Chat bots or chat engine are an efficient way of communicating with the end consumer. Towards the last few years, chat bots or chat engine has become popular with many B2C establishments – ecommerce shops, Banks, insurance, health care services, online retail
etc. Each of these chat engines provide unique features while responding to the customer queries and has the advantage of being available on a 24x7 basis. Most of the organizations have built this engine in such a way that the routine queries which one ideally
would have placed through a typical call centre/IVR gets routed through the chat engine which are integrated with the organization website. This ensures that the people are always connected with the establishment and few queries can be easily clarified rather
than waiting for a person to be available.
The chat engines are designed to provide greetings upfront to the consumer, accessible 24x7 and can respond to routine queries fast. In today’s world, a chat bot and a website is essential for the establishment to popularize the company, inform the technology
superiority, innovation and establishing connection with the end consumer .Most of the chat bots are fed with a predefined and calibrated simple questionnaire which are most likely /popular to be asked by the end consumer.
There are many types of chat bots available which can provide support, transactional, behavior analytics and information services. While most organizations design chatbot for responding to customer queries, a few banking/financial services have enabled bots
for transaction processing while adhering to regulations and security protocols. There are chatbots embedded with Artificial Intelligence/Machine learning algorithm and natural language processing , but some of the organizations have used only conventional
ones for responding to routine/repetitive query. In addition, there are assisted chatbots and unassisted chat bots which means that unassisted works in an automated manner and assisted chatbot works in a semiautomated way- workflows ensuring that the requests
are integrated and routed to a human interface in a seamless manner wherever required. Chatbots providing navigation/guidance for a consumer during the consumer lifecycle journey has evolved and is being rolled out by multiple financial institutions. The chatbots
have evolved during the last decade and their application across multiple industries is widespread and over a period of time, has been able to provide automation.
Though chatbots have evolved and few of the experiences were good, there are multiple occasions where they were not able to provide the right information. For some companies it is just a tick mark to have the chat enabled as most of the queries are either
not responded properly or referred to an online number for clarification. It is also essential to have chat and human interface so that once it is referred, the end user did not have to re-start and repeat the query . However, it may not be possible that the
human interface is available always, which is a challenge.
During Covid times, when organizations are redesigning customer experience, it is essential that the chatbot experience is reimagined by the establishment. There are online medical shops, consultation services, banking services where speed and accuracy is
essential and it is important that a chatbot is providing the direction to the end consumer at odd hours with AI/ML and analytics built in. The speed and efficiency in which chatbots can guide the end consumers for financial inputs, medical inputs can lead
the way forward in uncertain times.
To conclude, chatbots can play an important role in customer communication and responding to queries, if used effectively. A chatbot with artificial intelligence and machine learning will ensure that the proper responses based on multiple parameters are
used- predefined questionnaire, repetitive questions, behavior analysis, data from multiple sources, which can improve customer experience and can reduce the turnaround time for responding to the queries. There are instances where consumer is desperate to
get the information at odd hours and these chatbots can be useful in many ways. The conventional game of using the chatbot for the sake of providing a service will not effectively work in the long run and the effort incurred in redesigning the experience and
building analytics/AI/NLP will ensure better customer service, satisfied customers and increase in business. In the modern world, these chatbots can become our digital companions and need not be restricted to only business conversations but can be used for
day to day interactions which can lighten up the mood of the individual, enrich and broaden the knowledge as the case may be. The acceleration of digitization is paving the way for a matured chatbot which can help the human beings in multiple industries in
multiple facets of life.