Chatbot services, which enable humans and machines to communicate by exchanging short sentences, continue to improve. The introduction of machine learning and AI technology, while nothing new in and of itself, has helped chatbots evolve to become able to hold more natural, detailed conversations. This presents new possibilities for financial institutions to innovate in customer service.
Specifically, chatbots have been used to answer inquiries posed to financial institutions that handle diverse, complex products and services as well as sales support.
24/7 Customer Support Using AI Chatbot
AI chatbots offer the benefit of providing users with relevant information via friendly UX/UI (user experience and user interface). In addition, AI chatbots can learn many question-and-reply patterns from past interactions via machine-learning. For new customer inquiries, chatbots craft appropriate responses by matching the question with responses prepared by script editing engines.
Today's widespread use of chat apps has exponentially increased the number of people familiar with chat UX/UI. Thus, businesses are flocking to chat to handle customer inquiries and explain products.
Chat will also make waves in how the financial sector handles product and service inquiries. Ideally, such inquiries would be handled in person through a call center or email, but the cost of 24/7 support is too high. An AI chatbot can automate the process of asking follow-up questions to answer inquiries 24/7, which in turn raises customer satisfaction. Interest in AI chatbots has thus been growing both in Japan and internationally.
AI Chatbot Answering Customer Inquiries
Given these market trends, since 2017 Fujitsu has provided an AI chatbot service, the "FUJITSU Financial Solution Finplex Robot Agent Platform" (FRAP). FRAP uses FUJITSU Human Centric AI Zinrai technology. A trial of FRAP is underway at a major financial institution.
Once a financial institution integrates FRAP into their website, they can chat with general consumers and introduce financial products/services that match their needs at any time. FRAP can also lower the psychological barrier to asking about financial products and services.
Monthly Subscription Cloud Service
Fujitsu will provide FRAP as a SaaS solution by monthly subscription on the FUJITSU Digital Business Platform MetaArc. FRAP includes an original chat interface that works with smartphones and tablets as well as computers. In addition, the API Gateway feature allows users to link an existing chat service to customer websites.
FRAP's biggest functional feature is that customers can edit their own thesaurus and scripts. The thesaurus editing feature automatically picks up the thesaurus when the AI learns from FAQs, call center response manuals, work manuals, and other data. Meanwhile, the script editing function allows customers to create and edit communication scripts. Both features employ an easy-to-use graphical management screen, so those unfamiliar with ICT can still easily use them. The script editing feature can "define the flow of a conversation by connecting balloon icons and selection icons."
While FRAP was developed mainly for financial institutions, it has broad applications. After its October 2016 announcement, Fujitsu has received inquires from companies in various industries. As a communication method, chat has become the third most used after the telephone and email. Adopting FRAP, made possible by AI technology to hold relevant conversations, can provide a high quality, 24/7 chatbot service at low cost. Being able to leverage a chatbot service can enhance customer satisfaction and strengthen a company's competitive edge.