Sometimes chatbots receive a bad reputation for being a lazy replacement for customer service when really, they’re a great tool that more and more businesses are beginning to integrate with.
Now, two new industries — healthcare and banking — are poised to become the next big adopters of chatbots. Why these industries? Keep reading to find out.
Who Uses Chatbots Now?
Chatbots have evolved beyond the basic call and response programming you’ve seen since the heydays of AOL back in the 1990s. So, now that we’re halfway through 2017, who is currently using chatbots within their business practices?
Sales — 1800Flowers was one of the first companies to use chatbots for direct sales. You can browse and purchase your flowers without ever talking to a person or even visiting the website.
News — Many apps like the Wall Street Journal and CNN rely on chatbots to help users customize their news viewing experience and daily updates. There are also apps, like Line and Quartz, specifically designed to help you get your daily news via conversational interface.
Travel — Chatbots such as, KAYAK, SnapTravel, Skyscanner, and more are used as your personal travel assistant to get prices, book fights and keep yourself updated on changing the weather and other things that might affect your travel.
Chatbots might not fully replace human customer service for solving problems (well, anytime soon), but they can quickly become an invaluable tool for frequently asked questions or basic tasks like communication.
Chatbots in Healthcare
You might not think about asking a chatbot a healthcare-related question, but as it turns out, healthcare is one of the biggest growing chatbot markets in the world. You’re not going to get prescriptions or diagnosis from a chatbot, but for common questions or even locating patients or medical professionals, chatbots could easily find their way into a medical practice.
Instead of paging someone over an intercom, a chatbot could be integrated with a real-time location system (RTLS), enabling you to ask the chatbot where they are. The RTLS could ping the person, providing you their exact location within the building. This could also be used for mobile equipment, which saves time if you need something quickly.
Chatbots in healthcare settings could potentially save these businesses upwards of $8 billion every year by the time we reach 2022. Today, in 2017, they’re already saving businesses more than $20 million, and they’re not even fully adopted yet.
Chatbots in Banking
For the average user, dealing with the bank is a time-consuming activity. Even things you can do using your bank’s mobile app, such a depositing checks or sending money. It takes a variety of steps that can have you poking at your phone’s screen for multiple minutes just to get anything done.
Banking through chatbots is infinitely faster for both the bank and the average bank customer. Why call your bank or log into a mobile portal to find out your balance when you can send a text to your bank’s chatbot with the request?
Chatbots in the banking industry are designed to handle everything from depositing checks to transferring money and answering basic questions like branch hours and ATM locations. They can even be used to prevent fraudulent transactions without having to spend 20+ minutes on the phone with your bank’s fraud department validating transactions and requesting a new card.
The biggest hurdle with these types of chatbot is ensuring the security is in check, servers need to be secure. It wouldn’t take much for a thief with a stolen phone to chat with a bank’s chatbot, but there could be some conversational security checks in place to prevent that from happening.
Chatbots are quickly becoming one of the most versatile tools of the digital age. When properly programmed, they can be invaluable tools for nearly every industry. If you spend a good portion of your day answering the same client questions, it might be worth it to invest in a conversational bot for your own business.