As COVID-19 has imposed social/physical distancing on business and individuals alike, businesses are looking for digital solutions that enable contact-less commerce and remote work operations amid this global pandemic. Chatbots are the answers to many challenges posed by the pandemic, from social distancing to increased volume of customer/employee queries to remote working.
Chatbots add immense value to businesses not only in service quality, delivering it scale and speed. In the current COVID19 pandemic, businesses across industries are using them in a variety of ways to help their employees, customers, clients, partners, vendors, and other stakeholders. Here, I am listing out some popular use cases where Chatbots can help during COVID-19:
- Telemedicine: The healthcare infrastructure is strained as healthcare workers are struggling to cater to the huge influx of COVID-19 infected patients, coupled with the fact of a dire shortage of essential medical resources not being met by the supply-side due to lockdown. Patients with other medical issues are postponing their care visits to reduce the risk of virus infection, in effect, drying up the other revenue streams for healthcare institutions. The adoption of telemedicine has increased as a result to counteract it. Chatbots can monitor and track the health conditions of home patients and provide a medical diagnosis to self-care patients. In case patients need critical care, they can alert the hospital/doctor to provide emergency rescue measures. Chatbots can also relieve overburdened doctors by assisting doctors with patients’ symptoms tracking, medical analysis, and treatment recommendation.
- Virtual Appraisals: COVID-19 is having a tremendous impact on fleet management and insurance companies. Due to the stringent lockdowns and safety concerns, field appraisers may not able to do home and field visits to perform physical inspections for claims processing. A Chatbot for virtual appraisals can enable Photo-based Estimations for faster and Safer Claims Processing without waiting for in-person damage assessment. Read our case study to learn how Unvired helped a Pennsylvania based Fleet Management Company to complete virtual vehicle damage assessment and appraisals without the need for a driver to go to the repair body shop or interact at close quarters with an appraiser in the field.
- Order Health Supplies: COVID-19 has brought new challenges for fleet management companies to ensure driver and customer safety. They need to comply with strict guidelines for vehicle sanitation. A Chatbot can help drivers order health supplies (like masks, sanitizers) directly from the vendor or the company online store. Using the same bot, they can claim reimbursement for purchased items by submitting a picture of bills/payment receipts for approval.
- Return to Work Guidelines/Checklists: As businesses reopen and employees return to work, state authorities have defined strict guidelines for adherence to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Chatbots can be very effective in answering COVID-related FAQs and employee queries, performing safety and risk assessment checklists, sending alerts, and more.
- Customer Service: Nationwide quarantines, movement restrictions, booking cancellations, and business uncertainty have generated high demand for customer service. The soaring incoming volume and reduced staff capacity have already increased the higher wait time. As a result, organizations are rushing to implement Chatbots to improve customer reach and experience. A bot can answer a bulk of simple and repetitive questions that save time for support staff to focus on high-value calls.
- IT Helpdesk: The success of remote working hinges on the capabilities of the IT team. In addition to ensuring adequate communication infrastructure, document management system, productivity tools in place, the team has to deal with round the clock support for remote teams to enable work continuity. For IT teams, Chatbots can play an integral part by providing 24×7 service availability in the instance of device malfunction or outages. When connected to the knowledge management system, IT helpdesk Chatbots can deliver instant answers for both technical and end-user queries. Chatbots can also be used to perform simple but critical functions of password resets, notifications, and help raise issue tickets for human intervention.
- Human Resources: Remote working has been the response of businesses to lockdown, in effect overburdening human resource teams to provide Work from Home facility. Chatbots can help HR teams in many steps of this workplace transformation. It can automate a huge volume of simple yet persistent queries on workplace guidelines, employee policies, leave requests, PTOs, salaries, and more. HR can leverage Chatbots to ease the monumental task of the eventual return of a large part of the workforce to the office. Recruitment during a pandemic is another aspect in which Chatbots can play a key role in HR processes, automating employee orientation, and onboarding, which consist of a substantial amount of queries to the HR team.
- Procurement: Procurement has been forced to evolve rapidly from the onset of COVID-19. The span of the pandemic across multiple geographies has put near to mid-term purchase plans into jeopardy. Chatbots can perform as a critical digital lever for procurement professionals to handle disrupted supply bases and form a viable alternative to engage with suppliers. During social distancing, Chatbots provide an important interface to help purchasers in guided buying and make purchasing decisions. Information such as product availability, contract terms, shipment status, supplier status, pricing details, outstanding amount, and purchase history can be obtained using Chatbots.
Unvired is a Digital Solutions provider of mobile/web applications, digital forms, and artificial intelligence-enabled Chatbots for Enterprises. Unvired has developed a Bots platform Chyme, On top of which, virtual/digital assistants for IT help desk, customer service, FAQs, sales, marketing, and procurement have been built. Chyme powered bots are omnichannel and can be invoked from Slack, Skype for Business, Facebook Messenger, Facebook Workplace, Google Assistants, and others.