From Eliza, the first chatbot ever that was introduced in 1966, to Siri, Alexa or Cortana, chatbots have come a long way from running on keywords and specific phrases to having a conversation with anyone, on any topic.
Thanks to the development of AI, machine learning, and natural language processing (NLP), bots are now able to respond to voice commands, recognize images, perform internet searches, and complete various tasks.
As they’re able to gather and analyze vast amounts of data, they can personalize their interaction with users accordingly, thus increasing customer engagement and satisfaction, and significantly improving retention rate.
With the latest technology developments, the implementation of chatbots is no longer a privilege of industry giants. Many small businesses and startups are using chatbots to improve their customer service without increasing their operational costs.
To get a better idea of the many different ways in which chatbots can be used to better address the needs of your target audience, we provide you with six innovative chatbot examples that your business can learn from.
1. WHO Health Alert
Looking for ways to get the information about COVID-19 to spread in a timely manner to those who need it, the World Health Organisation has launched a bot on WhatsApp, called WHO Health Alert.
The information from this trusted source can now easily reach 2 billion people in some of the most widely used languages, such as Arabic, English, French, Hindi, Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese.
The main purpose of this chatbot is to help people learn more about the virus and the ways to protect themselves from the infection. The chatbot can provide you with real-time numbers and latest reports on the outbreak, give you travel advice, and help you bust the myths related to the pandemic.
2. Meet Erica
As a way of offering their customers timely and adequate service, the National bank of America introduced a financial assistant chatbot conveniently named Erica. This AI-powered employee helps bank users with their everyday banking and budgeting. It also reminds them to pay their bills, and monitors and estimates their balance, giving them useful insights into their spending habits.
In less than a year on the job, Erica has helped more than 7 million users resolve around 50 million requests.
However, banking is not the only financial sector that brought their customers’ service to a whole new level by using chatbots. The insurance industry is capitalizing on AI-powered insurance digital assistants that are highly effective when it comes to managing their customers’ queries, such as policy renewals, quotation requests, filing claims, scheduling appointments, and many more.
3. Amtrak’s Julie
The travel industry has been among the first ones to adopt chatbots as a way to offer their customers the speedy and convenient service they deserve.
Amtrak, for example, identified that it received around 84,000 calls daily, with queries mostly related to their train schedules, status, fares, and more.
As these kinds of questions could easily be addressed by automated self-help service, Amtrak designed Julie, a chatbot that can answer most of these questions. This polite and helpful lady can handle some 50,000 calls per day, generating 30% more revenue than the bookings made through other means.
So far, National Geographic has been quite successful when it comes to engaging their audiences with their innovative use of chatbots.
To promote their show, Genius, National Geographic created a conversational chatbot that talked in a manner Einstein would. Users were hyped about talking to Einstein about various topics, as well as throwing nonsensical questions at it to get some silly answers.
And, in order to promote their 2019 Almanac, National Geographic created a daily trivia chatbot, from the trivia topics visitors liked the most. The chatbot then delivered users daily trivia questions, using these touchpoints to direct readers to their website or to offer them a direct link to purchase Almanac.
Duolingo, a popular language-learning app, is one of the best examples of how forthcoming you need to be when it comes to answering your customers’ demands.
Anyone who tries to learn a new language on their own is most likely missing out on practicing their conversational skills. Even if they have an opportunity to converse in the language they’re learning, many beginners would rather choose to avoid it, paralyzed by the fear of embarrassment.
To help their learners boost their conversational skills safely, Duolingo built chatbots – Officer Ada, Renèe the Driver, and Chef Robert. These characters help people practice what they’ve learned until they’re ready to practice French, Italian, or Spanish out loud with other speakers.
As half of the world’s population doesn’t have access to mental health care, it seems that AI-powered chatbots such as Woebot can be the first line of support for people who are dealing with emotional challenges.
As a matter of fact, a study shows that conversational chatbots are an engaging, feasible, and effective way to deliver self-help programs to those in need, helping them reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Woebot engages users in a highly-personalized, friendly conversation, teaching them practical skills that they can later use to better manage their emotional health, and address challenging life events. The more frequently Woebot interacts with a particular user, the better it becomes, as it can spot patterns in behavior, point out the fluctuations in mood over time, and adjust its approach accordingly.
These six examples show the extent to which chatbots can be leveraged in different industries to streamline the communication between brands and their customers. These smart virtual assistants can offer 24/7 customer service and boost their satisfaction levels.