Between SMS and other messaging platforms such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, billions of people across the globe use some form of text messaging to communicate with one another. This has created a massive opportunity for companies to communicate with their consumers by using the applied artificial intelligence and chatbots that operate through these channels. It can already be seen in companies such as CNN, whose news chatbot is one of the most popular used by consumers, and in Adidas, which has introduced one into their customer service protocol. However, retail and news are not the only industries which can benefit from chatbots, as we explore below.
You might not immediately think of airlines and chatbots being combined, but the fact is that more and more airlines are adopting chatbots to communicate with customers. Chatbots also help the marketing team to gather basic information about the clients in order to send them promotions, deals, and newsletters.
Related: How applications of artificial intelligence can benefit the travel industry
An airline from Mexico launched a chatbot last year that, to date, has helped over 1 000 people per day to find affordable flights to and from Mexico and Latin America. The cost to operate this chatbot is much lower than having to pay employees to handle a large volume of requests, and the chatbot ‘brain’ is equipped with 500 common responses chosen from Facebook, Twitter, and telephone conversations. This makes for an efficient and easy-to-understand customer conversation.
The use of chatbots and applied artificial intelligence (AI) in the fashion and retail industry is nothing new, but fashion stores have come up with an innovative way to use chatbots. They have moved on from using chatbots as simple customer service ‘agents’ and turned them into stylists. Yes, now you can have a digital ‘personal stylist’ to help you shop!
Spring is an online fashion retailer and one of the first stores to introduce a digital assistant, which has helped people to make a purchase in less than 30 seconds. H&M’s chatbot builds a complete outfit from an item that you choose or suggests an outfit based on words typed into their search bar. Now, instead of spending hours browsing an online store, you can simply let the chatbot do the work and provide you with perfectly curated outfits based on your preferences.
The hospitality industry is highly competitive. Hotels have to keep the edge on their competition by being innovative and thinking out-of-the-box, which is where chatbots come in handy. Because hotels have to be in operation 24/7, they need 24/7 customer service which is an impossible feat with human staff.
Chatbots are available at all hours of the day, every day of the week. This can help to reduce the workload of the front desk personnel, allowing them to give customers a better experience and more attention. In fact, some hotels are already going staffless and using applied artificial intelligence with great success. Chatbots can answer questions, queries, and complaints instantly, which builds customer loyalty and will bring in return patronage. Customers can use the chatbot to personalize their rooms before they even arrive, as well as order food and book activities that take place in the hotel.
One industry that has seen immense success with chatbots, and whose success is still growing, is the food industry. Pizza chains such as Domino's have seen a significant rise in sales since implementing chatbots, and many other food chains are following suit.
The reality is that people want to be able to order food quickly, painlessly and without having to wait for the workers to (eventually) answer the phone. Domino's now sees almost 50 percent of all of its orders placed using its chatbot, which brings in about $5 billion a year in revenue. Many restaurants have taken note and have created their own chatbots. Ordering food is now quick, easy and efficient (and perfect for people who do not enjoy human interaction).
Now that you have seen the success of different industries when using chatbots, you probably want to find out how you can use this nifty little applied artificial intelligence tool for your own business. Below are some basic guidelines to follow for creating and implementing the best chatbot using Clickatell Touch to do so:
Define your goals: You’ll need to decide on what you want your chatbot to do. Do you want to create a chatbot that helps with booking a table at your restaurant, a chatbot to answer customer service questions or one to help with selling services to clients?
Choose your channel: Once you’ve decided on what you want your chatbot to do, you’ll need to choose the channel you want to operate from. This could be Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp or even your own website and mobile app.
Choose your method of creation: You can choose to use ‘ready-made’ chatbot software such as Clickatell Touch which is simple and easy to use and offers omnichannel communication across multiple channels with your customers, or you could ask your development team to create one for you. It’s a very complex process though and opting for a full solution that’s customizable and scalable to your business needs is a far better option.
Create, customize, and launch: In order to create, customize, and launch your chatbot, you’ll need to describe the algorithm of its actions, develop a database of answers, and test the work of the chatbot. Always be sure to double check the chatbot before launching it to the general public.
Chatbots are blazing the trail for business and customer interaction, and customers are loving the innovations that come with these applied artificial intelligence tools. Industries such as airlines, restaurants, and even hotels are waking up to the fact that chatbots can revolutionize their customer service. If you’re still on the fence about these handy digital helpers, read our article about why customers prefer interacting with chatbots over people.
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