How Chatbots are shaping customer as well as workforce experiences across industries

Oct 3, 2018

Talk to anyone who has misplaced her order or needs to know her banking services charges for specific transactions. You’ll most likely hear horror stories of how they had to wait endlessly for the customer care executive or getting disconnected frequently or did not find the right solution. How can businesses avoid such disastrous customer experiences and instead provide an enriching experience not only to its customers but all its stakeholders? What are leading enterprises doing to differentiate themselves when it comes to transforming experiences?

Enter “Chat-bots”. Chatbots transform the way we interact with the web, using a seemingly conversational language and help resolve specific challenges and queries raised by the requestor. Many businesses have understood & appreciated the fact that they can increase their business revenue and brand loyalty by offering qualitative chatbots to provide a digital user experience to its customers as well as other stakeholders like employees, partners, suppliers etc.

There are key shifts and Innovations in emerging technologies and use cases being seen in the Industry for these Chatbot capabilities.

The key areas in the industry experiencing shifts are AI-based intelligent agents & Natural Conversational interfaces (Think Alexa, Hi Siri, Hey Google) showing the changed user expectations. It has become a top strategic priority of the CIO’s of global organizations. As per Gartner CIO survey, AI initiatives and Conversational interfaces are amongst the top 5 priorities for CIOs in 2018 and 85% of CIOs will be piloting AI programs.

Chatbots and VoiceBots are changing the way people engage with their systems. We now expect more than the blue and black screens of yore. Natural language conversational interfaces are the future of how users expect to interact naturally with their myriad systems.

In the industry, Chatbots have moved beyond just FAQ servicing bots and customer support agents to focus on Sales & revenue generation usecases. A lot of customers use voice bots and chatbots as intelligent context-aware, leveraging potent AI & NLP capabilities to ”know” the user’s context, transaction bots that speak to the back-end systems and cross-selling.

This is enabled by connecting NLP-based bots to AI based prediction models, hyper-personalization agents and unified engagement channels. The intelligent, contextually aware and integrated chatbot and voicebot enable unified access to information from various systems; and intelligent recommendations to the user before the user need it and without having to search for it.

From Orion’s perspective, we enabled AI based Chatbots for customers across various industries like financial services, telecom, healthcare, retail and many others.

For financial & business services, we built a voicebot solution for our customer, which is one of the largest audit firms in the world. The client was facing a problem of communicating about the strategic initiatives, given that they were spread across 80 countries. We partnered with the customer to pilot AI-based self-service VoiceBots to solve the problem of information opaqueness using natural language conversation with auditors and engaging with users. We used PAAS platforms, applied AI cognitive services and NLP technology components to understand the intent and enable the natural languages conversation. As a result of this, the potential benefits realized by the shift to modern Digital platforms are to the tune of >30-40 % savings in terms of the operational costs and time savings, while providing a clear alignment of actions and contextual insights across all the dispersed employees globally for their global strategic initiatives.

A large retail customer that had Spanish customers and wanted to enable self-services for their retail customers in Spanish. Orion solution provided a self-service support to the users where they could answer user queries in Spanish both with voice and text, while the users were on the road and their mobile devices. The modern user experience increased the user stickiness and improved customer satisfaction. The scalable solution also led to reduction in operational support cost in terms of time and money and potential cost savings being looked at by the firm by 40-45%.

A similar solution was developed for a usecase with the one of the world’s largest telecom customer that had international calling customers, and wanted to enable free-form natural interactions from their users.

Another novel use case was the Sales Enablement platform IP in partnership with an Industry-leading partner, wherein the sales team was stuck with multiple siloed systems. The sales agents were continuously running for information in their emails, CRMs, Sharepoint Knowledge repositories and many more while on the go heading into customer meetings. Orion helped create a solution offering- the “Sales Enablement Platform” that unifies the Bots with the multiple system of transactions (integrated with CRM, ERP and various SORs), system of intelligence (AI based intelligent recommendations based on the context). The accessibility of all the relevant information and proactive suggestion from the system made the sales process faster, smarter and more proactive for the sales associate. Also, chatbot as a natural way to interact led widespread adoption of the solution. The organization benefited immensely with the surge in productivity of the sales associate.

Another interesting IP that Orion has created is the “Hey Orva” voicebot, an intelligent voice assistant that can be plugged into various customer contexts and content, and help the users for self-service needs. The benefits that our customers have seen are primarily focused on operational efficiencies and the ability to derive valuable user analytics, while the end-users enjoyed modern experiences.

Looking into the crystal class, based on the varied customer initiatives that we are seeing in the industry, Conversational Interfaces (VoiceBots & Chatbots) are transforming to:

  1. New business usecases of Growth & Cross-sell
  2. New capabilities ( face detection) linking varied intelligent agents into Bots thru APIs
  3. New engagement channels (AR/VR)
  4. New integrations to LOB systems and extensions to robo-bots

AI based Chatbots & VoiceBots offer an excellent opportunity to enterprises to build brand loyalty and provide on-demand services to all its stakeholders. This is just the beginning of digital transformation using AI and the landscape is expected to see a lot more traction over the coming years.

Transition to chatbots today:

The reason Orion has been able to help our customers has been our amazing strategic bonds and partnerships with Fortune 30 firms for 25+ years, deep engineering partnerships with industry leaders like Microsoft and focused investments on new Systems of Engagement like chatbot & Voice bot, Data Intelligence & insights.

Our goal is to help our customers create their future today. Our focus on Digital Innovation is driven by the vision of enabling emerging digital and core AI, NLP and predictive modeling technologies to fundamentally re-imagine customer’s experiences and journeys, while allowing our enterprise customers to drive the goals of i) user stickiness growth ii) operational efficiencies and iii) leap-frog to new business models.

We live in exciting times and are excited to help share the future for our customers and their users.

Feel free to reach out to us for more information on Orion’s AI solutions: marketing@orioninc.com.

Mani S Krishnapurath

AVP and Lead-Digital Innovation, Bots & AI Initiatives

Mani has over 20+ years of product strategy and advisory, leadership and technology delivery experience, enabling and delivering on emerging technologies for Fortune 100 customers across the Digital Product Lifecycle. Currently at Orion, he is helping customers realize the future of Digital, Bots, AI & NLP – through scalable pilots leveraging the Cloud, API-sharing economy like Azure Cloud Cognitive services. He also holds deep expertise around Design-based-Thinking and hypothesis-driven methodologies to identify optimal digital customer journeys thru customer-journey mapping and empathy workshops.

Mani holds a Bachelor in Mechanical Engineering from T.K.M.College of Engineering, Kerala and an MBA from IIM, Bengaluru. He has taught as Pro-bono Guest Faculty at IIT-Madras from 2010-2012, as a means to give his dues back to the society.

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