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Brands and Bots

By Sunit Roy , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Digital
Published : May 06, 2019 04:54 AM
Whether they need to or not, brands are bot-ifying! A look at some examples.

Conversational artificial intelligence (AI) or 'Chatbots' (or Bots) are fast becoming a cornerstone for brands to generate automated engagement with consumers. Using chatbots, you now can order food, schedule flights, or get recommendations for pretty much anything. While it's too early to gauge the impact that bots will have on businesses, the latest numbers in terms of available bots and usage, all point to one thing - "Adoption is growing".

India is a key player in the 'Chatbot Market' where they have been introduced by several brands, especially banking and insurance companies.

Sachindra Joshi Sachindra Joshi

According to Sachindra Joshi, manager - Conversational Platforms, IBM Research, India, "Conversation is the most natural way for humans to interact with an AI system and the predictions are that by 2024 this will be a double-digit billion market. However, one big challenge for chatbots in India is the support for local languages. Ninety per cent of the new internet users are expected to be non-English speakers in the next few years."

Here are a few brands (from a long, steadily growing list) that are leveraging chabot technology:

MakeMyTrip (Myra) and Goibibo (GIA)

MakeMyTrip (Myra) MakeMyTrip (Myra)

Goibibo (GIA) Goibibo (GIA)

Travel has become increasingly mobile-centric making the booking experience more customised and personal. MakeMyTrip's Myra and Goibibo's GIA chatbots handle some of the simpler customer transactions - bookings, boarding passes etc. - so that human agents can focus on more complex interactions. The use of voice-activated assistants (Amazon's Alexa in Goibibo's case) to offer hotel search and booking functions has also begun.

"Conversation is the most natural way for humans to interact with an AI system and the predictions are that by 2024 this will be a double-digit billion market." Sachindra Joshi, manager - Conversational Platforms, IBM Research, India


"It is already doing over 2 Lac weekly unique conversations. The company has seen a 15-20 per cent improvement in terms of reduced booking time," informs Sanjay Mohan, CTO, MakeMyTrip.

Muthoot Group (Mattu & Mittu)

Muthoot Group's 'Mattu & Mittu' chatbot was developed with Australian Fintech company, Epictenet. It offers 24/7 customer assistance and instantly responds to customer queries across the Group's various products and services.

Alexander George Muthoot Alexander George Muthoot

"Mattu & Mittu has handled 14 Lac+ customer queries through 4 Lac unique customer sessions, with a failure rate of less than 5 per cent (within five months after inception). The bot calibration and daily training helps us get good feedback from customers regarding bot accuracy," says Alexander George Muthoot, deputy managing director, The Muthoot Group.

The bot also acts as a financial advisor, helping bust myths around Muthoot's flagship product - gold loans - enabling customers to make informed decisions.

Nestlé (NINA)

Nestlé India introduced a health-specific AI tool named 'AskNestlé.in'. NINA (Nestlé India Nutrition Assistant) is India's first AI Assistant built in association with Google. Asknestle.in provides real-time, personalised advice on nutrition that is balanced, scientifically derived and customisable. The setup also offers 'Custom Meal Plans' personalised for regional preferences and allergies, a 'Food Diary' for what the child has eaten through the day to generate a nutrition score and more.

Religare Health Insurance (Religare Chat Assistant)

Religare Health Insurance's chatbot service, 'Religare Chat Assistant', bypasses the hassle of reaching a customer service team and waiting for a resolution. Customers can avail of basic services like booking and rescheduling health check-up appointments, updating contact details etc. anytime, anywhere on a real-time basis via the bot. The brand is planning to extend the services to include tracking claims and other service requests, downloading policy kits and certificates, requesting hard copies of policy kits, sharing feedback on products and services (voice of customer), and policy renewals.

Tata Capital Chatbot

Tata Capital unveiled its chatbot that, through its unique natural language and cognitive learning capabilities, understands and provides a response to individual online queries around its financial services products. Powered by a virtual agent (VA) engine, the bot is equipped to handle over 70 per cent of routine customer queries including those regarding product information, application tracking and sales, and after-sales service. Since its launch in October 2016, the 'Tata Capital Chatbot' has already responded to over 55,000 queries. Currently, the bot services Tata Capital's retail products - personal, home, car, business and two-wheeler loans.

Tata Power (TINA)

Tata Power (TINA) Tata Power (TINA)

Last year, Tata Power launched its VoiceBOT - TINA - becoming the first utility in India to offer such a service. TINA, powered by Google Assistant, allows the company to address customer queries using compatible Android/iOS devices or Google Home devices without downloading the app or visiting the website. Tata Power customers in Mumbai can use voice commands to interact with TINA for various services on billing, payment etc. The VoiceBOT service is enabled with technology support from Yellow Messenger, an AI-powered enterprise audience engagement company.


KFC Chatbot

Intending to bring consumers closer to its finger-lickin' chicken and make the ordering experience easier/faster, KFC launched its voice ordering option via a chatbot. The idea is to make the ordering experience more personalised, especially for millennials who are always looking for new tech-innovations. The brand is confident that with the increase in engagement, it will give the necessary impetus to online ordering.

Aviva Life Insurance Self Help Assistant (ALISHA)

ALISHA is a natural language processor-enabled conversational computing solution (chatbot), developed in collaboration with Findability Sciences, a cognitive and AI solutions company. The bot is powered by IBM Watson's Conversation API and fulfils Aviva's objective of providing meaningful insurance guidance anytime, anywhere. ALISHA serves as a guide to help choose suitable life insurance plans and solutions. It is able to interpret customer questions and direct the flow of the conversation to assist them best. ALISHA allows the brand's existing and prospective customers to have easy access to information about various insurance policies around the clock with instant response to queries. ALISHA is available on the company website and official Facebook page.

Haptik

Haptik, a part of the Reliance Jio group of companies, has processed over two billion interactions to date, across chat and voice bots, including enterprise solutions and direct-to-consumer apps. The Haptik bot platform is one of the most advanced products available globally. It is a one-stop-shop consisting of several components including Chat + Voice NLU, Multilingual, Bot Builder, AI analytics, Live Agent Dashboard, Omnichannel, Custom Integrations, and an AI Trainer Team. Haptik helps enterprises leverage the power of AI to automate critical business processes and improve overall customer experience for lead generation, user engagement, customer service, and customer feedback. On the consumer side, the Haptik app is a 24x7 AI-based personal assistant allowing users to set reminders, book a cab or flight tickets, pay bills, find places in their vicinity, do web check-ins etc.

ALSO READ: Nestlé now has an AI bot - NINA...

Payworld (MIRA)

Payworld, a financial service distributor, introduced a chatbot named 'MIRA'. MIRA provides all the services that Payworld offers like money remittances, insurance, loans, mutual funds, AEPS, Hotel booking, PAN Cards, and air and bus ticketing.

Livpure Help

Livpure Help guides users in scheduling demo visits, buying the product, taking service or installation requests, registering complaints, product registrations, and maintenance contracts. "Over 20 per cent of the audience visiting the Livpure website comes for enquiring. The bot intends to address their specific queries and redirect them to the relevant page, therefore, doing two things - delivering the experience for the user and bettering the conversion by addressing the right query," says Sushil Matey, director - marketing, Livpure and CEO Livpure Smart Homes.

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