Back in the day, the mantra “build it and they will come” strategy reigned supreme. The better the product, the more customers it used to attract. However, in the fast-paced, swipe-right world of 2019, the game has changed.
It isn’t just the product that intrigues the users today but also the level of engagement they can have with their favorite brands. How a brand interacts and delivers to its customers is taking precedence over what it delivers. And chatbots are starting to play a critical role in enhancing brand communications in this experience-driven world.
Businesses can use chatbots to automate a huge part of their customer communication process including customer support and marketing. Powered by emerging technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning, chatbots are changing the digital marketing game and will soon become a go-to for just about every industry across the globe.
In a recent study, Gartner predicts how companies offering personalized user experience by leveraging AI-powered interfaces such as chatbots will soon outperform competitive brands by 15%. Mike McGuire, Vice President Analyst in Gartner’s Marketing practice states, “Marketers today must strike the right balance between delivering meaningful customer experiences that differentiate their brands and focusing on providing real value to the business.”
The study further observes how AI-powered interfaces have gained popularity among leading businesses for their game-changing capabilities to digitize user experience.
AI chatbot adoption is happening across all industries and functions because of its scalability and assistance capabilities. Chatbots live inside instant messaging apps such as Slack, Skype, Cisco Spark, and Facebook Messenger platforms, with which users interact daily. This enables businesses to leverage the digital spaces that are already thriving.
These messaging platforms which support AI chatbots are a more socially acceptable form of personal interactions than social networks. While social networks still connect users with brands, messaging platforms via personalized offers, photos, videos, GIFs, memes, links, and documents create one-on-one interaction between brands and users.
AI chatbot solutions have the transformative power to provide end-to-end services ensuring continual alignment with the business objectives of different industry sectors. Whether it is retail, customer service, or hospitality, AI-powered chatbots are building an omnichannel ecosystem.
Based on the appearance, compatibility, ease-of-use, helpfulness, reviews, and ratings, we bring to you some of the best chatbots of 2019 adopted across verticals:
HDFC Bank’s EVA “Always at your service. Quick and Easy. Always learning and evolving.”
Armed with predefined conversation paths and cutting-edge technology, banking bot Eva is redefining banking experience at HDFC. Eva is built by Senseforth.ai and is considered as India’s smartest bot. It can assimilate knowledge from thousands of sources and provide answers in simple language in less than 0.4 seconds.
EVA makes it easy for users to access the right information by navigating them to the right page among the plethora of information that usually clouds banking websites. Users can access EVA through HDFC Bank’s website, mobile app, Google Assistant, Alexa and WhatsApp. This integration with multiple platforms enables EVA to address day-to-day queries of customers 24/7. The bot is also capable of performing 13 types of SMS banking transactions.
Powered by Senseforth’s disruptive technology and HDFC Bank’s deep domain expertise, EVA has a laser-sharp customer focus and constantly improves responses during customer interactions. The scalability of this banking bot ensures that it isn’t limited to responding to customer queries but can also handle real banking transactions, which would enable the bank to offer the true power of conversational banking to its customers.
Since its launch in 2017, the AI bot has addressed over 20 million queries. Eva is driving banking adoption in tier 2 and tier-3 cities and helping non tech-savvy customers adopt digital channels seamlessly. The bank handles around 300,000 queries each day from over 10,000 unique users.
Integrated into Facebook Messenger and Slack, HelloHipmunk is simplifying travel planning. It help users compare airfare of different flights and redirects them to the chosen website to complete the purchase. It functions as an assistant rather than just an agent. It doesn’t just automate the process of finding suitable flights, but also anticipates a traveler’s needs.
For instance, business trips are typically much more predictable than vacations. By anticipating travel preferences or historical travel behaviors of business travelers, it can suggest booking monthly trips ahead of time to avoid surcharge or making sure that earlier checked-in hotels appear in their search results.
HelloHipmunk travel bot, with its casual script, speed, and ease-of-use across multiple channels, helps users book travel quickly and accurately. Furthermore, it comes with visual interfaces like buttons, images, and menus which gives travelers a faster and more natural way to share details. More importantly, the bot gets what it needs — specific information it could act on.
ENO, Capital One’s Intelligent Assistant
“ENO is everywhere you are.”
Eno makes communicating with a bank as easy as texting friends and family. Users can text Eno anytime to stay on top of their Capital One accounts, pay their credit card bill, or even chat about the meaning of life!
Eno is an attempt by Capital One to take their banking services beyond the traditional point-and-click user interfaces to an open-ended conversational interface. Users can ask anything, and the conversation can go in many directions, without the constraints imposed by specific pathways defined on the screen.
Eno not only helps with balance check, recent transactions, and paying credit card bills, but also provides security by monitoring duplicate charges and sending fraud alerts. It also secures online shopping by providing a unique virtual number for each transaction.
Integrated into a mobile app, website and even a watch, Eno is a constant banking companion for Capital One’s more than one million customers. It understands users and eliminates the need to learn “bank talk” to manage finances.
What’s more surprising is that Eno is also connecting with users on an emotional level. One of the most frequent things Capital One users say to Eno is “thank you.” Need we say more?
Lark chats as a personal coach and helps users develop and nurture smart habits to gain overall fitness instead of simply counting calories and fat. This health bot advises on how to stay on track, drawing its knowledge from a database put together by a team of behavioral change experts, fitness experts, nutritionists, and sleep experts.
This AI-powered health bot tracks your activities, lifestyle choices, food habits, and meal patterns and offers comprehensive health solutions, meal plans, workout routines, and sleeping habits. Also, it leverages its AI capabilities to help its users monitor and manage some of the most fiscally crushing chronic diseases.
What works best is that Lark interacts with users in a way that they feel someone is looking after them instead of simply answering health-related queries. Integrated into a mobile app, Lark helps its users on their journey to physical welfare through data tracking, positive reinforcement, and nudging.
There are a lot of ways to connect to customers digitally - smartphones, wearables, vehicles, devices, social media, email, WhatsApp, SMS, Alexa, Cortana, Siri, or Kik. A chatbot, powered by AI, is a vehicle to cross all the channels with an intelligent, context-aware and conversational interface.
Integrated into multiple platforms and devices, intelligent chatbots can bring brands closer to their customers like never before. Businesses can not only improve the quality of engagements but also leverage analytics to understand their customers’ pain points. This, in turn, can help businesses optimize chatbot conversations and drive lead generation. These smart bots implemented in almost all verticals today hold the key to an omnichannel ecosystem in which businesses can thrive.