Artificial intelligence (AI) has dramatically changed the business communications landscape. According to Business Insider, “80% of businesses will be using chatbots by 2020”.
The default questions many businesses ask are whether or not they can benefit from deploying a chatbot or will the return on investment (RoI) will be worthwhile?
By understanding what is a chatbot and how it works, more and more businesses are deploying bots to convert users to customers, drive sales, and improve the overall consumer experience. You can find chatbots use cases and examples across all industries and business functions such as customer service, sales, marketing, or even for internal process automation.
Here are the key use cases of how customers are getting the most out of chatbots.
Starting from streamlining the business processes to enhancing customer engagement, and increasing productivity, the following uses of chatbot will prove to leverage chatbots worthy of your business.
Top chatbots use cases and examples
Chatbots are being used across different aspects of business and have had many proven records of success. Let us comprehensively discuss the transformed alleys across different business functions and industries of sizes.
Here are 10 main categories and chatbot use cases to enhance business productivity.
Chatbot use cases for customer service
Customer service is one of the important business functions where chatbots have a great impact. “67% of consumers worldwide used a chatbot for customer support”. Chatbots can help businesses to save customer support costs and answer simple questions.
With AI chatbots, businesses can save customer support costs by speeding up response times and improve first response time that improves customer service experience significantly.
The three important chatbot use cases for customer support are:
1. Automate your web/online support
The use of chatbots to automate customer support tasks is increasing. They are not only streamlining and optimizing customer experiences at every stage in the service process but are also proving to be helpful aids to customer service representatives.
As per the State of Chatbots report,” 55% of respondents say they would most enjoy getting an instant response and answers to simple questions from a chatbot”.
What kind of support queries generally website visitors ask?
- To know more about products or services
- Technical support assistance
- Billing and pricing information
- Enquire about orders and shipping
By automating your web/online support, you can offer 24×7 real time service even when our service reps are busy or unavailable that will leave a positive impact on customers. The round the clock availability benefits to increase resolution speed that helps in reducing customer churn rate.
Conversational bots in FinTech are widely used for customer service as they can resolve basic queries instantly. Bots can deliver prompt responses and are easily scalable during peak hours to handle endless requests.
Bank of America introduced an AI-driven virtual financial assistant named Erica. The
Erica bot efficiently handled the customer service queries in various ways such as:
- Sending notifications and providing balance information
- Sharing money-saving tips and providing credit report updates
- Facilitating bill payments
- Providing personalized and proactive insights
Erica has surpassed 6,000,000 users and has serviced over 35,000,000 customer service requests.
2. Support your in-app customer support
Generally, mobile apps typically have some inbuilt FAQs built within the app. Having a bot to handle simple queries increases user engagement. It enables brands to send timely notifications and keep customers updated.
- Provide quick solutions in real time
- Personalize with interactions to create a better user experience
Let us take the example of Whole Foods, a leading health food chain that operates online as well as in brick and mortar stores. They have an interesting engagement with their customers while they deal with grocery delivery, meals, and catering. They have a chatbot that communicates with customers via Facebook Messenger.
The chatbot presents multiple options to the user for local and international cuisine based on their preferences. Users can select filters on various types of cuisines and the chatbot will provide options for the kind of recipe needed by the user.
3. Managing internal helpdesk support
AI chatbots help in accelerating the internal workforce productivity. Bots are self-learning software systems that analyze human language without any human assistance. They can help your IT help desk to boost your team productivity and drive efficiency.
Here are the key ways AI bot for your enterprise IT helpdesk needs:
- Understanding enterprise language: AI bots should be trained to understand language specific to your enterprise. They should use an Enterprise Language Model (ELM), which resembles an IT service handbook or knowledge base specific to your enterprise.
- Interactions with users: With a robust ELM, bots can operate as an AI worker or assistant. They can be trained to completely resolve service requests, or simply do some pre-processing to help a human agent resolve the ticket.
- Meet user requests: Many IT helpdesk tickets involve extracting multiple complex entities from the ticket and calling RPA (robotic process automation) to do backend functions.
Here is an example of a service request involving an FAQ knowledge base: “I need to exchange my phone”. An AI Bot would extract the intent “exchange phone” and provide the relevant support link from the enterprise’s knowledge base.
4. Collect customer feedback
The secret of every successful business is to deliver extraordinary service just the way customers want. One way they do it is by using customer feedback. It is a great source to know how you can improve your business.
But how to ask feedback from customers? Also, it is tough getting customers to participate in surveys. The possible reason behind is customers have to go to a new webpage, fill out a lengthy form, and type in answers. This could not be an effective way to conduct surveys.
