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Meera AI
Conversational AI: Keeping Businesses Afloat and Roaring During the Pandemic
11th Aug, 2020

COVID-19 has unarguably emerged as the global health emergency of the century. The pandemic has created shockwaves that have destabilized the basis on which industries stood on. Its impact is already visible with economies around the world grappling with recession. Consequently, businesses have been forced to fast track their plans to digitize and automate their operations to sustain through the crisis. The unprecedented times have called for businesses to innovate and leverage state-of-the-art technologies in machine learning, artificial intelligence, and robotic process automation to cut down on costs and fix operational inefficiencies. With no end to the pandemic visible in the foreseeable future, technology is playing a pivotal role in reshaping businesses and industries.

As the physical distance between businesses and consumers increases, communication has become the key to closing the gap. Conversational AI, among other technologies, has become a critical weapon for enabling businesses to effectively navigate through the business uncertainties and reach customers. Let’s take a look at how the pandemic has impacted various industries and where conversational AI fits in.

Insurance

Even in the absence of the pandemic, the insurance industry was highly competitive. With the added stress of the pandemic, insurance companies are finding it difficult to cope up with the pressure. Managing the crisis has resulted in a rise in operational costs while global premiums plummet as many lines of businesses continue to shrink. These factors have caused an average insurer to lose 35% of its market capitalization.

In addition to the financial setback, insurance companies are registering a spike in queries regarding health and life insurance claims. Insurance companies are struggling to handle the upsurge in queries while working with limited employees. All this accompanied with pressure from governments to relax premium payment deadlines has added to the crisis.

Banking and Finance

The COVID-19 outbreak is redefining customer expectations from banks and financial services. With physical access to bank branches no more feasible, customers are expecting banks to roll out digital services. In addition to this, the changing economic policies and financial aid announcements have resulted in an upsurge in consumer queries. Customers are turning to bank contact centers to get their queries clarified. However, with banks operating with restricted staff and a significant increase in the influx of customer queries, most banking institutions are struggling to communicate with their customers.

Healthcare

Healthcare systems have been the most impacted by the pandemic. Doctors, nurses, and support staff battling the virus are overwhelmed with a heavy inflow of patients. This has resulted in healthcare systems to be overwhelmed even in the most affluent countries. While treating patients the nurses and support staff have to handle calls from patients and answer their queries. The additional burden of handling these administrative tasks is taking a toll on already tired and overwhelmed healthcare workers. Systems around the world are in need of technology to ensure that healthcare workers do not have too many administrative tasks on their plate.

Automobile

With social distancing norms in place, auto dealerships have registered a significant decrease in customer footfall. Along with disrupted supply chains, a fall in revenue has the automobile industry on edge with various dealerships facing closures. The pandemic has, however, redefined customer expectations who now expect autodealers to move their services online. Because dealerships are heavily reliant on traditional ways of doing business with their customers they are struggling to adapt to the new normal. As the industry adopts new techniques to get the business going, the industry needs to revamp its communication strategy to stay connected with their customers and notify them about the new services.

Education

Coronavirus has resulted in most educational institutions switching to online learning. While it has allowed colleges and universities to continue their classes, students are still hesitant in the efficacy of the new model. This has caused universities and colleges to re-evaluate their communication and marketing strategies. With the online learning model leveling the playing field for universities around the world, competition in the sector has intensified. As a consequence, universities and colleges are struggling to reach their enrollment targets. It must be the time to reinvent their marketing to sustain and scale.

Conversational AI – The Need of the Hour

One thing that is common to all the industries is communication. Conversational AI offers industries a way they can streamline their communication strategies which is crucial to improving operational efficiencies and retaining customers. A few ways the AI can prove useful are:

Information Dissemination

With so many uncertainties around the pandemic, conversational AI offers a way organizations can keep their customers updated. The AI can be used as a tool to notify customers of new offers, education webinars, changes in bank operations, crucial information about the pandemic, and the implementation of government policies. Not only does conversational AI automate the process, but it also improves its efficacy by personalizing messages and using text messaging platforms to ensure the information reaches the target.

Customer Query Resolution

Most industries are struggling to address and answer customer queries while working with limited staff. This not only negatively influences the brand value but also puts added pressure on the employees. Conversational AI offers a way hospitals, educational institutions, banks, and insurance companies can optimize their customer service. In addition to addressing thousands of queries, conversational AI can help organizations save significantly on operational costs by automating the process.

Marketing

Getting through to the customers has become immensely difficult in recent times. A surge in investments in digital marketing has made the space expensive and crowded. Conversational AI enables organizations to personalize marketing and meet prospects where they are. Its capability to leverage text messaging platforms to communicate with customers makes it a lethal marketing weapon that can help organizations sustain and scale their business during the pandemic. The tool also amplifies ROI on marketing investments by engaging inbound leads and nurturing them.

Appointment Scheduling

The appointment scheduling feature can be used in a variety of flavors:

Conversational AI’s versatile nature and human-like intelligence make the tool a must-have for surviving the pandemic and scaling businesses in the post-COVID-19 world.

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