#business, #chatbot
1 August 2021
Julianna Sykutera

10 Chatbot Applications in Business

Chatbots are essentially programs used by businesses to interact with customers to solve their user issues. They do that by employing AI capable of simulating human conversation! Remember, AI doesn’t need to sleep and doesn’t get tired. So, companies can utilize chatbots to automate customer services, offer instant responses at any time, and do so consistently. Let’s dive right in and get into more detail about the benefits as well as some examples of chatbot applications in business.

Chatbot business benefits

To know why chatbots are essential for business, we need to look at their inherent characteristics – how do their features make them significant? Therefore, by measuring the impact of chatbots on business KPIs, we can clearly see their advantages. Some of the benefits of chatbot applications in business are:

  • Instant replies
    no matter how many customers, AI can handle all queries simultaneously with immediate responses, thereby improving customer engagement.
  • 24/7/365 availability
    users no longer need to wait for ages until they can reach an operator, but get answers at any time of the day, thus improving customer experience. 
  • Multiple channel presence
    chatbots can be implemented across various platforms so your business can interact with customers using different media channels, hence increasing the number of customers reached.
  • Cheaper than human customer service
    while a chatbot can be an investment, it can easily do the work of dozens of employees without any training, thus saving both time and money.
  • Scalability of support
    chatbots can easily handle large sudden increases in customer demands without affecting business costs.
  • Personalization
    chatbots can analyze chat and order histories to offer users personalized recommendations, thus prompting better lead generation.

10 chatbot applications in business

Whether it is to help deal with growth, to cut costs, or as a sales/marketing strategy, more and more companies today are integrating chatbots. Open any website and you’ll see one pop up. They’re easy to implement and easy to use, so it’s no wonder so many enterprises have adopted chatbots. Let’s take a look at a few chatbot applications in business – specifically how chatbots can be used across different industries. 

1. E-commerce

Customer service is especially vital in the E-commerce sector. Simply offering a high-quality product isn’t enough for a venture to succeed. Customers who are not satisfied with the support a company offers – likely won’t come back. That means they also won’t be recommending that company’s product, or worst case – their negative reviews can actively deter potential customers from purchasing the product. 

The simplest issues customers have are: not being able to reach anyone in customer support, or waiting too long for an answer. Chatbots take care of both of these issues with their fast response times at any hour of the day. They are usually equipped with the capability to answer the most frequently asked questions and can handle hundreds of simultaneous queries. Alternatively, they can assess if they are not able to help the customer, in which case a human agent is assigned to the problem. 

Chatbots can also help develop marketing strategies for eCommerce businesses by:

  • conducting market research through chatbot surveys
  • making personalized recommendations based on conversations between the chatbot and the customer
  • offering discounts based on customer browsing and purchase history
  • collecting customer feedback in order to improve product/service quality.

2. Travel

Tourism and hospitality is another industry that is largely dependent on customer service quality. Therefore chatbots are very useful for assisting customers around the clock, even outside business hours. Even if the chatbot is not able to help out with a particular query, the customer can elect to be called back by an employee of the travel business, thereby drastically decreasing the loss of potential sales. Chatbots can be used to ask about travel deals, advice on where to go or what to see, and even book travel and accommodation! 

3. Human Resources

Working in Human Resources is no joke – they have a bunch of difficult and time-consuming duties and responsibilities including: recruitment, onboarding and training, audits, legal issues, conflict resolution, payroll processing, and many more. The developments in software and AI have given rise to many solutions for automating HR tasks, and the chatbot has also found its purpose. A large chunk of HR’s time is occupied with answering general employee and job applicants’ questions, which can easily be handled by a chatbot – thus freeing up HR employees for more important and meaningful work. Chatbots can handle queries regarding: job openings and descriptions, vacation days and sick leave, training materials, job contracts, etc. 

4. Healthcare

Doctors and nurses are not spared the administrative side of their job, and naturally, it takes up a non-insignificant portion of their time. Chatbots can handle appointment scheduling, collecting patient medical history, and internal coordination with other doctors/departments – all based on a single record system. Outside of the medical practice, patients can use the chatbot to receive reminders for their medication and monitor their overall health status. 

5. B2B transactions

The B2B industry is double the size of the B2C industry, meaning the cost of a lost lead/sale for B2B businesses is much higher than their B2C counterparts. Customers look for a high degree of professionalism and service, so slow replies and a dearth of information can easily force them to look elsewhere. Chatbots can reply to customer queries instantly and give and collect some initial information. This way the sales team can look through the inquiries and choose to address the most qualified leads.

6. Finance Industry

In the current digital age barely anyone actually goes to the bank, and no one really even needs to. While banks and other financial institutions have been online for a while now, recently we’ve been seeing more and more applications of chatbots in financial businesses. Chatbots in banking can be seen as a one-stop destination for all customer needs like:

  • Information about their bank balances, transaction history, due payments, etc.
  • Money transfers
  • Investment management
  • Credit applications

7. Real Estate

Real estate is not a petty cash business, and every closed deal is important. Customers visiting property websites can easily get lost in the volume of listings without actually finding what they need, leading to lost sales for the agents and frustration for the inquirer. Chatbots can help potential customers with filtering properties based on their requirements, for giving out information about the neighborhoods, scheduling appointments with the agents, etc. That way, the agents will also have an initial idea of what the clients are looking for and are able to assist them more efficiently. 

8. Entertainment and News

A strong business case can also be made for chatbots in entertainment and news. For one, they can be used to deliver new content. For example, many news media have chatbots on their messenger pages, allowing users to access information without the need to go to all their individual websites. Some chatbots also have the ability to offer personalized content by mobilising AI to analyze readers’ interests based on past requests. Another example of chatbots in entertainment are chatbot games!

9. Logistics

Communication in the transport and logistics industry is a problem, and is causing serious trust issues with customers. We’ve even come to expect bad customer service from logistics providers. But chatbots can help:

  • Provide quick answers as opposed to days of waiting time
  • Receive delivery requests, so there is no need to wait for an agent to get back to you.
  • Tracking shipments, so no need to look for dedicated tracking services on the website.
  • Facilitate quick changes in delivery information.

10. Edtech

AI has transformed the realm of Edtech, and one of the many different technologies used in the industry are – you guessed it – chatbots! They can be used for a variety of situations:

  • Collecting and processing applications
  • Providing answers to most frequently asked questions for both students and teachers
  • As an information board for notifying students of schedule changes, extra-curricular activities, timetables, and other announcements
  • Access to study guides, ebooks, and other learning materials
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