Studies show that traditional surveys over emails have a 10% open rate with less than 5% completion rate in the best of cases.
Pro tip: Surveys are only for the benefit of the business, not the customers. As a business, it’s your job to make it easier for customers to provide feedback.
Chatbots are a great way to acquire customer feedback. By following the chatbot best practices, you can generate a high level of engagement, which encourages customers in completing surveys, thus creating a win-win situation for both companies and customers.
IKEA, the leading furniture brand created a chatbot called ORC to collect customer insights. They are friendly, offer incentives, use emojis and, ask qualitative & quantitative questions. They finish the session with some demographic questions like asking for an email address.
The survey highlights:
- The bot survey is less in terms of length and number of questions. It’s more about gaining insight and having a conversation with customers.
- It is easier to reply and seems simpler to reply because it is not a traditional survey. It also offers a real variety of question types and styles, whilst being conversational.
- The survey allows you to collect a lot of information in one session.
5. Confirm orders and track the shipping
After placing an order, it is obvious that customers want to stay updated about the shipping information. Traditionally, in order to know such information the process was to go through the email to get the shipping number, then to go to the company’s website, then enter the shipping number in the delivery service section.
Implementing a chatbot solution is the best way to combat the traditional process and deliver an excellent brand experience. Customers can stay updated easily just by entering the shipping id.
Zalando, a popular European fashion brand, uses chatbot technology to provide instant order tracking for its customers right after they have made a purchase. With exempts, the involvement of the customer support team and handles conversations for more complex problems.
6. Refund and exchange requests
One of the most common support FAQ reported by customers is for refunds and exchanges. Businesses should have sound refund & exchange policies to address such queries. Deploying a chatbot as a primary contact to handle such monotonous and repetitive tasks can save agents time to handle priority chats thus, increasing your team productivity.
Pro tip: You can make the option to ‘get a free refund or exchange’ visible right on the chat window.
Chatbot use cases for sales
With the help of AI chatbot, businesses can automatically ask contextually relevant questions, qualify leads, and book sales meetings, at scale. Chatbots convert 4x higher than traditional lead generation tools because people prefer conversations. Grab the opportunity to engage with your visitors 24×7, to interact, and to generate more leads.
Here are the key use cases of sales bots:
1. Lead generation
You can create exceptional conversational experiences for website visitors and qualify them at scale. Also, guide quality leads to book sales meetings with an AI chatbot that collects relevant information, proposes times, and sends booking confirmations to meeting participants.
How do chatbots help in lead generation?
- Segment your audience: Bots enable you to identify the product interests, likes, dislikes of visitors & customers, and segment them based on their response.
- Qualify leads: Bots use the sales questionnaire to convert your website visitors into potential prospects and send them to the right sales representative for further follow-up.
- Hybrid chatbot: Most of the businesses do not automate chat. The best way is to correctly balance the bot support for simple queries and human support for complex issues.
Health Tap, the leading technology company delivering a suite of connected health apps, had implemented bot to answer health-related questions.
It assures accurate virtual care by immediate access to the right doctors. It also helps doctors or clinics looking to pre-screen their appointment.
2. Lead nurturing
74% of companies consider lead nurturing to be their top priority. Businesses that try to contact potential customers within an hour of receiving queries are nearly 7 times as likely to have meaningful conversations.
If you want your qualified leads to end up with making a sale, you need to nurture them based on their journey. Apparently, nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than those who buy immediately.
For e-commerce businesses, chatbots can nurture leads by engaging customers in different ways like:
- Giving personalized product recommendations
- Suggesting the best combo offers
- Offer discount coupons to improve sales
3. Appointment booking
Chatbots are used widely for scheduling appointments for hospitality, health care, and personal services. Bots can be connected to the calendar to offer appointment slots to your visitors so they can schedule an appointment without any need of human assistance 24×7.
Leveraging chatbots to automate appointment booking help customers to book instantly from your website or Facebook page.
The key features of an appointment bot are:
- It allows visitors to self schedule
- You can collect additional information
- Send calendar invitations
- Inform the account executives about new meeting requests
4. Online orders
As per Ubisend’s report, “1 in 5 consumers would consider purchasing goods and services from a chatbot”. Be it food, electronics or apparel chatbots are prompt in handling online orders.
Chatbots for e-commerce brands are specially designed to:
- Assist customer during their purchasing journey and help them to make a quick decision
- Chatbots offer buyers product recommendations and guide them in their buying journey
- Provide real time customer support to all the FAQs.
