Chatbots have grown in popularity in recent years. But finding applications for chatbots for business professionals might be challenging. This makes deriving a competitive advantage from chatbots might be difficult.
Thus, in this article we highlight 37 chatbot applications for businesses from different industries.
Note: We have divided the article into two halves of reactive and proactive. Reactive refers to the use cases where the chatbot interacts with the user after having been triggered, such as for customer support or product suggestion. Proactive refers to when the chatbot initiates a conversation with a user without the latter’s initiation, such as reminding them of a software update, or sending a reminder.
The first priority of any brand is to satisfy the customers that reach out to them. Customers reaching your page, app, or website have needs that should be met.
1- Customer Support
Your customer may be browsing in a fast manner but not completing any actions. Or their online behavior may not fit patterns you observe with other customers. These are good clues that the customer may need support which can be offered by your chatbot.
2- Suggest products
Search results, personalized merchandising, and recommendations can help your customer find specific products. However, when your customers’ online activity indicates a willingness to buy, but is yet to make a purchase, it may be a good time to probe what the customer is exactly looking for.
A conversational interface allows you to ask probing questions and understand your customers’ intent better.
3- Offer discounts
Your customer may be looking for a better price because they believe they qualify for a discount.
The chatbot can access their purchase history and previous interactions with the brand to determine if they actually qualify for a discount, and then to offer them one.
4- Prevent churn
Churn prediction is one of the most important use cases for subscription based industries. Understanding the reasons for churn and making churn- reducing-offers are a good fit for conversational interfaces.
5- Qualifying leads
A significant portion of leads to car dealers come from online channels. Therefore conversion optimization is crucial for automotive companies. As a result, automotive companies are using chatbots like Kia’s Kian which can answer customers’ complex questions and dramatically increase conversions.
Chatbots can add a new layer of interactivity to e-commerce, allowing customers to interact beyond menus and buttons. Major use cases of chatbots in e-commerce are:
- 6- Set price alerts: Bots that give price alerts can notify the customer when there is a price change, beyond an established threshold, by scraping vendors’ prices online.
- 7- Order goods: Users can use the chatbot to place orders for the goods they want, as opposed to manually navigating through different web pages.
- 8- Buy gifts: The chatbot can ask the person for whom they are looking to buy a gift, and then ask follow up questions about the recipient, such as their age, gender, favorite color, favorite TV show, etc. to offer personalized recommendation.
- 9- Reserve services: Especially in the restaurant industry chatbots can be used for patrons to reserve their seats for a more streamlined dining experience and less waiting times.
- 10- Track orders: Order tracking, which is one of the most common features of e-commerce platforms, can be done quickly via chatbots. Tars provides a chatbot solution for payment and order tracking by integrating on e-commerce websites.
All the way from booking travel to solving travel-related problems, travel chatbots have the potential to help. New ventures like Instalocate are already making money by solving people’s travel-related problems.
11- Vacation planning: While most parts of travel bookings are already self-service, it is time-consuming to plan a vacation. Travelers need to discover the sights and experiences they would be interested in, plan an itinerary, pick hotels to stay in based on numerous criteria from kid-friendliness to location. While these tasks are frustrating for travelers, clever chatbots can make them much more pleasant experiences.
12- Reservations: Text-based reservation systems can be easier to use and can complement your online reservation systems. Mariott International’s chatbot is already a growing channel for reservations.
13- Queries & complaints: Chatbots can ask the customer for their feedback and level of satisfaction with both the service/product that was provided, as well as the functionality of the chatbot itself. The comments, complaints, and suggestions can then be logged and studied for identifying areas where improvements could be made.
- 14- Information service: Most banking chatbots are capable of informing users about their balances, recent transactions, credit card payment dates, limits and so on.
- 15- Investment management: Robo-advisors are getting smarter everyday and will soon serve as the first level of advisor for most non-affluent customers.
- 16- Credit applications: Just as robo-advisor chatbots are taking over investment advisors, chatbots are also capable of collecting necessary data for credit decisions
- 17- Money transfer: Chatbots can easily handle money transfers via SMS, Facebook messenger or other popular chat platforms. Western Union has a money transfer bot that enables money transfer requests through Facebook Messenger.
- 18- Bill payments: BillHero is an example of a bank-agnostic mobile application and it brings bill-paying capabilities via chatbots on Facebook Messenger.
Chatbots are a great candidate for healthcare automation, for example:
- 19- Handling healthcare & insurance coverage related inquiries: Applications such as HealthJoy, HealthTap and Your.MD help customers navigate the complex healthcare landscape in the US.
- 20- Diagnosis: MedWhat and Ada Health are AI-powered chatbots that can serve as a medical assistant by gathering information via conversation with the patients. It seems chatbots are on the way to becoming the first contact point on diagnostic healthcare. After the COVID-19 outbreak, people have become more aware of the dangers of infection. Diagnostic bots, like telemedicine, facilitate remote diagnostics, reducing potential infections.
