During this global pandemic, the adoption of chatbot technology is accelerating rapidly. Not only are chatbots being used to take the pressure off businesses in the private sector, they are also starting to be adopted by organisations in the public sector. The World Health Organisation (WHO) is one of the many governmental organisations utilising a chatbot to provide accurate and timely information to billions about the coronavirus and its symptoms. Similarly, in the healthcare industry, chatbots are alleviating a tremendous amount of pressure on national health services by offering accurate diagnoses and tips for recovery.
As companies around the world are forced to adjust to the new normal, a chatbot can offer a quick and scalable solution to managing surges in customer contact. In the UK, the UK Government has issued guidance on how to effectively deploy chatbots. A sign that the Conversational AI market is coming of age and now a fundamental customer contact channel. Here are some of the areas where a chatbot can make a huge difference.
Health advice & government announcements
Throughout the world, healthcare systems are being stretched to their limits. To help ease the strain on keyworkers, chatbots are being used by various health organisations and government agencies to provide instant online advice and diagnoses to users, at any hour of the day. They are also being used in hospitals as screening tools to quickly assess patients and determine the likelihood of infection. This means doctors and nurses become less inundated with lengthy paper forms, allowing them to devote more time to the more high-priority tasks.
In France, CX Company has recently launched a COVID-19 self-diagnosis bot for the French government. Built in partnership with STUDIA, the bot is regularly updated to reflect new announcements declared by the High Authority of Health, resulting in timely and accurate information being shared with users.
Helping to onboard new workers
Amid surges in demand across various sectors, businesses have been forced to hire thousands of new workers to alleviate some of the pressure. With restrictions in place regarding face-to-face contact, businesses are having to find new ways to train new employees. More often than not, new recruits are being left thrown in at the deep end, with little or inadequate training.
A chatbot can support your new recruits in various ways. For example, a chatbot can be used as a tool for call agents to quickly find an answer when they are unsure of the answer to give. In contact centres we rely on grad bays and buddying new staff with more experienced members of the team. Replicating this is hard, but deploying a Chatbot as a virtual floorwalker is a great way to support staff. It also helps you learn where individual agents may need more formal coaching and training.
The customer no longer must be put on hold while the agent calls up another colleague to search for an answer, and that results in a large reduction in your average handling time and a vastly improved customer experience.
With a sudden shift away from brick-and-mortar stores, retailers have an even greater expectation to deliver a great online customer experience. Customer service teams are under an immense amount of pressure to handle these surges in online shopping demand, while also trying to adjust to remote working. Traditional bricks and mortar retailers are now embracing online shopping at scale.
A chatbot can be easily deployed to answer questions which customers frequently ask, which means your customer service agents have more time to focus on the more complex, emotive enquires.
But that’s not the only use of a chatbot. Establishing brand trust and maintaining brand loyalty is key, and that can easily be achieved through personalisation. Just because you offer more automation doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice on personalisation. With a chatbot, you can hook into your back-end systems to retrieve the data you need to tailor your messages at scale. That could be something as simple as pulling out the customers previous purchase details to suggest similar products which might be of interest, then suggesting these products to the customer in the form of a proactive notification in the bot.
Claims & refunds
While almost every industry has been hard hit by the coronavirus, the travel industry is one that is experiencing record losses. In the USA, this slump in travel is estimated to cause a $910 billion hit to the US economy.
With a huge surge in cancellations and claims, a chatbot can alleviate a tremendous amount of pressure off a shrinking workforce. Once integrated with your bank-end systems, a chatbot can handle the entire claims process and automate refund requests.
Managing bookings and reservations
During Covid-19 we have seen multi-year digital transformations put on hold in favour of agile solutions with fast ROI. This reaction has meant that the focus has shifted to Chatbot platforms which are simple to deploy, easy to maintain, whilst at the same time delivering enterprise grade security and sophisticated Machine Learning functionality.
However, what we have also seen are rushed deployments with inadequate technologies, often free FAQ bots, which just fuel customer frustration and undermine trust in a brand. The need to move at haste does not mean you have to compromise on functionality.
Customer’s understand that contact centres are busy and that wait times maybe longer. They are also willing to try new digital contact channels to get their job done. A poorly deployed chatbot offering a thin veneer of service will undermine you and the brand and annoy customers. Importantly you have lost their hearts and minds when it comes to engaging with your bots in the future. Therefore delaying, potentially forever, the long-heralded shift to increase digital engagement. Is it really worth the risk?
At CX Company, we’re here to help you get through these turbulent times. If you have a use case in mind that you think we can help you with, then get in touch!