Chatbots have already extended into so many aspects of our daily life – I wake up in the morning and ask Alexa( a voice bot by Amazon) to play my favorite Jazz music, Amy (an email bot by x.ai) emails me about today’s meetings, and Slackbot ( a bot powered Slack) sends me a notification to remind me to buy airline tickets to Goa today. Bots are everywhere!
Certainly, these examples give a sense of chatbot’s pervasive presence in our lives.
Chatbots aren’t just impacting our personal lives but are also transforming the way in which businesses communicate with their customers and prospects.
Let’s see some uses cases to understand how they are impacting different industries:
Wells Fargo’s Facebook chatbot currently responds to queries about deposit and credit card accounts, transactions, and branch or ATM locations.
The leading Nordic bank SEB released its IT Service Desk chatbot “Amelia” in August 2016. In Amelia’s first three weeks, over 4,000 conversations were held with 700 employees and she solved majority of the issues without delay.
The bank’s customers can transfer money through BBVA’s “chatbots” on messaging apps like Facebook Messenger and Telegram.
Capital One Financial designed a chatbot called “Eno” that can interact with the bank’s customers through text message. It can provide information on customers’ accounts and help them make credit card payments from their smartphones.
The bank’s digital assistant, Erica, is available inside the bank’s mobile app. Bank of America’s customers can chat with Erica via voice or text message. The main goal of Erica is to help customers create better money habits. For instance, the bot might send someone a text: “Jame, I found an amazing opportunity for you to reduce your debt and save you $300”
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The firm has launched “Kate”, a digital assistant for its mobile app. Customers can initiate a conversation with Kate either via text or voice. The bot answers basic policy and billing questions.
America’s largest P&C insurer developed its chatbot “ABIe” to help its agents learn to sell commercial insurance products. The bot guides agents through the commercial selling process and can extract documents. It understands which product an agent is working on and where they are in the process. It handles more than 25,000 inquiries per month.
The US-based small business insurance company launched a Facebook Messenger chatbot in March 2017. The bot walks users through the complete insurance buying process within Messenger.
Liberty Mutual Insurance’s “skills” for Alexa were launched in 2016. A skill is an app on Amazon’s Echo voice-controlled smart speaker, which connects to the Alexa AI platform.
The voice bot answers user questions, provide auto insurance estimates, and connect users with insurance agents. It also provides advice on managing risk.
The insurtech firm Insurify’s Facebook bot lets consumers to quickly compare car insurance quotes from dozens of carriers within the Messenger app.
Users can upload pictures of their license plates and share other key information with Insurify’s chatbot, which is powered by natural language processing and machine learning technologies. The virtual agent will then serve up a batch of insurance policy quotes and make recommendations. Users can also sign up for notifications when rates drop or new policies are added.
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Intel built a virtual HR agent called Ivy to answer employee questions about pay, stock, benefits and other HR programs. The bot uses natural language processing, artificial intelligence and optimized search, and has over 4,000 responses to different questions.
The company’s chatbot interacts with its 450 call center employees, who can use it to check their schedules, schedule time off, and inform managers about unplanned leave or sick days
It is an intelligent recruitment bot that helps firms engage, pre-screen and interact with every candidate 24/7. The bot has to be integrated with job vacancies so that it can guide the job applicants through the recruitment process.
It is a chatbot that helps businesses find employees, and job-seekers land new gigs. The company says it can help businesses reduce the time needed to find a new hire by 80 percent, or from around two months to two weeks. It uses AI to check a potential candidate’s qualifications to make sure they’re a good match with a company before connecting them. Stella also manages candidates’ applications to help improve their chances of getting a job.
The HR bot chats with all the applicants across channels, and aggregates that data to pre-screen the applicants. Mya also answers questions about the company and its culture. Then, it presents a recruiter with a handful of candidates ranked based on different metrics. If Mya finds that an applicant fails to meet job qualifications, the bot may say something like this:
Retail & eCommerce
It is a personal shopping assistant that does the deal hunting and discovery of products for customers. Its aim is to help customers find the best deals, whether they are looking for something specific or just browsing for ideas. Ebay’s customers can use text, speech or photo to let the bot know what they are looking for and the bot will recommend appropriate products. EBay’s ShopBot uses deep learning algorithms paired with natural language understanding (NLU) and computer vision to help users express their shopping needs naturally.