- 21- Therapy: Since therapy is almost completely text-based, it is a great area for chatbots to work in. Woebot is one of the leading chatbots, providing cognitive-behavioral therapy in the treatment of depression.
22- Reservations & handling menu related questions: Chatobook can share menus and promotions, collecting feedback.
Some of the insurance chatbot use cases include:
- 23- Agent inquiry handling: Allstate developed Allstate Business Insurance expert (ABIe) to handle questions from 12K agents. Agents inquire ABIe about policy details sales quotes.
- 24- Customer inqury handling: Allstate’s Allstate Business Insurance expert (ABIe) was expanded to serve end users as well.
News is one of the few fields where speed is as important as quality. And while bots certainly outmatch us in speed, they are also catching up to us in quality. News organizations in the US and China are already using chatbots to prepare lightning-fast news
- 25- News delivery: For example, chatbots can be built to deliver only summaries of news and sharing details as users ask about them. This can create an engaging news experience for busy individuals. CNN Facebook bot and NBC Politics both are example chatbots in news delivery and daily news summarization.
- 26- Run surveys and polls to collect public opinion: Chatbots can be deployed to collect social sentiment and public opinion on TV programs, presidential candidates, social movements, etc.
Real estate chatbots can be used for:
27- Lead qualification: Qualifying leads take significant time in B2C businesses that rely on personal contact. Chatbots such as Apartment Ocean greet potential clients and understand their level of interest, helping human agents prioritize who they will serve. Roof.AI is a chatbot platform that helps to create communication between real estate businesses and their customers via social media. It provides connecting, shortlisting and scheduling by using an AI-powered chatbot.
- Information services:
- 28- Provide simple information services like weather
- 29- Give context-dependent advice on topics like what fabric to wear, what color to wear, what shade of makeup to use, etc.
- 30- Schedule meetings
- 31- Recruiting chatbots allows the HR team to automate the communication with job applicants.
- 32- Onboarding chatbots answers new employees’ questions and facilitates the onboarding process
Proactive notifications allow your chatbot to interact with customers at critical decision points in their customer journey to increase customer satisfaction, loyalty and engagement. Most of the ideas here can be replicated by brands’ apps with notifications as well. However, bots allow companies to go one step beyond notifications and have a conversation with the customer.
- 33- Product related reminders: From hospitals to SAAS companies, all products generate reminders. Chatbots gives you a new channel to reach your customers at the right time.
- 34- Feature notifications: Notifying customers of new features or UX changes your customer would be interested in. Especially if you have a customer-driven feature development queue, this allows die-hard fans of certain features to immediately learn about them.
- 35- Updates: Depending on your industry, your customers may be looking at you as a source of news.So sharing personalized news is a strong addition to your product portfolio. While your daily or weekly newsletter may be comprehensive it is definitely not timely. Chatbot reminders can alert users in a more timely manner.
- 36- Billing notifications: Helping resolve billing issues could be critical to your cash flow.
- 37- Activation offers: Some of your customers will leave and never return. Reaching out to them with enticing offers is one of the best tools to get them back.
Customers do not have to be the only ones talking to your bots. Many companies use bots to understand their employees better. For example, employee satisfaction surveys delivered on collaboration platforms make survey filling much less painful.
This list was inspired by Drift’s State of Chatbots Report.
If you still want to see more chatbot applications, We also have a guide for chatbot use cases categorized according to business functions.
Enabling these use cases require a chatbot that your users love and follow. To achieve that you can explore our suggestions for building your chatbot.
And if you still have questions about chatbots, don’t hesitate to contact us:
Cem has been the principal analyst at AIMultiple since 2017. AIMultiple informs hundreds of thousands of businesses (as per similarWeb) including 60% of Fortune 500 every month.
Cem's work has been cited by leading global publications including Business Insider, Forbes, Washington Post, global firms like Deloitte, HPE, NGOs like World Economic Forum and supranational organizations like European Commission. You can see more reputable companies and media that referenced AIMultiple.
Throughout his career, Cem served as a tech consultant, tech buyer and tech entrepreneur. He advised businesses on their enterprise software, automation, cloud, AI / ML and other technology related decisions at McKinsey & Company and Altman Solon for more than a decade. He also published a McKinsey report on digitalization.
He led technology strategy and procurement of a telco while reporting to the CEO. He has also led commercial growth of deep tech company Hypatos that reached a 7 digit annual recurring revenue and a 9 digit valuation from 0 within 2 years. Cem's work in Hypatos was covered by leading technology publications like TechCrunch and Business Insider.
Cem regularly speaks at international technology conferences. He graduated from Bogazici University as a computer engineer and holds an MBA from Columbia Business School.
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