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Chatbots and Their Role in Consumer Lending and Warranty

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I joined Tavant in the Mobile Team and soon got an opportunity to get my hands dirty on Chatbots.

As we all know, Tavant is a leader in providing services in Consumer Lending and Warranty, I decided to pursue a chatbot for each of these use cases.

I plan this series over 3 parts, where towards the end we will have a fully functional chatbot Mobile app.

Let me first define a Chatbot. How do they work? How do I build my own ChatBot? How can I use chatbots to help my clients?

I’m sure these questions are running through your mind since chatbots have gained popularity and occupy a niche space in user engagement. You might have already interacted with chatbots on social media and not realized it! Now is the perfect time to delve into this exciting world of chatbots.

So what is ChatBot?

A ChatBot is a program that simulates human conversation or chat through Artificial Intelligence. Typically, a chatbot communicates with a real person to provide the services like customer care agent, e-Commerce or any Hotel/Cab booking, etc. The chat interface can either be Facebook Messenger, Twitter, slack, or even your own custom chat messenger.

Let’s see some examples of ChatBots that are currently available.

Example: 

1. Book a cab: Want to book a cab? Don’t have a cab booking application on your phone? No problem! Uber has recently launched their Facebook chatbot, which helps you book your Uber cab without installing their app. Experience the chat by clicking here.

2. Ordering a pizza: Hungry? Want to order a delicious pizza? Just use your messenger to chat with a Dominos bot. You can place an order, track your order, and cancel your order by just chatting with a bot.

https://vimeo.com/179171202

3. Weather application: These bots are designed to get the weather report of your location. They can also suggest whether you should bring your umbrella before you leave your house.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m5ViHWRo9KU

4. News bots: These bots allow you to be updated on your News. You can subscribe to your favorite news topics or you can ask for the latest headlines on a specific topic.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8iwxWU-8cuM

5. HDFC Bank OnChat: This is a facebook messenger bot, which helps you recharge your prepaid and postpaid bills, book event tickets, book cabs, etc.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6bnKhqZmdsw

You should definitely do some research to get an idea of how chatbots are used by companies to provide better customer service.

Why chatbots?

You must be thinking “Why is this sudden popularity of chatbots in an enterprise?”.

Let me explain…

According to “Chatbots magazine”—“This is for the first time ever people are using messenger apps more than social media apps. So logically, if you want to build a business online, you want to build where the people are. That place is now inside the messenger apps.

This is why chatbots are such a big deal. It’s potentially a huge business opportunity for anyone willing to jump headfirst and build something people want.”

So now that you understood the importance of chatbots, the next question which comes to your mind would be “How does a chatbot respond to your message and does the business for you?” To understand their functioning better, let us first see the different types of chatbots out there.

Well there are 2 types of chatbots.

1. Chatbot that functions based on a set of rules:

  1. This type is limited to certain transactions. It can respond to only a few specific commands based on a decision tree, which a developer may have built.
  2. It has limited to no understanding of natural language and contextual meaning. If you say something vague, it doesn’t understand what it is.

 

2. Chatbot that functions based on Machine Learning:

  1. This bot has an artificial brain called as artificial intelligence. You don’t have to be specific. It also understands the natural language along with commands.
  2. This bot continuously gets smarter with previous conversations.

 

Bots are created with a specific business purpose in mind. For example, an online store is likely to create a chatbot, which helps you purchase something. UPI apps like Paytm is likely to create a bot for bills payment, mobile recharge, etc.

Artificial intelligence:

The next riddle you must be thinking over is if bots use artificial intelligence to make them work, isn’t it hard to do so? Do I have to be perfect in AI?

The answer is NO, you don’t have to be an expert in AI. Now, we have many readily available AI solutions that are backed by giants like Google, Facebook, IBM to name a few.

Things to do for building your first chatbot

  1. Figure out what business problem you are going to solve with your chatbot.
  2. Identify the right messenger platform(s) like Facebook, Twitter, or design your own interface in an existing mobile app.
  3. Set up a server to run your bot.
  4. Choose a service to build your bot.

 

Time to see an example of a Chabot in Warranty Management System

I went about writing a chat interface in one of our Mobile App for Warranty and was pleased by the final outcome. The chat feature in my mobile app got the user engaged longer than my normal screen flows to complete the same task.

Let’s consider a use case where the mobile app has to provide a feature to the user for creating a service request, collect feedback for the last service and allow the user to register complaints and suggestions. Users can also request information about their next service appointment. Also, I built a service to provide guidelines/help from an agent, etc.

You can do all this by chatting with a bot. It is an easy, automated, secure way of executing these business services rather than the old traditional way. It’s cool. Isn’t it?

I have posted the demo for the same video here

Now let’s see the example of Consumer Lending application.

The user can ask your assistant bot about home loan services and its eligibility criteria. He can also request for a home loan. And the bot assists the user through all this. Amazing!

Example: 

Stay tuned, I will cover the development steps in my following posts – part 2 and part 3.

References:

  1. https://chatbotsmagazine.com/
  2. http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/C/chat_bot.html

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