chatbots

Living in a hyper-paced world of ever-changing technologies, consumers’ needs grow whilst their attention and patience shorten. People want effective solutions and services right at their doorstep in a matter of minutes.

To increase production and offer instant services companies can employ additional manpower or leverage on technology. A recent technology that has grown very fast in the last couple years to help companies become more productive is the chatbot. Chatbots have evolved from simple automated scripts to elaborate algorithms that identify needs with the ability to learn from every conversation. Companies are turning to bots due to their 24/7 availability, efficiency at handling repetitive tasks and ability to cut down steps in operational processes.

In this article, we illustrate 4 chatbots, made in Singapore, that help companies increase productivity in different sectors.

Recruitment – AIRA by GrabJobs

“In South East Asia, the HR and Recruitment industries are still being run quite traditionally” according to Emmanuel Crouy and Mark Melo, ex-Recruitment Firm owners and founders of recruitment technology start-up GrabJobs.

With 7 years of Recruitment experience, Emmanuel Crouy affirms that “the job of a recruiter can be 70 per cent administrative and 30 per cent productive”. GrabJobs has developed a Recruitment Chat Bot, named AIRA for A.I. Recruitment Assistant, aimed at reversing this industry ratio.

Their chatbot interviews job applicants over chat then rank them according to performance. The objective is to replace what is called the applicant screening process, or the first round of interview, when a recruiter asks the same set of questions to all applicants. The screening process is a very repetitive and time-consuming process that can be effectively replaced by a chat bot, which according to Emmanuel Crouy “yields a much greater response rate than online forms”. Recruiters can then have more time to spend on productive tasks such as meeting advanced stage applicants face to face or engaging with stakeholders.

In this case, the chatbot not only benefits employers from a productivity and efficiency perspective but also job seekers who can receive almost immediate feedback as to whether they are qualified for the next round of interview or not.

More information is available on www.airabot.com and www.grabjobs.co

Scheduling – EVIE.AI

Scheduling is such an integral part of our everyday work life but hardly anyone enjoys the chore of setting up meetings and coordinating with various parties to find a common time and place to meet. Too much time and energy are spent on repetitive and low value-add tasks and the solution is to automate the scheduling process and channel the resources to more productive work.

Evie, an A.I. scheduling assistant that understands natural language, is able to organize meetings automatically. It takes an average of 4.4 emails to schedule one meeting, and with a scheduling assistant like Evie, users no longer have to handle all the scheduling negotiations, time zone calculations, follow ups, calendar invites and reminders. Evie also offers enterprises additional features like meeting room management, the ability to operate on a corporate domain and instantly schedule based on co-workers’ availability.

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Evie’s ability to automate enterprise workflows and deliver analytics and insights empowers the intelligent enterprise to drive productivity, optimize use of enterprise-wide resources and transform their processes to leverage an AI-powered world.

More information is available on www.evie.ai

Hospitality & Travel – Travel Buddy by ZUMATA

As the only chatbot provider endorsed by the Singapore Tourism Board, Zumata is currently developing a range of chatbot solutions targeted at travel agents and hotels.  These chatbots can read, understand, and take action upon unstructured data that can be found in text such as hotel descriptions, reviews, blogs, and other written information.

Zumata’s Travel Buddy Conversational Chatbot allows Travel Agents to better respond to their customers, providing them a fast and seamless end to end travel experience. “Customers are overwhelmed with travel options, and finding what they want is a considerable challenge.  Counter-intuitively, travel agents have the exact same problem.  We’re finding the biggest challenge for agents is research time; locating the information to provide the most relevant recommendations to their customers as well as generating quotations.”  says Josh Ziegler, CEO of Zumata.

The impact of this technology for agents is that they have a powerful tool to do research in seconds versus the typical 45-60 minutes they spend today.  The A.I. Chatbot also automates the monotonous tasks of generating air ticket quotations, handle customer queries, and follow up sales.  For consumers, Travel Buddy allows them to browse and purchase personalized travel packages, get instant replies to their travel enquiries 24 x 7, and access itinerary information on the go.

In addition to Travel Buddy, Zumata is helping both travel agents and hotels to provide instant answers and take actions to resolve their customer service needs.  Mr. Ziegler adds, “Service staff are increasingly difficult to find, and are expensive to train.  Our Hotel Concierge Chatbot and our Customer Service Chatbot help hotels and travel agents to overcome their hiring and productivity challenges while providing better service to their customers.”

More information is available on www.zumata.com

Financial Sector – PAND.AI

The selling process of most financial products and services often requires human-to-human interaction between a provider and a buyer. This time-honoured tradition has existed for years and, according to Pand.ai, is long overdue for a change. Shin Wee Chuang is the co-founder of Pand.ai and was the Head of Remote Banking in Standard Chartered Bank in China. Having had first-hand experience with the current labour-demanding processes in large financial conglomerates, Shin is confident that intelligent, multi-functional chatbots are the way to the future.

Unlike websites and mobile apps, chatbots offer a user experience that is ensconced within a very familiar interface–chat. When it comes to traditional graphical user interfaces such as websites and mobile apps, the navigational process can be cumbersome and frustrating. For instance, should a user want to get information on a product, he might have to click through several pages, or endure a long phone call to a customer service call centre, to obtain the information. However, with a chatbot, all a user has to do is ask.

Ease of use though, is only the beginning when it comes to the argument for chatbots in the financial industry. Another important factor is the scalability of a well-designed chatbot. When it comes to traditional customer service, a human agent is required to serve each customer, or potential customer, at any point of time, one at a time; whereas a chatbot who needs neither sleep nor rest, is immediately accessible, can serve potentially millions of users all at once, and at any time of the day.

Also Read: BI is not just for big enterprises, and here are 9 tools that any startup or SME can enjoy

Pand.ai’s chatbots core technology leverage Artificial Intelligence in the field of Natural Language Processing, which allows the bot to understand complicated queries that consist of multiple parts as well as grammatically imperfect input providing an intuitive and adaptive experience for the user. In addition, the users can also produce visualised data in the form of infographics for financial queries such as funds comparison from real-time analytics on the fly, store favourite articles and take tests and quizzes to assess their financial appetites.

More information is available on www.pand.ai

With the ability to learn from data, chat-bots will continue to improve. Given messaging app usage has now overtaken social media usage, it is clear that consumers today enjoy interacting over chat. Adopting a chat-bot to automate processes that can be automated definitely seems like a sound long-term solution.

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