Last week we published our first installment of Bots for Business, our industry use-case analysis for chatbots. In this two-part series, we’re revealing a variety of ways businesses can enlist the functionality of chatbots to improve efficiency and reduce costs. In part 2 we cover chatbot use cases for businesses in the financial services, healthcare, airlines & travel, and telecom industries.
Let’s get started…
The financial services sector is an industry built upon privacy and security. As such, any new technology must meet certain guidelines before it’s used with the masses.
Thankfully, the technology exists to make ensure communication via chatbots and messaging is not only private but safe and secure, too.
In the examples below, the user’s card is denied and then reactivated after a quick verification process using a pre-determined 4-digit PIN. This gateway functionality means customers can have direct access to their security settings and can reactivate the card on the spot, avoiding the usual headaches.
Chatbots are used in this scenario, but it’s important to note that if the customer service inquiry requires the nuances of a human agent, the conversation can quickly be re-routed to a human for fast resolution.
Drive New Revenue
Within the financial services industry, there is also the opportunity to drive revenue by upselling or cross-promoting products. The use case below left explores this scenario. These revenue driving conversations can be started proactively by the bot or programmed to start at a specific time – such as when a contract is up for renewal.
Wire Money Transfer
There’s also the opportunity to make wire transfers that much easier by using decision trees and simple prompts to enter the relevant information of the recipients. A well-designed chatbot can make this process a breeze, see below right.
Not unlike the financial services industry, technology in the healthcare space must adhere to security and privacy standards. In addition, patient confidentiality and HIPAA compliance are major determining factors whether bots are appropriate.
Bookings & Appointments
Embedding chatbots with calendars and scheduling functionality can improve the efficiency of booking appointments with doctors, as showcased in the use case below left.
Billing & Invoices
The use case below (middle) explores how invoices can be paid using a simple decision tree flow. This lets customers use saved payment methods or upload new options for quick processing. Furthermore, with the ability for bots to pull rich media into the conversation, users can keep track and store receipts and records for future reference.
There’s also the opportunity to educate patients and customers using chatbots, as seen in the use below right. Using rich media and simple text commands, chatbots can deliver content that’s contextual and, to some degree, personalized.
This strategy helps healthcare providers strengthen their connection with customers and patients by shifting from purely transactional relationships into informative, value-rich interactions.
AIRLINES & TRAVEL
Airlines often the subject of poor customer service stories. From the mismanagement of flight changes to overbooked flights, airlines have a long history of letting passengers down with poor communication.
Changing flights and managing reservations are the obvious use cases for chatbots in the airlines and travel sector. These can be easily managed through text-based conversations and eliminate hold times for customers, making for a better overall experience.
Traditionally, travelers are required to login into their account via website, or consult an e-ticket for a contact number or email address for customer service. A chatbot reduces the friction associated with seeking customer service and, using payment processing technology, can adjust the reservation within the message stream.
Chatbots programmed to deliver content that promotes travel and provides travel inspiration is also a potential strategy airline companies can use to drive revenue and acquire customers. These bots can be designed to mimic the experience of the CNN news bot that spills out a range of articles based on input from the user.
In the above use case, the chatbot analyzes the conversation and distributes relevant articles based on specific keywords. However, airlines interested in this route need to be mindful of producing a bot that’s overly spammy and annoying for the user.
We’ve all got horror stories of contacting customer service departments at telecom companies. In fact, telecom companies feature regularly on lists of the worst customer service reputations. Whether it’s long hold times, interdepartmental transfers, unanswered emails or no service at all, customer experiences with telecom companies have traditionally been poor. Chatbots could offer the solution to turn this around.
Account & Billing Inquiries
Settling outstanding invoices is easy with chatbots, thanks to one-click payment processing. In addition, if customers have questions regarding any part of the bill or payment process they can ask them without ever leaving the messaging stream.
Chatbots can also be used in conjunction with live agents to ensure all customer inquiries, no matter how unique or difficult, are resolved efficiently. This strategy provides an extra layer of service for customers and is particularly appropriate for the telecom industry with traditionally poor service ratings.
Upsell & Cross-Sell Opportunities
Chatbots allow brands to engage in conversations with customers, these conversations can be leveraged to drive revenue through sales and cross-selling. As seen in the above example, informing customers that they’re eligible for device or plan upgrades is easy and seamless through a conversational interface.
Telecom companies traditionally struggle with delivering satisfying customer service. When it comes to technical support, customers are already frustrated enough, so it makes sense to ensure their issues are resolved quickly and easily. And given that the majority of customer inquiries will likely require the same, repetitive answers from a support agent, there are significant inefficiencies in the current model.
Chatbots effectively eliminate the need for people to call customer support for the vast majority of issues. By programming chatbots to handle the repetitive inquiries, live agents can be reserved for the issues that demand a more personalized walk-through. This combination speeds up the process for the customer while improving operational efficiencies for the business.
Bots for business
As you can see there are a variety of use cases for chatbots. Businesses across a wide spectrum of industries can benefit from automation. Contact us today for customer solutions and ideas on how you can improve customer communication with the help of bots.
That wraps part 2 of our industry guide to chatbots. We’ll cover more industries and use cases in the coming months but in the meantime are there any use cases you think we missed that should be included? Leave your thoughts below in the comments section.