In early 2016, fashion brand H&M launched a chatbot on messenger app Kik, which allowed customers to see, share and purchase products in their catalogue. It starts you off with a few simple questions – men’s or women’s clothing, the item you’re after, style preferences – before recommending some products. Users can click through to a product page or share the result with other Kik contacts.
Kip, a shopping bot for teams, is a very interesting bot in this space. From office supplies to snacks, Kip handles the complex coordination of getting everyone in the team to add to the group order. The bot introduces a new e-commerce concept called the “team cart”. Here, multiple members in the chat can add to the cart, and the admin can pay for it. In this way, Kip is enabling a way of shopping that was not available until now.
1800 Flower’s Facebook bot allows users to send flowers and gifts. You can select products based on the kind of event (anniversary, wedding, birthday, etc) and the bot offers suggestions for different gifts. You can then buy the flowers and get shipping updates right from the app.
American Eagle Outfitters’s lingerie brand, Aerie, developed a bot for the Kik messaging app. Aerie’s bot lets users to browse products based on mood, lining and push up levels, or through a “this or that” layout. The real unique feature of the bot is its THIS or THAT option – users are shown an image of two different styles and simply have to press “This” or “That” to narrow down their tastes and find the right product. After a few rounds of the game, the bot is able to make personalized recommendations based on your style preferences.
Whole Food’s chatbot will let customers browsing through the store find products, and then, with a few taps in a Facebook Messenger chatbot, find recipes for an upcoming meal. Customers can select an emoji, like a jalapeno or a banana, and then see recipes that involve those products. The chatbot lets customers mix and match by typing a word, selecting a cuisine (like Tex Mex), and adding an emoji to the text chat. They can also select keywords and choose recipes for special diets.
This chatbot aims to make medical diagnoses faster, easier, and more transparent for both patients and physicians. MedWhat is powered by a sophisticated machine learning system that offers increasingly accurate responses to user questions based on behaviors that it “learns” by interacting with human beings.
In addition to the ever-growing range of medical questions fielded by MedWhat, the bot also draws upon vast volumes of medical research and peer-reviewed scientific papers to expand upon its already considerable wealth of medical expertise.
Created by a team of Stanford psychologists and AI experts, Woebot uses brief daily chat conversations, mood tracking, curated videos, and word games to help people manage mental health.
Rather than running on machine learning technologies, Woebot is much more deterministic. As it gathers mood data and processes any texts and emojis that a patient might enter, the bot traces the branches of a decision tree to offer personal responses.
Interventional radiologists at the University of California at Los Angeles have created a virtual radiologist that provides clinical decision support to others.
The AI-driven application provides the referring physician with the ability to communicate information to the patient such as an overview of an interventional radiology treatment or next steps in a treatment plan, all in real-time. The virtual assistant was built on a foundation of over 2,000 example data points designed to mirror questions that commonly come up during a consultation with an interventional radiologist.
Healthtap is on a mission to make access to health care information and resources easier for everyone, both individually and in the workplace. With Health Tap’s Facebook chatbot, patients can quickly find out what they might be suffering from and how to treat it.
The chatbot lets people easily access the company’s library of knowledge, such as what to do if your baby has had a diaper rash for more than a week. The chatbot also allows people to submit questions.
News & Publishing
CNN was one of the first news organizations to join the KIK Bot Shop.
When using the CNN bot, you can choose to read top stories or stories by topic, but the goal is to train the CNN bot to be smarter. The more you choose stories you like, the smarter the bot gets about your preferences and what you want to read.
The Washington Post’s Facebook Messenger bot feature’s daily top news stories. Users can swipe to see five news items and go beyond the headlines by opting to read more stories similar to the one on the screen. When prompted, the bot can also populate the latest stories on a specific topic when asked a general news question.