H&M, the renowned clothing brand built a chatbot that asks users questions about their style and offers photo options for users to choose. From the collected information the bot creates a fashion profile of an individual user to make clothing suggestions and help in the direct purchases.
Chatbot use cases for marketing
The messenger marketing ecosystem has changed for many businesses using chatbots, but the goal remains the same for all i.e. instant and convenient service. 80% of businesses are expected to have some sort of chatbot automation by 2020.
There are many chatbot marketing examples and use cases that have helped businesses with meaningful conversations and generate revenue.
1. Customer engagement
Customers prefer prompt actions delivered by chatbots fueled with artificial intelligence for better customer engagement. Chatbots can engage with your customers with immediate responses and increase customer satisfaction, which makes them happy to retain your brand.
How do AI bots improve customer engagement?
- Chatbots are best for customers who expect an instant response, typically less than 30 seconds.
- AI bots are active 24×7 to engage customers to handle information-based questions and reduce support tickets.
- Chatbots are easily scalable during the busy hours to engage customers and deliver better customer experience.
Let’s see how Emirates Vacations deployed chatbots for boosting customer engagement.
Considering the average CTR for display ads is low with.35%, Emirates Vacations built a chatbot within its display ads. The company targets different visuals and bot sequences based on the page someone’s browsing. The engagement rates rose 87% since deployment.
Pro tip: Keep the focus on your user’s goal and use the right messages based on your user’s journey.
Browsing multiple portals for news updates is really time-consuming. With chatbots, you save time by getting curated news and headlines right inside your messenger.
Many popular news portals and television networks introduced chatbot services. Chatbots inform people about breaking news and recommend top stories to read. CNN was one of the first news businesses to build a bot on Facebook Messenger platform.
By using the CNN bot, you can choose to read the top stories topic. When you choose the stories you like, the bot gets smarter about your preferences and what you want to read.
3. Product recommendations
Amazon is a prime example of a brand that implements product recommendations and does it so well that it generates 35% of its revenue through its recommendation engine.
If you want your customers to proceed to the final stage of the sales funnel, it is vital to clarify their queries, understand their preferences, guide them and recommend them the best option accordingly in their buying journey.
How do bots give product suggestions?
With chatbots, you can track your customer journey to their interests, preferences, and needs. Based on those elements you can recommend products or services they are looking for.
E-commerce, fashion, and the beauty industry are where product recommendations are much needed.
Chatbot technology has given a new makeover to the beauty industry. Bloom Avenue’s Olivia, Facebook Messenger chatbot is the best example. Olivia is a user-facing chatbot that asks a series of skin-related questions, and then recommends the right skincare products for each user.
4. Chatbot use cases for social media
Isn’t it vital we believe to engage with customers where they are?
With an increase in messenger platforms for business, one of the most important channels is social. As per Business Insider report, “Consumers choose the main four social networks – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn”.
Chatbots significantly boost user engagement on these popular social websites and communicate with customers through live chat platforms like Facebook Messenger. Chatbots Magazine says, “Chatbots are taking over social media marketing as they allow consumers to engage with them in terms of customer service, and transactional engagements”.
Lyft accepts ride requests via chat Facebook Messenger and Slack. The chatbot helps you to know the current location of your driver and show you a picture of the license plate and car model.
5. Messaging Apps
The global chatbot market is expected to reach $1.23 billion by 2025 with a compounding annual growth rate of 24.3%.
Conversational commerce is more preferred over traditional ways. With the ever-increasing popularity of messaging, chatbots are now the center of business messaging. This concept encourages buyers to be more ready and willing than ever to shop online with bots.
The report says consumers prefer using the main four messaging apps — Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, WeChat, Viber.
Source: Business Insider
Here is how messaging platforms with chatbot capabilities can help businesses.
- Customers prefer brands offering bot support. 47% of users are open to purchasing items through a bot.
- Chatbots can engage customers by answering their simple queries when the support team is busy or not available.
Book my show, the leading online booking app, has integrated WhatsApp for Business to send ticket confirmations as WhatsApp messages by default. The users who book tickets on BookMyShow will be notified through a WhatsApp message along with the confirmation text or an M-ticket (mobile ticket) QR Code.
6. Human resources
Like every superhero has some special power for the workforce of the future, that power could be chatbots – What do you think?
Human Capital Trends report found that only 17% of global HR executives are ready to manage a workforce with people, robots, and AI working side by side.
Recruitment is an important part of HR activity. With chatbots, the tasks can be handled seamlessly. Mya, the AI recruiting assistant for example manages large candidate pools, giving FirstJob recruiters and hiring managers more time to focus on interviews and closing offers.
How does Mya do that?
