From assisting you with your make up to choosing the right size and colour of an apparel, Chat Bots are the new personal assistants millennials depend on. With mostly shopping shifting from malls to mobiles, Chat Bots are replacing sales executives and doing much more. They are convenient, personalized and enhance shopping experiences, writes Shwetha Satyanarayan.
When millennials in India, who are over 400 million in numbers, largely depend on AI-powered programs in their smartphones for convenient shopping, it’s hard to not take note of this program. After all, close to 339 million people in the country are estimated to be using a smartphone. From global players like Burberry, Tommy Hilfiger, Sephora and H&M to Indian brands like Aditya Birla are turning to this AI-enabled machine to boost their sales. So what are these Chat Bots or AI programs and why are they so crucial to enhance customer experience?
Simply put, Chat Bots can simulate a human interaction by understanding a user’s queries and providing human-like response. Chat Bots use a technology to understand human inputs (voice or text), apply context and provide output. While Chat Bots are still an evolving technology, they offer a wide array of ways that can enable personalized communication with customers and help retailers provide better buying experience.
Enhancing customer experience – How Chat Bots help
While Chat Bots have been quintessential for online players to manage their operations, traditional players like brick-and-mortar stores and even mall developers are not shying away from adopting this technology to enhance customer experience.
For instance, the DLF Malls has introduced a Chat Bot at the entrance of its mall, which guides customer through the directory of the mall and help them connect with the brand and the floor they are looking for.
“With the vast information a Chat Bot holds about a consumer, it can easily interpret the fine nuances of human behaviour. In retail, a brand which uses a Chat Bot can easily tap buyers and provide them the details they need. Using the data, Chat Bots make customers feel connected with a brand instantly,” says Kunal Kislay, co-founder of Integration Wizards.
Meanwhile, Aditya Birla has launched Disha, a Chat Bot, which responds to the queries of customers looking for an insurance policy. Following the high demand of requests, the Aditya Birla Sunlife Insurance decided to launch this service.
“We were facing a persistent problem of receiving high number of policy requests specially between January and March. Using Disha, our Chat Bot, gave us an opportunity to optimize the quality of support queries and handle high volume of policy queries,” says ParthivMajumdar, Associate VP (Digital Marketing), Aditya Birla Sunlife Insurance.
Further, “By equipping Disha, we were able to cut down customer support costs and improve the response time to complete the quote creation and application process from a 24 hr -72-hr window down to just 5-15 minutes. The fast self-serving capabilities of Disha have contributed immensely to enhance overall customer experience,” says Majumdar.
According to the global firm emarkter, a survey found out that 48 per cent of the respondents needed better store execution and management, while 39 per cent complained about in-store experiences. As the retail landscape grows complex, Chat Bots are offered a prime opportunity to improve both customer experience and giving retailers a fighting chance.
Why Chat Bots work
- Interactive, tailored and personalized experience for each customer
- Services all basic needs of a customer
- Fast and real time response
- Instant information on the go
- Accessibility on multiple channels mobile, website and Facebook
Going beyond voice assistance
If Chat Bots are considered to be front user interface helping a customer to interact with a retailer, then this may well change in the next couple of years, predicts Kislay.
He says, “Walmart is using this technology where a customer who is looking for a bottle of wine and picks something, but places it back because it’s over his budget. The video camera which is watching the customer will alert the chat bot, which will assist him find a cheaper version of the wine, but that’s close in taste to the expensive bottle. This is how Chat Bots will change the way a consumer spends money.”
Kislay explains that in less than five years Chat Bots could replace unproductive work in office places and could even take over work like scheduling meetings, booking appointments and so on. He says that there is exponential growth for Chat Bots in retail industry.