Chatbots to spell the end of call centers

Caption: 
photo courtesy of iStockphoto

Juniper Research predicts that chatbots will redefine the customer service industry, with banking sector set to benefit the most. The research, Chatbots: Retail, eCommerce, Banking & Healthcare 2017-2022, forecasts that chatbots will be responsible for cost savings of over US$8 billion per annum by 2022, up from US$20 million in 2017.

Banks to profit from chatbot

Juniper expects dramatic cost savings to be made in the healthcare and banking sectors, as enquiry resolution times are reduced and cost savings boosted. Research author Lauren Foye explained: “We believe that healthcare and banking providers using bots can expect average time savings of just over 4 minutes per enquiry, equating to average cost savings in the range of $0.50-$0.70 per interaction. As Artificial Intelligence advances, reducing reliance on human representatives undoubtedly spells job losses.”

Juniper found that many bots are suited to enquiries such as healthcare diagnosis, where users can select predefined answers allowing bots to assess health issues and provide a recommended course of action. However, as AI capabilities advance, bots will be able to aid in more sophisticated healthcare diagnostics, such as monitoring and analysis of mental health.

Bianca Ho, COO and co-founder of Clare.AIAccording to Bianca Ho (photo right), COO and co-founder of Clare.AI, acceptance of chatbot among financial institutions in Hong Kong continues to rise.

“We see more interest from financial institutions, knowing that we have completed a Proof of Concept with a major asset management firm. They are keen to use this as a tool to create better customer experience, as well as increase the efficiency. Many banks are cutting costs and firing staff, whilst to maintain the same level of service, they need to invest in automation technologies,” she added.

Juniper forecast that the success rate of bot interactions in the healthcare sector (those completed without relocation to a human operator) will move from 12% currently, to over 75% in 2022. In the banking sector, Juniper expects this to reach over 90% in 2022.

Other Channels Ripe for Development  

Meanwhile SMS chatbots, which are likely to be less successful in generating revenues than app-based bots, can offer a ubiquitous service for mass messaging. Governments, for example, could use chatbots in times of emergency.

Juniper believes that A2P messaging providers will adopt chatbots as a means to offer information to consumers and forecasts the number of A2P SMS sent from chatbot interactions to exceed 100 billion by 2022.

Feature photo courtesy of iStockPhoto

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