A few years ago, if we wanted to book an appointment for a grooming session or for quarterly follow-up with a dentist or for Pathology blood sample collection (Home visit), we used to call administrative staff and ask to book an appointment. If we don’t get success in that then we would use appointment booking web portal (If they have one) and book appointment.

You must be thinking why many people choose to call administrative staff over self-scheduling appointments via webportal. The simple reason is, It’s not so convenient for users to login into a website and navigate through the confusing appointment booking web portal. Instead, users usually prefer a conversational experience. But calling the administrative staff for appointment booking has so many drawbacks such as

  • Humans have limitations. They can’t work for 24 hrs so if we need an appointment then we need to call during the working hours.
  • And for small firms, having dedicated Human resources just for appointment booking is not economically viable.
  • Humans are bound to make mistakes, they cannot perform as consistently as machines can.
  • The biggest disadvantage of appointment booking via calling on the desk is, one executive can handle only a single customer. This situation is not good for both customers as well as service providers.
  • Customers may get frustrated to be in a queue. As a result, service providers may lose business opportunities.

Businesses need to be proactive, engage better with their audience, and convert visitors into qualified customers. Selling is not only about working with people in the real world, but also about better interaction with online visitors.

Chatbot can be the one stop solution for all of the above issues. In this busy world, customers often don’t get time to book appointments during office hours. Upgrading to appointment booking chatbot means you are always available for your clients as chatbot works 24X7. It can handle multiple customers at a time, and yes it is comparatively a lot more economical.

In the past few years, chatbots have really started to become more popular, and an increasing number of firms, including those in Healthcare, Personal care, Banking, Travel, and Telecommunications, are developing chatbot-based solutions that will allow users to book appointments, check travel status, make payments, and so on. And, of course, there are many bot building platforms such as Google’s Dialogflow, Amazon Lex, IBM Watson, Chatfuel, Rasa which can be used to develop a chatbot with quick-turnaround time.

At Pragnakalp Techlabs, we usually use Dialogflow to build our chatbots. The strongest reason behind using the Dialogflow is its NLU capability to create AI-enabled chatbots. Dialogflow’s Natural Language Understanding capability makes chatbot more intelligent than others. It also provides easy integration with multiple chat channels which makes chatbot easily accessible over a wider range of platforms which ultimately leads to better user experience and better reach.

Dialogflow can analyze multiple types of input from your customers, including text or audio inputs like from a phone or voice based virtual assistant (ex. Google Assistant). It can also respond to your customers in different ways, either through text or with voice.

PK Scheduler Bot

Appointment booking bot enables users to create an appointment on their preferred slot. It also enables customers to reschedule or delete the appointment. The best part is all this process carried out in a most effective conversational manner. Even users can speak to the bot using their preferred language. Dialogflow has so many language options to build the chatbot.

Letting chatbot book appointments at workplaces saves human resources time to let them deal with more complicated tasks. It also improves the user experience. It optimizes Human resources as well.

There’s a good chance you’ve used a voice service like Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa or the Google Assistant to find a nearby store, a great pizza place or a translation in Spanish and you’ve probably had to type in a lot of details and looking at the trends it looks like that we will use more voice based assistants like Google Assistant and Alexa on daily basis in coming years.

After so much experimentation and hardwork, we have built an AI-powered appointment booking chatbot – PK Scheduler Bot – which will be available on Telephone, Website, Facebook Messenger, Telegram, SMS and Google Assistant. Meaning that your customers no longer need to jump around the site or be in a queue to book an appointment. They can book appointment via their preferred chat channel.

We have also integrated the Google calendar with our appointment booking chatbot, which will keep a record of all your appointments in your Google calendar. Appointment Booking chatbot also sends the reminder to the customers which ultimately decreases the “no show”.

If we want to sum up the importance of Appointment booking chatbot in banking analogy, we would say firm without chatbots are like
Government bank: Where customers are always in a queue, sweating around, waiting for their turn to come.
Whereas Firm which are using chatbots are like
Private bank: Which provides a Relationship Manager for their customer. Chatbot acts like your Virtual personal assistant.

Chatbots are of course not an entirely automated solution, because they still need to be programmed by a developer. There are some common problems and issues that can occur, and there are also natural language questions that are difficult to solve. But for routine tasks such as appointment booking, shipping status, checking results, etc, chatbots are proving to be excellent solution.

If you observe the successful firms, one thing you will find common in them, they are always eager to deliver the highest customer experience. Use of AI powered chatbot will likely to become a new industry standard in the coming years and early adopters will always have an edge over the market. Choice is yours.

Categories: Chatbots Development Dialogflow

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