We all text more than ever before with our family and friends. It is now time to take the conversation to the whole new level. Conversations help us build effective relationships in a business environment. Uber’s Chris Messina has coined the swanky term for robotic texting as ‘conversational commerce’. It refers to the trend of interacting with businesses through messaging and chat apps like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Zendesk or voice technology like Amazon Echo. Introducing Chatbots, a computer program which is designed to have conversations with the end user. A set of text algorithms ensures that the end user feels like texting with a human.

‘’We’re in the midst of a once-in-a-decade paradigm shift. Messaging is the new platform, and bots are the new apps. The shift radically changes end-user experiences and developer frameworks and inevitably will change business models, how we monetize, and how we advertise.’’ – Sundar Pichai, Google.

A chatbot is a computer program that maintains a conversation with a user in natural language, understands the intent of the user, and sends a response based on business rules and data of the organisation. Mobile messengers like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and WeChat have gone global with more than a billion users of each. Users prefer to transact on messengers than on apps as it is an effective form of direct communication. TechCrunch data reveals that average user has about 20 apps installed on his phone. The app boom has resulted in consumer reluctance especially in a country like India where data deficiency is common.

“People-to-people conversations, people-to-digital assistants, people-to-bots … that’s the world you’re going to get to see in the years to come.” – Satya Nadella, Microsoft

Brands are constantly looking for efficient user experience. India’s leading private general insurer, ICICI Lombard is constantly innovating for holistic experience to its customers by building effective conversational commerce. Chatbots are transforming customer acquisition and retention with smart interactive responses. ICICI Lombard has four chatbots under implementation which are part of their digital innovation strategy. Chatbot projects in focus on fire insurance and two-wheeler insurance have already gone live.

ICICI Lombard has automated the process of purchasing two-wheeler insurance through a chat bot. Users can proceed with the chat on ICICI Lombard official website where the chatbot would require your basic information and policy number, in the case of renewal to assist you well. The chatbot can assist you in pricing, terms and conditions and regulatory requirements. The facility allows you to upload necessary files and photos which are required as per IRDA mandate. ICICI Lombard Facebook chatbot for health insurance is currently under-development.

Chat based assistance is fruitful for an individual customer but when it comes to corporate clients, email is the way-to-go. Email based chatbot by ICICI Lombard is transforming the ease of doing business in fire insurance. This chatbot enables faster quote generation with prospective clients without any human interference. Transaction time has drastically reduced. Since fire insurance quotes depend upon the area and the line of business the client operates in, email based chatbots ensures EODB for both client and insurer.

Chatbots were initially designed to automate business function. ICICI Lombard, in an industry first has deployed HR chatbot which works as an add-on on Yammer, a social networking site for corporates. Employees can access HR services on-the-go. The HR chatbot helps you connect with your teams and natural groups and have live conversations with them in a secured way. Employees can raise queries, schedule leaves and manage emoluments 24/7, giving employees on the field instant access to transactions and HR data, regardless of location or time zone.

ICICI Lombard has been the early adopters of fintech in multiple functions. Technology plays the role of enabler in the enterprise. Chatbots are currently in initial stages of functioning. In future, we would see more interactive conversations with regional understandability and support. In India, the accessibility of chatbots in regional languages would ensure last mile reachability. It is an undeniable fact that Artificial Intelligence will take financial services business in India to the whole new level.

Originally published on theindiancapitalist.com

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