Posted by Chris Schroeder on 14 Nov 2018
1 million Bank of America customers used its chatbot within 3 months of its launch. Bank of America and other Financial Institutions are investing in chatbots because they improve the digital experience and can reduce costs. Some Financial Institutions hire large staffs to develop their chatbots in-house while others outsource development to third parties, often with no upfront costs.
Wide use by consumers
Chatbots are predicted to be widely adopted by consumers because of their ease of use. Chatbots allow customers to simply say what they want in their own words and process those words using natural language processing. Natural language processing is made possible by artificial intelligence and machine learning, making it more flexible and user-friendly than other self-service technologies. Chatbots can facilitate many tasks including transferring funds, paying bills, and answering questions.
Broad deployment by companies
Because of the improved digital experience, organizations are predicted to widely deploy chatbots. A survey by Business Insider found that 80 percent of large organizations will incorporate chatbots by 2020. And Gartner Inc. predicts that 25 percent of all customer service and support operations will integrate chatbots by 2020. Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella, said, "Pretty much everyone today who's building applications, whether desktop apps, mobile apps, or websites, will build bots as the new interface.”
Chatbots are available through many channels
Chatbots can be deployed via many channels, allowing companies to meet their customers where they are. Interfaces include voice assistants, Facebook Messenger, the web, and other channels.
1. Voice assistants
Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant allow customers to interact via voice commands. For example, a user can set a timer, check the weather, and pay a bill all while cooking dinner.
2. Facebook Messenger
One of the most popular chatbot platforms is Facebook Messenger. There are an estimated 300,000 chatbots on Messenger, handling 8 billion messages monthly between businesses and consumers. For example, a $2B Credit Union is launching a chatbot on Facebook Messenger that handles basic banking functions, bill pay, and customer service questions. Their key goals are to reduce call center volume and improve the customer experience. In addition, Facebook provides access to a wide range of consumers, with 82 percent of 18 to 29-year-old Americans having a Facebook account and 79 percent of 30 to 49-year-olds.
3. The web
A $3B Credit Union plans to offer a chatbot on its homepage. It will simply be a box with the question, “How may I help you?” It will answer customer service questions, send bill due alerts, take payments, transfer funds, and more.
4. Other channels
Chatbot technology can be deployed using just about any user interface. Anticipated channels include the native text capability of mobile phones, interactive voice response (IVR) systems, and other emerging channels.
Chatbots are expected to be widely deployed by companies and heavily used by consumers. They are easier to use than other self-service options because they respond to natural language. Chatbots are also available via many user interfaces, enabling Financial Institutions to meet their customers where they are. Expected benefits include an improved digital experience, increased self-service adoption, lower costs, higher customer satisfaction, and better rates of customer retention. Is it time for your organization to consider a chatbot?
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