Texts vs mail, clouds vs floppy disks, planes vs trains – our world has come leaps and bounds in terms of technology, innovation, and scientific discovery. But with it came an incredible expectation for efficiency and convenience. Contacting someone in another country used to take weeks, yet now we find just a couple seconds of delay due to poor Wi-Fi signal to be irking.
With more efficient lives, people have found time to do more and now jump from task to task so much quicker. In fact, our ability to do more has shortened our attention span so much that studies have shown our attention span is shorter than a goldfish’s now! (TIME) With this ability to do more came a frustration towards chores that take up large and unnecessary amounts of time, including phone calls. Millennials are becoming increasingly dependent on text messaging, veering away from the traditional method of calling. Studies have shown that about 50% of adults between ages 18-24 say text conversations are just as meaningful as a phone call (Experian Marketing Services) and that 33% of Americans prefer texting over any other form of communication (Pew Research Center)
As millennials and centennials come of age, established industries and methodologies must adapt to meet the expectations of this generation. Phone calls are now seen as ineffective and tedious. Over 78% of people want to be able to text a business rather than call, (Text Request) and seeing that texting yields a 209% higher response rate than calling, it’s not hard to see why. (Text Request)
Let me describe a situation I once found myself in, one that you have either experienced before, or can relate to:
One time, I wanted to set up auto-pay for my credit card because I wanted to make sure I didn’t miss any bill payments. I decided to give my bank a call to try and set one up. I dialled the number and was greeted by an automated voice system with a piercing tone, “Press 1 for account enquiry and deposits, Press 2 for investment services, Press 3 for credit cards services, Press 4 for…” I pressed 3 and was greeted with yet another phone menu, “Press 1 to report stolen or lost card”, Press 2 for other card enquiries”. I pressed 2. “Please enter your credit card account number followed by the hash sign” I entered my card number and waited. “We are now directing you to a customer service representative.”
After waiting a couple seconds, I was greeted by a lady by the name of Lydia. I told her I wanted to set up auto-pay and we began to talk. She told me she would be unable to set up auto-pay via the phone and asked me to visit a nearby branch. In the end, I had spent over 5 minutes on the phone only to find out I needed to go to the bank to set up auto-pay. Slightly irked, I thanked Lydia for her help and hung-up.
Thankfully that day I had a light schedule and had the time, so I proceeded to make my way towards the bank. When I got to the bank, I waited in line for a couple minutes for a customer service agent. About 20 minutes later, I was on my way home with auto-pay finally set up.
This sort of call experience with customer service has happened to me multiple times. In our increasingly demanding world and call for productivity, there is a need to improve the efficiency of customer service. This need has recently birthed the new technological trend of chatbots.
Imagine the above scenario. No longer will you need to navigate phone menus and tolerate poor sound quality, nor will you need to travel to a bank branch to figure out simple enquiries. The knowledge and information you used to need 20 minutes to find out has now become accessible within seconds via a chatbot.
So What Are Chatbots?
Chatbots are programs powered by artificial intelligence and natural language processing (NLP) developed to mimic human conversation. Customers and users can interact with these chatbots via various platforms through chat or voice, and gain access to what they need whenever they want. Unlike humans, chatbots don’t have work hours or sleep schedules and can respond instantly.
With 3 billion monthly users, messaging apps is the largest platform to target consumers. Practically all customers utilise a messaging app in one form or another, and with chatbots, customers can now get in contact with the company at their preferred messaging app. For companies, they can now service thousands more customers without the need to increase manpower. Customer service agents can spend their time answering important enquiries rather than the same repetitive questions.
Chatbots are the future of consumer-company engagement. Powered by NLP and artificial intelligence, a chatbot can hold a conversation with you that will feel like talking to anyone else online. No longer will people need to navigate inefficient customer service hotlines or confusing website menus. Soon all transactions between company and people will take place through the medium of social media applications.
What is Clare.AI Digital Assistant?
Clare.AI’s Digital Assistant is a product of the frustration towards financial customer services. We built Clare.AI to provide an instantaneous bridge between customer and bank. Through our assistant, customers can now access secure information and complete tasks within seconds and without the frustration or inconvenience often associated to bank services.
Our chatbot has a focus on Asian languages with 10 languages supported such as Cantonese, Chinese and Japanese – Asian languages are special because there is a high usage of slang and mix of languages. Our chatbot has been pre-trained with over 500,000 questions in categories such as: customer service FAQ, appointment making, personal finance management and internal enquiries for IT and HR.
Our assistant is platform agnostic, and can be deployed on a company’s native mobile app, website, or any of your favourite messaging apps such as Facebook messenger and WeChat. We hope that soon, when you need to talk to your bank, you will find yourself talking to Clare.AI.
We are excited for what the future holds for us and if you’re interested in learning more don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on LinkedIn for weekly blogposts. Say hello to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or sign up for a demo on our website www.clare.ai!