Businesses have been striving hard to find the best ways to interact with their customers and provide them the right customer service. To start off with, every business maintained their customer care number. With the evolution of internet, domain names became cheaper and every business got its website in order to interact with customers. Later on, mobile devices became popular and businesses started focusing on their mobile application on Android, iOS and other platforms.
In the past couple of years, Artificial Intelligence has helped in creating one of the most powerful customer engagement channel – chatbots. A chatbot is an Artificial Intelligence powered engine that understands human language and is able to send back a reply instantly.
India’s largest bank – The State Bank of India recently partnered with a young startup – AllinCall Research and Solutions, to create its AI-powered chatbot for handling common customer queries (see above). The users can simply fire up the website and start chatting with the bot to get answers to their common questions pertaining to various loans.
Benefits of Chatbots in banking
Chatbots provide several benefits to both, the customers as well as the business. The customers are benefited because now, they can get instant answers to their queries without waiting for a human on IVR. Further, they do not have to bother spending time navigating the website. Businesses on the other hand are able to cut down their costs in terms of manpower because now, they do not have to maintain big call centers. In addition to cost reduction, chatbots are also able to provide valuable insight about user behavior, common customer queries, statistics and many more.
Chatbots from Technology perspective
Chatbots these days are mostly powered by state-of-the-art Machine Learning algorithms called as Neural Networks. Every message that the user enters is converted into a vectorized canonical representation by a sequence of steps. This essentially means that the sentence is converted into an array of numbers. This number is fed to a pre-trained Neural Network that is able to create various features from the array and accurately predict the “intent” of the sentence. Based on the identified intent, the bot is able to send appropriate reply to the user.
Recently, many startups have evolved in the chatbot market and now, AI is being applied in order to build voicebots – the next level of chatbots. The idea is that instead of typing, users will simply be able to “speak” and get the answers to their queries. Classic examples of voicebots are the virtual assistants – OK Google and Siri. They employ a combination of speech recognition and intent recognition to correctly identify the user query and send back the answer.
AI is developing fast. Who knows, tomorrow we might have “mindbots” that will understand your “thoughts” and provide you the answer!