The TechCrunch chatbot for Messenger helps you stay on top of the topics and stories you care about. You can subscribe to different topics, authors, or sections of the site, and the bot will send you news articles from TechCrunch about the things you are interested in the most.
NBC launched its NBC Politics BOT on Facebook Messenger shortly before the U.S. presidential election in 2016. NBC Politics Bot allowed users to engage with the conversational agent via Facebook to identify breaking news topics that would be of interest to the network’s various audience demographics. After beginning the initial interaction, the bot provided users with customized news results based on their preferences.
Media & Entertainment
To engage younger audiences, Disney launched a chatbot that featured a character from the 2016 animated family crime caper, Zootopia.
Disney invited fans of the movie to solve crimes with Lieutenant Judy Hopps, the tenacious, long-eared protagonist of the movie. Children could help Lt. Hopps investigate mysteries like those in the movie by interacting with the bot, which explored avenues of inquiry-based on user input. Users can make suggestions for Lt. Hopps’ investigations, to which the chatbot would respond.
Power ranger movie fans can chat with and learn how to be Power Rangers from their chatbot “Alpha 5”. Users can have a completely personalized, spontaneous chat with Alpha 5 as if they’ve been “chosen” to be one of the Power Rangers. Users can chat with Alpha 5 on either Facebook Messenger, Kik, or Twitter. And in exchange for learning how to be a Power Ranger, they’ll also receive exclusive content for the film.
The StubHub bot will help users find tickets to events and concerts, while the IFTTT Bot can funnel information from other apps and services into your Skype chat. This could be useful for a number of things — like getting news alerts, pings about social media mentions, alerts from other services, checking the weather, being notified of important emails or any number of things that you’ve configured IFTTT’s “recipes” to watch out for.
Image Credit: Microsoft
Fashion & beauty
French beauty and cosmetics retailer Sephora launched its chatbot on Kik in March 2016.
When you open it, it prompts Kik users to provide a few key details about themselves in the form of a quiz that takes seconds to complete. The Sephora bot will even ask targeted questions about your tastes to provide the perfect product recommendations, just like a real sales associate. Then, Kik users can make purchases without ever leaving the messaging app.
The company also developed a chatbot called the Sephora Virtual Artist on Facebook that allows people to try on different lip colors using selfie photos.
Burberry launched its chatbot for Messenger during Fashion Week September 2016. The Burberry bot shows customers new clothes to buy, watch the fashion show being held at Makers House in London, and tells users about the new collection. It also gives people the choice to press buttons and navigate a maze, finding images of the new fashion collection along the way.
Tommy Hilfiger’s chatbot “TMY.GRL” enables personalized, scalable conversations with fans surrounding the brand’s Fall 2016 line and its TommyXGigi collection. It aims to replicate a concierge style experience through its automated messages. TMY.GRL learns to understand consumer habits, context and intent to better predict and provide the content, information or engagement users are seeking.
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has built an amazing bot on Facebook messenger. If you are a KLM customer, you can receive your flight confirmation, your boarding pass, check-in reminders, flight status updates, and access to customer service agents, all on messenger. Most importantly, you don’t have to install yet another app, you just have to approve KLM as a messenger contact.
Snap travel is a Facebook bot that finds you a hotel based on your budget and preferences. The bot uses artificial intelligence to search Expedia, Priceline and more than 100 other sites for the best deal, and claims to have “secret deals” of its own.
You just need to enter your travel city and dates to get recommendations. Then you can book hotels right in the messenger.
Travelers can ask “Hello Hipmunk” for travel advice, recommendations, and flight and hotel information on Skype or Facebook Messenger. The bot provides recommendations to plain-English queries, such as when the best time is to travel from one place to another. The responses from the chatbot can be filtered by using phrases like “only show me non-stops” or “I prefer Jet Airways”.
Send a Facebook Messenger message to Skyscanner, chat with the bot, and it will help you search for flights. In addition to giving you the ability to type a destination, departure airport, and dates to search for flights, it also give you ideas on the cheapest destinations from your nearest airport. When you enter a destination, the bot breaks down flights into categories: cheapest, shortest, and best. You can also type “anywhere” to get some interesting suggestions.
