Use cases of natural language processing and conversational ai in business

Natural Language Processing, known as NLP, is a growing segment of Artificial Intelligence. In a technical aspect, NLP is about computers understanding and interpreting the language we speak. Even though there are many challenges to fill the gap between how we speak and how computers understand, there are many use cases of NLP in business. I’m going to cluster them according to use cases rather than the industries they are utilized in.  

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Chatbots and Virtual Assistants 

Chatbots are broadly used by many industries today. They help companies provide users with customized service, one can schedule or cancel an appointment with a service provider, ask for special offers in credits with a bank, or manage their orders with a shopping website. There are many use cases of chatbots according to industries, so this part will be elaborated according to them.

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Use of Chatbots in Retail 

Ready-to-wear giant ASOS has reported that they have tripled their orders using Chatbots alone, and reached three times more people. Meanwhile, 1-800-Flowers reported that 70 percent of their Chatbot orders are composed of new customers. Sephora has increased makeover appointments by 11 percent through their Facebook Messenger Chatbot. In addition to the enhanced sales and marketing capabilities, they replace human live supports, decreasing costs dramatically. McKinsey indicates that companies save up to 29 percent on customer service by deploying chatbots. The companies replacing their sales representative positions result in cutting 15 billion dollars off salaries. Moreover, an IBM survey shows that 65 percent of millennials in the US would rather go for online support than speaking to staff. Chatbots also started to replace e-mails. Moreover, chatbots replaced e-mail marketing, thanks to being interactive and dynamic. A company can receive instant feedback when a customer says “no”. Chatbots also segment your audience and allow you to target potential customers; a report published by Accenture indicates that “consumers are 75 percent more likely to buy from a retailer that recognizes them by name or recommends options based on past purchases”. When you offer substitute goods or complementary goods to customers, such as, Amazon’s “frequently bought together” or ML algorithm-based “customers who bought this also bought this” prompts.

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Use of Chatbots in Hospitality Management and Civil Aviation 

A chatbot in the hospitality industry has many use cases, ranging from synchronizing with your calendar for when you are going out of town for an event, to handling your plans and suggest amenities based on your purpose of visit. It can take satisfaction surveys after your visit and keep your preferences to provide a better-customized experience to you. The chatbots of Marriott provide customer engagement pre, during and post-visit. Regardless of their bookings, the chatbot sends personalized content to the customers such as tourist attractions on their destination. Once the customer books, the check-in process, room services, orders and aforementioned activity suggestions and local recommendations pop-up in the chatbot. Furthermore, Wynn Last Vegas has equipped rooms with Amazon Echo speakers to grant customers full-control over their smart rooms.  Marriott has been testing Alexa and Siri for conversating online booking. Moreover, airline company KLM has deployed chatbots through Facebook Messenger, increasing customer interaction by 40 percent and 15 percent of the online boarding passes are sent through the bot.  

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Banking Industry 

The chatbots made by Fintech companies manage 85 percent of the engagements between banks and customers. Juniper forecasts that chatbots replacing live supports and call center operators will save up to 8 billion dollars annually, by 2022. So far, JPMorgan Chase has deployed multiple bots; one of them, COIN, reportedly saved over 360,000 hours of labor and other bots have been parsing emails and handling IT requests in the company. Moreover, from a consumer perspective, there are many benefits provided by chatbots, such as a bot can warn you when there’s an unauthorized charge from abroad. Moreover, the chatbot and virtual assistant of the Bank of America, “Erica”, learns from your spending habits and makes recommendations based on your saving goals, and breaks down your monthly costs to make recommendations.  

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Use of Chatbots in Restaurants 

Chain restaurants like Burger King and Taco Bell have launched chatbots, greeting the customer and enabling them to order food. The customer can choose pickup location, pay for the order and the chatbot tells them when their order is ready. They enhance the service quality and reduce work hours paid by the business. Moreover, bots are also used for making a reservation in a regular restaurant. They also include recommendation engines. The best part of the use of chatbots in restaurants is that it can be integrated into any channel of your choice so that the customer doesn’t have to download an application. For instance, Pizza Hut takes orders from Facebook Messenger and Twitter. 

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Current Chatbot Frameworks 

There are three main chatbot frameworks open for use. One is Facebook Messenger chatbot developed by Wit AI, the other one is Google’s famous Dialogflow. If you are a developer who is looking for lower costs, you probably will not choose these as these are not known to be flexible and cheap; but, if you don’t care about the costs and have no programming background, these frameworks provide drag-and-drop user-friendly interfaces that you can build your bot easily. Another option, other than building your bot from scratch, is Rasa, which provides more flexibility when building bots, but you need to have programming knowledge. You can integrate any application from the backend with Rasa and customize your user interface and integrate your bot through any channel of your choice. 

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