How companies can use AI and chatbots to succeed in the age of COVID-19
COVID-19 is literally taking the world’s breath away. The viral disease, also known colloquially as corona, which mainly affects the lungs, has now spread across the globe and poses difficult challenges for companies. While in some industries all sales are falling off, others are barely keeping up with the work. But it is precisely the industries that have been hit hard that can use the crisis period to tackle and try out new concepts. The use of artificial intelligence and chatbots is a good way of doing this. In gastronomy, tourism industry and fitness studios these can help to be successful even in times of COVID-19. How? You will find out in this article.
This is what artificial intelligence is all about
In an increasingly digital world, the idea of artificial intelligence (AI) also plays an increasingly important role and what used to be only available in science fiction movies has now become reality. When we speak of AI today, however, we are not so much talking about independently thinking robots that do good or bad things, but rather about the attempt to transfer human thinking and learning to a computer and thus train it to behave intelligently. Based on given patterns, the computer is then supposed to recognize and execute certain things. Examples of artificial intelligence include Apple’s “Siri” or Amazon’s “Alexa”.
But artificial intelligence is also playing an increasingly central role in other areas. As a global trend topic, it has the potential to change internal and external corporate processes in the long term. Whether machine learning, deep learning or computer vision – in Germany alone, many companies are already relying on artificial intelligence in various forms.
Artificial intelligence in times of Corona
Even in the current corona crisis AI is moving into focus. This is because methods of artificial intelligence can help to extract knowledge from existing data and gain new insights more quickly. For example, machine learning is used to carry out similarity analyses with existing viruses in order to deduce which therapies promise success.
In addition, numerous scientific publishers have released thousands of publications on coronaviruses in order to have them evaluated using machine language processing. The aim is also to gain insights that can be used for research into a vaccine.
The average citizen will encounter artificial intelligence in connection with corona mainly in the form of a pandemic monitor. The dynamic maps not only help states and their health systems to predict the spread and course of the virus, but also provide private citizens with informative insights into regional and global distribution. Artificial intelligence thus helps to provide a broad mass of the population with information that could not be obtained manually. And companies can also use this advantage for themselves. For example, in the form of a chatbot.
What is a chatbot?
A chatbot is a technical dialogue system with language skills. The term is made up of the two words “chat” and “robot”, which actually describes the system. With a chatbot, you can communicate in real time by text input or speech and you don’t have to wait for a long time for a reply, as it is the case with an e-mail.
Chatbots are mostly used in companies to answer inquiries automatically and without direct human intervention. For example, a chatbot can explain your company’s products or services and provide general information. However, you can also program a chatbot to initiate a specific action depending on your request, which is then processed by the customer service team.
Mastering the Corona crisis with a chatbot
While some industries have much more to do as a result of the corona pandemic, others are in the doldrums. Despite the different starting positions, both sides can benefit from a Coronavirus chatbot. On the one hand, the chatbot can relieve customer service teams and on the other hand, it can bridge staff shortages. This opens up new opportunities, especially in industries that have been badly hit by the crisis.
– Chatbots in tourism
Travel companies are currently facing a dilemma. On the one hand, sales have almost completely disappeared due to travel bans and closed borders. On the other hand, many travelers cannot take their holidays and therefore inquire by phone or mail with the respective tour operator. As a result, customer service teams in particular are working at the limits of their capacity. This situation is further aggravated by the lack of sales and possible resulting redundancies. A chatbot can provide the customer service team with excellent support here and automatically answer general inquiries that occur frequently. This relieves employees and gives them time to concentrate on other tasks.
– Chatbots in catering
The pandemic also forced restaurants and catering businesses to close and are only allowed to offer takeaway meals. For restaurants, this means less turnover and the associated loss of staff. With a chatbot, they too can bridge this bottleneck and provide information about opening or delivery times, for example, to keep the business running.
– Chatbots in fitness studios
Gym operators are also hard hit by COVID-19 and face an uncertain time. Because they are not allowed to open their studios, sales are falling off, members are dropping out and trainers cannot work with their customers personally. Similar to the gastronomy, a chatbot can be used to answer frequent questions automatically. However, a chatbot offers significantly more potential for fitness studios. For example, a chatbot can also act as a fitness coach for members. Thanks to AI, a chatbot can also provide personalised workouts and nutritional recommendations, motivate members and answer their questions. Especially for studio operators, this is a good opportunity to retain members and develop new sales potential in order to survive the crisis.
Successfully through the crisis with AI and chatbots
The corona pandemic means an enormous burden with new challenges not only for people but also for companies. Some industries are more severely affected than others. With new approaches to solutions, these offers can be created for customers to retain them during and after the crisis. One possibility are chatbots with which personnel bottlenecks can be bridged and service teams can be relieved, especially in heavily affected industries.