The Expedia bot helps travelers’ book hotels. It is set up as a rudimentary hotel search tool that takes in a location and date and finds users five different options. The bot later prompts them to visit the Expedia site to book them.
In a blog post on the company website, David Fleischman, vice president of global product, described the bot’s use of natural language processing, “The bot operates on a structured conversation flow: it analyzes the information provided and prompts the user to input other relevant data points to complete a search “.
Pizza Hut’s bot allows you to place orders for pizza and other products using your Twitter account or Facebook messenger. You can reorder favorite or saved orders from any U.S. location of the restaurant chain by chatting directly with the Pizza Hut accounts on either Twitter or Facebook. There will be no extra charge to order through the chatbot and you can also get answers to frequently asked questions and access info on recent Pizza Hut promotions.
All you have to do is like their Facebook page (or follow their Twitter profile) and set up your payment information.
Taco Bell’s bot, TacoBot, allows users to order food via Slack, an instant-messaging service used by companies for internal communications. You can ask questions about TacoBell’s menu and it will recommend items. From there you can choose your pickup location and place your order.
Burger King’s Facebook chatbot greets users as soon as they open up the service. After users respond, it asks if they would like to make an order, giving them the option of pressing a “yes” or “no” button.
If consumers respond affirmatively, the chatbot will display a carousel version of the fast-food chain’s menu. Individuals can press the “select” button located underneath each food item to indicate their choice, which will prompt the chatbot to ask “Make it a meal?”
Consumers can follow the bot’s inquiries to fill out the rest of their order, or select the location at which they will retrieve the meal. Location options also appear in a carousel-like format.
Wingstop’s social ordering platform allows customers to place their orders on Twitter and Facebook messenger platforms. Here’s how it works: a potential customer can tweet “order” or “#order” to the company’s Twitter handle, @Wingstop, or direct message the corporate page on Facebook Messenger to begin the ordering process. In either case, the interaction is then handled via private conversation to complete the order. Diners are also told where their nearest Wingstop location is and given estimated pick-up time.
Domino’s has launched a Dom Juan Valentine’s Day chatbot for Tinder. The chatbot will appear like a normal profile in your Tinder app. You’ll be able to swipe right to match, giving you access to a conversation with the bot.
Once you’re matched, you’ll be asked to click a link that starts the bot.
You can then choose between “cheesy” or “dough-mantic” chat-up lines, which will then be fed to you.
These lines can be copy-and-pasted into your Tinder chat.
Here are some pick-up lines:
Chatbot in your CRM
This figure shows an example of a very common integration between Slack and customer relationship management (CRM) bot.
Here, the Salesforce bot adds customer information to a conversation in Slack.
As you can see, the CRM bot pulls relevant information from Salesforce that is specific to the context and posts it in the conversation. As you might guess, there is a lot more information in the CRM system for that client, but the bot only posts a concise and contextually relevant snippet of the available information.
Bots as routers between Humans
A bot can act as a user/ operator and connect the user with a human service provider. In the same way that lyft and Uber connect you to a human driver, a bot can connect you to another human who then facilitates anything from IT support to songwriting.
A good example of this is Sensay. The Sensay bot lets you instantly connect with a real human whenever you need advice or inspiration. It works across platforms and across devices.
While some of the services provided by the humans, Sensay connects users to would be hard to replicate with a bot, the actual act of connecting people is mundane and can easily be executed by a bot.
Third Party Integration
From Google Analytics to Merkato, WorkDay to Concur, users crave simple integrations that will save them time and make them more productive. Statsbot is a great example of an integration bot. It pulls information from Google Analytics, Mixpanel, and other marketing systems and integrates the insights from these systems into Slack.
The core incentive here is that users do not want to context-switch between apps to get the information they need or run their workflows. They want to converse with the tools and services they use for work inside their chat apps.
Swelly lets you pick between two options and shares the voting results of all users. It is a delightful experience to casually vote on foods, fashion, vacation spots, and more.
Howdy lets managers automatically collect information from their team members (replacing the standup meetings many managers hold daily) and brings that information back to the manager. Users can train the Howdy bot to run multiple question scripts.