Just like many other innovative technologies, chatbots only get more popular. They’re implemented across different industries and a variety of business functions to offer better customer or employee experience. They’re so top of mind for leaders that, according to research:
“Fifty-six percent say conversational bots are driving disruption in their industry, and 43 percent report their competitors are already implementing the technology.”
Before we dive into specific industries, let’s take a look at important chatbot use cases for business as a whole (especially customer service chatbot use cases).
Research shows what customers usually expect chatbots to do:
So, based on customer expectations and current technology, here are 15 chatbot use cases:
Learn more about chatbots in customer support.
Here’s more about sales chatbot use cases.
This list is not exhaustive, as chatbots are becoming more and more versatile and capable via AI (e.g. Natural Language Processing).
Now, let’s see how each of these use cases apply to different industries.
If you’re curious about how companies like yours implement these virtual assistants, here are the most common chatbot use cases broken down by industry. Skip to your industry if you want to:
(We recently wrote about chatbots in education, too.)
Chatbots are important in the banking industry – an industry traditionally struggling to offer high-quality online services (especially with the advent of fintech). According to a survey of 1,000 consumers in 2018, users are already sold on using chatbots for banking issues:
“Two thirds of those surveyed felt that an AI-powered chatbot would be useful in assisting them and 44 percent would rather communicate with a [reliable] chatbot than a real person.”
A chatbot can support a bank’s digitization efforts while benefiting employees and creating cost reductions. Sixty-four percent of agents supported by AI chatbots are able to spend most of their time solving complex problems, versus fifty percent of agents without this support. Reducing lines at bank branches is a benefit, too.
Chatbots can deliver cost savings of over $8 billion per year by 2022 in the banking and healthcare sectors.
Here are potential use cases for chatbots in banking:
The telecommunications industry has some work to do to improve its customer experience. According to a study, telco placed last among industries for meeting customer needs.
Telecommunication companies may have many thousands of customers at any given time. If even a small percentage of these customers call in with questions or issues, the company’s contact center can be quickly overwhelmed and waiting times skyrocket. Not to mention having to service the visitors who are not yet customers, but who express interest in buying.
Chatbots are a good way to help address customer problems in these cases as they can help reduce wait times and triage customer needs. Also, chatbots enable telecom companies to provide support to their customers around the clock, helping them prioritize opportunities for growth or great customer service.
Here are some common chatbot use cases in telecom companies:
With so much purchasing activity increasingly online, in-store retailers understand that going digital will help them compete with ecommerce businesses. Equipping physical shops with online services helps retailers create faster and smoother customer experiences.
Especially in cases like the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, employing chatbots, along with other online services, is a good way to connect to your customers and keep them engaged. For example, companies like furniture retailer Dufresne have brought their showrooms online and powered their services with chatbots, video chat, and more.
Here are some common chatbot use cases for retail:
Customer experience in the insurance industry is very important. One reason is that for many, insurance is a “necessary evil”, not something they enjoy dealing with. Also, insurers are facing competition from companies outside their industry like banks and online service providers. As research by Accenture shows, the results of this are interesting:
So, along with other strategies to improve customer experience in insurance, especially live chat, chatbots can be a big help.
Here are common chatbot use cases in the insurance industry:
In ecommerce, all sales, customer service, and marketing happens online. This is why having a chatbot is a no-brainer – your customers will spend a great part of their purchasing process navigating your site or connecting with your brand in messaging apps.
That’s led many ecommerce businesses, like eBay, Nike and Sephora, to deploy chatbots on apps like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Kik and WeChat. According to HubSpot research, the vast majority of people are open to interacting with chatbots for a variety of reasons and 47 percent of consumers would buy items from a chatbot.
Here are some common chatbot use cases for ecommerce:
Chatbots are most popular in healthcare compared to other industries. With good reason, as we said in the banking industry section, chatbots can deliver cost savings of over $8 billion per year by 2022 in the banking and healthcare sectors.
Chatbots save time in an industry where time is often literally a matter of life and death. Clinic or hospital contact centers don’t get overwhelmed with basic queries, and patients can get quick answers about topics that worry them. Also, chatbots can help smooth over healthcare operations by ensuring healthcare workers and patients have all the information they need when they need it.
Here are common use cases of chatbots in healthcare:
“I just love dealing with government services!” – said no one ever. Bureaucracy has a bad rap all over the globe, and government agencies consistently underperform in customer satisfaction, according to a McKinsey article. The same article reports that dissatisfied customers are “more likely to contact agency hotlines three or more times, thus straining resources and budgets.”
The importance of customer experience in the public sector is highlighted by the Office of Management and Budget which urged government agencies to focus on customer experience and improve service.
So, one way to provide a better experience and relieve the impact of budget constraints is – you guessed it – chatbots. They can help ease government phone lines and keep them available for the most serious cases. They also save people time and effort, either because they don’t have to wait for a government employee to answer the phone, or because they don’t spend time looking through vast public records.
Here are some common chatbot use cases in government:
Implementing HR chatbots isn’t very widespread, but it’s gaining traction.
This is because many companies realize that their HR department receives lots of repetitive requests or questions from employees that could be easily handled automatically. A chatbot can provide answers faster than a busy HR professional and thus improve the employee experience. The HR professional would then also be freed up to handle strategic initiatives instead.
Here are some HR chatbot use cases:
Chatbots have different levels of adoption among different industries. One thing is for sure, though; they’re here to stay and evolve. According to an article in the Verge, Ray Kurzweil, futurist and Director of Engineering at Google, predicts that bots will become steadily smarter:
“If you think you can have a meaningful conversation with a human, you’ll be able to have a meaningful conversation with an AI in 2029.
The future holds great things for virtual assistants. Implementing them now will give you ample time to test their abilities and integrate them properly into your customer experience strategies.
Nikoletta is a Content Specialist at Acquire. She's a writer and editor with an avid interest in data, tech, communication, and the customer journey.