Chatbots — a computer program or artificial intelligence (AI) that has text or voice conversations — are redefining customer service, especially in healthcare. A 2017 Juniper Research study found that healthcare providers that use chatbots can expect average time savings of just over four minutes per inquiry, with average cost savings in the range of $0.50-$0.70 per interaction.
While the success of the chatbot is often calculated in saved nickels and dimes, a bot’s ability to provide a “human-like” experience is also an important indicator of success. One of the most significant challenges facing bots is how to make the conversation feel natural.
For Brian Gresh, president of Loyal, an Atlanta-based healthcare tech company that created the chatbot platform Guide, the first step in addressing the “human speak” challenge is understanding what the user wants.
“Chatbots use natural language processing (NLP), which trains computers to identify the intent of the user. NLP breaks that down into words and phrases to understand the person’s intent, and directs them to the right content,” Gresh says. “To do that, you have to feed different conversations and data into the AI and through that process train the AI to understand the intent of the questions.”
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