Increase in Chatbot Inquiries during the COVID-19 Pandemic

As demonstrated by the Coronavirus pandemic, a crisis does not give any warning, it appears suddenly and takes us by surprise. Therefore, being prepared makes a huge difference between being able to respond quickly and proactively, or having to wait for circumstances to take us to an unknown destination.

The pandemic has changed our priorities with health quickly becoming priority #1 throughout the world. Millions of people are now confined in their homes (for the most favored), many others are on the streets looking for day-to-day food, whilst others are in the hospital or at home with aggravated symptoms of illness.

The importance of prevention and speed of response in times of crisis

Uncertainty is high during this difficult period that we are experiencing. With uncertainty comes doubts and questions, which forces, more than ever, all news sources to provide us with reliable information very quickly. Information technologies are playing a fundamental role in this.

When reviewing companies of different sizes, we found out that the demand for information increased by at least 150%, up to 300% on the days with the highest demand. As we know, chatbots are designed to answer the bulk of queries for which we already have responses, allowing human agents to devote themselves to solving complex issues or giving targeted information to more specific topics.

“The situation of human resources scarcity coupled with the urgent need for information has led to chatbots or virtual assistants becoming a very important communication channel.”

Chatbots behavior by company size

Companies with a small level of demand
Chatbot enquiries during COVID 19 crisis

We can notice a spike in inquiries around the end of February and during mid-March, which is when the crisis started to hit Europe and the US.

On the bottom graph, we can see that the number of answers found by the chatbot show pronounced peaks and troughs due to not having a mature or enriched knowledge base.

Companies with a medium level of demand

Chatbot enquiries during COVID 19 crisis

Here too, we can notice a spike in inquiries from mid-March, which is when the crisis really started in the US.

On the bottom graph, we can see that the amount of answers found by the chatbot remains constant and close to 100%, which tells us that there is a well-constructed and maintained knowledge base.

Companies with a high level of demand

Chatbot enquiries during COVID 19 crisis

This is where the positive impact of having a well-built AI chatbot is the greatest. In this case, we can see how the demand for information increases by more than 300%, and the efficiency of content is maintained at levels around 90%. This is a mature and well-built chatbot, which helps its audience to obtain the requested information.

Some suggestions

  • Create content based on demand
    Identify what your audience (customers, collaborators, users) are asking for and for which you do not have answers, then create adequate content.
  • Anticipate
    In some specific industries (aeronautics, tourism, financial), there will be many consultations arising from the consequences of the current pandemic. So you need to anticipate, design and add the answers to these queries.
  • General information about the pandemic
    Although your company is not a specialist on the COVID-19 topic, it is likely that your users will use your chatbot interface to make general queries about the Coronavirus, so you can upload FAQs from various official sources (World Health Organization, Ministry of Health) to help provide proper answers.
  • Opportunity to build loyalty
    Giving quick answers, with reliable information helps your users to trust your company. So quickly creating relevant content is critical.

“Humanity is facing a global crisis. Possibly the greatest crisis of our generation. The decisions that people and governments make in the coming weeks will shape the course of the world for years to come.”

The world after coronavirus, Financial Times, Yuval. Noah Harari

If you have any questions related to the Coronavirus pandemic, make sure you check out Inbenta’s dedicated COVID-19 Helpsite:

Visit Inbenta COVID-19 Helpsite

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