Chennai, India, Dec 1, 2016 -- Have you often seen a pop-up on websites, while surfing online for buy ing a car or an insurance policy? And if one responds to the pop-up, the chat leads on to a discussion on actual quotes, a possible rebate or added benefits almost a mind-reader to solving your financial queries.
But you would be surprised to know that it is not a person who is having a pleasant and intelligent conversation with you, but a bot.
A chatbot that is extensively programmed and acquires more knowledge as it talks to more people. Financial websites of credit marketplaces are finding that chat-bots are helping them reach out to thousands of customers and increase their conversion rates.
At PolicyBazaar, efficiency at their call centres has improved by 50% as chatbots help to weed out the serious enquiriesleads from casual website browsers. "We have 4-5 years of rich data from our call centre as to customer interactions, questions normally asked and areas of contention. With this backbone, we have been able to come up with transcripts for our chatbots, that are very human," said Ashish Gupta, CTO, PolicyBazaar.com.
Joe Hukum, who is working on developing automated and intelligent solutions for various insurance companies and aggregators, including PolicyBazaar.com, said that "Today, insurance products are very complex and have many product variations. Insurance products are mostly customized to an individual's requirements. The traditional offline insurance agent tries to understanding a customer's requirements and helping them choose the right policy. However, costs and viability do not allow human agents to upscale. With the advent of technology , internet and intuitiveness of chat, chatbots are able to do a lot of the same thing without any human involvement!" The company's chat solutions have reduced manpower by as much 75% in human powered call centers. "Chat is so friendly a medium that this has also let to as much as 350% increase in lead capturing and a 35% increase in conversions," he said.
And what if the bot can't answer it all? "There's human intervention as soon as the bot starts getting questions that require more sophisticated responses," said Gupta.With natural language processing and artificial intelligence, the botsare able to hold more intelligent and pleasant conversations all through the day and night. Staffing at call centres have also come down because of bot deployment.
Neeraj Aggarwala, cofounder, EasyPolicy.com said the bot helped site navigation enormously . "If you look at credit marketplaces, they have a plethora of information, new deals, discounts, add-on benefits, etc. Everyday there are multiple modifications to the website. Now for me to train my call centre staff of 200 every minute of the day is tiresome and counter-productive," said Aggarwala.
Running a full-time call centres also brings it own costs to online players, as they need to hire quality assurance officers and train staff on etiquette. Attrition rate at call centres is also very high at 55%, which makes it cost-effective to have a bot step in. "A bot isn't going to quit because it is having a monotonous job.Nor will it misbehave with a customer," said Aggarwala.
Another huge advantage is the depth of detail the bot can provide. "While agents might take some 2-3 minutes to look at the customer history and then answer questions. The bot can answer in split-second as it has all relevant information at its fingertips," said Sasidhar Vavilala, executive, Bankbazaar.com.
"The insurance industry is very heavily data driven both in terms of using and generating data," said Deekshith Marla, co-founder and CTO, Arya.ai, whose deep learning capabilities help it gain popularity as an artificial intelligence tool for rapid development and scaling of applications among enterprises. Niki.ai, which is a par t of global reinsurer SwissRe's accelerator programme, is building a prototype for end-to-end insurance on conversation of discovery, buying and renewal.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
PolicyBazaar.com is India's online life insurance and general insurance aggregator.
Published: Friday, December 2, 2016
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