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Top five conversational bots and why we love them

Posted March 6, 2019
robots standing in a line

In many ways, 2018 was the year of the conversational bot; hundreds of companies, ranging from banks to beverage brands, launched a chatbot for the very first time. The rate of implementation continues to rise with analysts predicting the global chatbot market to grow by nearly 25 percent before 2020.

Whether built on a foundation of an existing messaging platform, or meant as a stand-alone digital tool, chatbots today are raising the bar for customer experience, and consumers are becoming increasingly comfortable with AI-based customer service as a result

As a digital CX innovator and developer of leading-edge conversational bots, at TELUS International, we appreciate a good bot when we see one. Here are five chatbots that stand out from the crowd, and a look at what makes them so effective for their users.

1. Capital One’s Eno

Capital One’s conversational bot, Eno, is garnering attention for its combination of text-based messaging and voice commands. Aside from standard capabilities like offering account balances and transaction history, along with enabling consumers to pay bills on the spot, this chatbot even recognizes emojis.

Image source: capitalone.com

With Eno, consumers can safely and simply shop online. Rather than using their credit card number to purchase goods, the virtual assistant creates unique reference numbers for each online merchant. Not only does this strategy reduce instances of fraud, but Eno also streamlines the shopping experience by autofilling payment information and taking care of recurring bills. At a time when online security and cyber attacks are top of mind, Capital One’s bot is playing a vital role in protecting its customers while providing utility and convenience.

2. Hello Hipmunk

Besides boasting a great name, travel booking platform Hipmunk is behind what, in our opinion, is one of the best virtual assistants around. A Facebook Messenger chatbot that’s also available on Skype, Hello Hipmunk uses geotargeting to identify a user’s location and provide flight options and other travel deals related to their closest airport. Since coming out of beta in 2016, Hello Hipmunk has been able to “parse more complex questions posed in plain English and deliver more far-reaching results,” as outlined in the company’s blog.

Image source: topbots.com

This chatbot, which was one of the original travel bots on the market, is fast, friendly and saves previous search information and conversations for easy reference. It also enables fare-drop alerts, which promotes return visits and greater loyalty. Most importantly, however, it anticipates the questions travelers need to ask during their research process, from the best time of year to travel, to a certain location, to ideal flights. This makes Hello Hipmunk an indispensable companion for those planning a trip.

3. Your.MD

Awarded the prestigious Unesco/Netexplo Award 2017 for “innovations that can improve society,” the European based, Your.MD uses artificial intelligence to provide users with information to make more informed healthcare choices. The chatbot asks a series of demographic and symptom-based questions in order to accurately suggest if/when the user should seek more urgent care.

Image source: your.md

Touted as a personal heath guide and symptom checker, the bot embodies the company’s core values of honesty, integrity and transparency. The app received the ePrivacy seal and CE marking, certifying that it complies with the strict European laws on privacy to deliver even greater peace of mind to its users.

4. Swelly

Created by a company that endeavors to build “social communities to amplify brand awareness and loyalty,” Swelly allows users to poll the general public about anything, from what they should wear to what they should eat for dinner.

Image source: swelly.ai

In essence, the Swelly chatbot — available on Facebook Messenger, Kik, Telegram, Line and Viber — simplifies the decision-making process. With about 10 million users and an “either/or” layout that appeals to Gen Z and Millennials with its minimalist, photo-heavy UX design, Swelly is fun and addictive, and is hands-down the best virtual assistant for indecisive consumers. It can also be used by businesses for market research purposes.

5. Instalocate

Instalocate differs from other travel chatbots in that it uses artificial intelligence to advocate for passengers’ rights. The tool combines machine learning, IoT and an advanced user interface to predict and obtain compensation for customers when their flights are cancelled or delayed. This Facebook Messenger-based chatbot has the added benefit of being able to pinpoint the location of traveling friends and family, as well as inform users about airport features like lounges and free WiFi.

Image source: Instalocate.com

Designed for efficiency, Instalocate requires users to simply enter an airline name and flight number before it starts churning out information on flight status, duration, arrival time and more. Speed is everything with this chatbot, which focuses on delivering a superior customer experience for all airline passengers.

Feeling inspired? The key to developing an effective chatbot is to consider both how your company can make your customers’ lives easier, and how to create a satisfying bot-based customer experience. As is the case with these companies, a virtual assistant can easily become an invaluable part of your overall customer experience strategy.

A conversational bot floating above a mobile phone

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