- Mya can chat to many candidates simultaneously via SMS, Facebook, Skype, email, or chat
- It asks to prescreen questions, responds to FAQs, delivers application progress updates, gives tips and guidance, sends alert to the candidates, and administers assessments & challenges
- It provides vital information for recruiters and managers, ranking candidates on factors like experience, recent activity, engagement, and other metrics.
7. Personal services
Fitness apps can be helpful for individuals who don’t mind the extra engagement with the app itself. But not all the applications have the headspace to stay engaged with apps and consistently put in personal fitness information, diets, or design workout plans.
Chatbots can be used to streamline your personal services such as fitness, diet, health, or day to day activities. Every fitness goal requires a different set of workout plan and nutrition diet to be followed.
FitBot is the way trainers communicate with clients, both onsite and remote coaching. As per research, the participants who used the chatbot were 26% more likely to meet or exceed personal fitness goals compared to participants that didn’t use the technology.
Here is how fitness chatbot helped customers.
- The chatbot helped the participants to stay consistent with their workout routine and also use the bot for a variety of other physical activities.
- A chatbot can help to replicate an accountability partner who sends out engaging push notifications at specific days like a personal fitness trainer.
- Bots can also provide personalized workout and diet recommendations based on the data entered by users like their height, weight, fitness goals, etc.
8. Voice chatbots
As per Accenture research “Digital consumers prefer messaging platforms that have a voice and text-based interfaces”.
Conversational bots use artificial intelligence (AI) to assist users over both text or voice. Voice chatbots are all about facilitating your users with a seamless experience with your business.
Here are the key reasons why voice bots are being popular.
- Voice bots engage customers with automated, intelligence-based communication.
- You can provide reliable data insights to your customers with voice-enabled chatbots.
- They offer personalized solutions to customer requests.
9. User retention
Chatbots are one of the best tools to improve user retention by managing customer service issues in a timely, efficient manner and upselling & cross-selling relevant products and services. 34% of customers returned to the business within 30 days after iterating with the bot.
Customers prefer brands that respond to customers’ queries immediately round the clock. Implementing chatbot technology can be one of the best customer retention strategies and significantly and also increases customer lifetime value (CLTV).
10. Chabot use cases across different industries
Chatbots that come with different abilities and fulfill a different purpose in each industry. Different types of chatbots can be used for different businesses, from those that deal with simple requests, to those that handle advanced queries.
Here are some use cases for different industries and examples of how they have been deployed.
- Financial services: 50% of financial services companies working on a chatbot project. By using the chatbot services, customers can perform tasks such as checking account balances, transferring money to other accounts, and alerting the bank to lost credit and debit cards.
- Real estate: Real estate is a relationship-oriented industry by nature. Chatbots can’t replace that client-agent relationship, but they can replace agents in answering general real estate questions. Holmes is the real estate chatbot that uses AI to answer customer queries in real time.
- Travel: Travel and tourism industry witness more international customers willing to do business. One of the problems with the travel business is catering 24×7 support. Chatbot, allows you to handle customer queries and generate leads around the clock. Hello Hipmunk is a completely free and helpful bot that does all the work for you.
- Food services: The food industry is one of the industries that has experienced the most success with chatbots. Pizza chains have been among the most prolific adopters of chatbot technology. Domino’s is the first major brand to launch a chatbot on Facebook Messenger and generates nearly $5bn a year.
- Airlines: Many airlines are embracing chatbots to help their customers answer common questions and obtain basic information about their flights. Aeroméxico launched their chatbot to serve 1,000 customers per day.
- Entertainment: People use FB Messenger via phone every day, which is why Messenger chatbot games were developed. The most followed chatbot game is MojiHunt. It was followed by more than 20 000 users.
- Legal services: Analyzing documents is a time-consuming process in the legal industry. JP Morgan Chase launched COIN bot to manage its back-office operations. It can analyze complex contracts quicker and more proficient than human lawyers.
- Railways: IRCTC is aimed at facilitating accessibility by answering users’ queries pertaining to various services offered to railway passengers. They launched AI-powered voice-enabled ASKDISHA chatbot o converse with customers in the Hindi language.
Chatbots use cases: what the future holds?
Chatbots augments customer experience without replacing it. Bots have been used widely across different business functions like customer service, sales, and marketing. With bots becoming smarter, there will be new avenues where we can see more chatbot use cases for making the customer communication process seamless in startups as well as enterprises.
However, it is assumed that the use cases of chatbots will grow even more that it will:
- Be as efficient as human support by using predictive and sentiment analysis.
- Be able to provide solutions to complex queries without escalating for human assistance.