customers.

A start up out of New Zealand, called Jude, does a great job of collating historic spending habits and displaying it to the user.

Education chatbot

From university to workplace education, there is a place for chatbots and the unprecedented information access that they can provide.

For now, let’s look at how a university can apply this technology.

As a collective, students do not check email (this is well known.) That’t not necessarily because the content that you send sucks, but is more likely because email itself is one dimensional and boring to your average 20 year old.

Instead, let’s put university announcements through a chatbot! Keep the announcements short and sweet, and you will gain your audiences attention.

For example:

“There’s a music event on at the quad this evening, get your tickets now!”

With a chatbot, you can send the above message to every single student, and with a bit of automation, you can personalise the message too.

Your students are then able to interact with your bot (purchase the tickets, share the message, even write back) ensuring that they actually engage with your content.

For a millennial, the above is much more manageable than an email. Your students could also check their timetable, and ask for upcoming events if you deployed a chatbot correctly. In an age where university compete for the smartest young minds, applying this type of technology will only attract such people, improving the overall score of your establishment.

Insurance chatbot

With over 70% of people purchasing insurance via their phone, there is obviously a massive opportunity for insurers to provide a faster service by deploying a chat bot.

It’s common knowledge that the quicker the sales process is, the more likely a consumer will make a purchase.

If you deploy a bot, which can sign a customer up to a new insurance plan (or change their plan) then you’re onto a winning formula. Such a bot has the ability to answer frequently asked questions (and variations of the same question) plus provide extra utility.

For example, the company Lemonade has made it possible for the average consumer to take out an insurance policy purely by taking to a chatbot, making the service more timely and decreasing the cost to serve.

Retail chatbot

After reading the other use cases above, you probably already have an understanding about how a chatbot can aid retail sales.

Right now, if you are in the retail industry, you can use a chat bot to sell products to consumers. This concept is not too dissimilar to the insurance use case, where the sales process becomes more efficient and the sale is more likely to happen.

Let’s illustrate this with an example.

Pretty cool, huh?

As a consumer, this took me three steps to complete a purchase, which is significantly more efficient than visiting a website.

Travel chatbot

This is a slightly more left field, but the application is greater than most realise. Skyscanner do a great job at showing a potential customer the travel possibilities relative to their current location.

As a travel agency, this is not necessarily the path that you have to take, but it will help to give you ideas regarding what is possible. Providing your customers with current travel deals is something that all travel agencies do via email anyway, so why not send the same information via a more engaging vertical?

I hope the above has helped you to understand how valuable a chatbot can be to your industry.

If you would like to learn more about how you could develop and deploy your very own bot, then please get in touch or drop me an email: mike@botbuild.co

About the Author

Michael Lovegrove

Michael has a background in innovative technology, public speaking and technical consulting. Now as the Co-Founder and CEO of botbuild.ai, he is a leader in human-conversation driven design.

Related articles