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Melissa Ruppel
November 17, 2020

Highlights

  • Preparing for a Second Wave of a Pandemic
  • Chatbots & Patient Satisfaction
  • Trends in Chatbots

Chatbot Statistics and Trends

Statistics

A chatbot is a computer program that interacts with humans by simulating and processing human conversation, whether spoken or written. Chatbots can be programmed to answer simple questions with single-line responses; or, they can employ sophisticated artificial intelligence (AI) allowing them to learn, adapt and grow to become more personal, so humans feel they are interacting with another human (or close to it). AI chatbots are the current trend and forecasted to grow quickly:

  • 80% of businesses are expected to have some sort of chatbot automation by the end of 2020 (Outgrow)
  • The overall market size for chatbots worldwide is expected to be over $1.3 billion by 2024. (Global Market Insights) 
  • Top industries profiting from chatbots are real estate, travel, education, healthcare and finance 
  • Over 50% of customers polled expect a business to be “open” 24/7 (Oracle)

Trends

ChatBots will be more human-like as deep customer insights are used to drive the chatbots’ behavior. Chatbot software will use sentiment analysis to help it understand the customer’s emotions. For example, if a chatbot receives a message from an angry customer, the bot recognizes anger and routes the customer to the appropriate team. 

AI conversational chatbots will be used in contact centers because doing so reduces customer service costs by up to 30%. (Chatbots Magazine) 

Social media will dominate the adoption of AI. Part of social media is used for ordering products, looking up services, offering reviews and getting in touch with businesses. Integrating chatbots with social media has therefore become necessary.

Prepping for Another Shutdown

Yesterday, the United States had over 153,000 new positive COVID-19 infections—another record, and some type of shutdown may be on the horizon for most, if not all states. This past spring, the New York metro area dealt with an unknown pandemic situation from one day to the next, reacting to events after they’d happened or as they were happening instead of being able to plan ahead for them. 

The difference now, in November, is everyone has the ability to prepare and use the lessons learned from last spring to ease the impact on their business. 

What You Should Do Right NOW

Telehealth. If you don’t offer telemedicine appointments for your practice, start putting this technology and its processes in place. Even after the previous shutdown was over, patients continued to embrace the telehealth trend even in the summer after the pandemic situation temporarily improved. Telehealth is something you should offer going forward, regardless of the pandemic. However, right now telehealth is absolutely essential to reduce the possible impact to your practice. 

Review your processes. Ensure they can be adjusted. How do you perform patient intakes? How do you get forms signed? How do you make appointments? Which staff member is responsible for which processes? You might not need somebody new to lead patients to the treatment room, but you might need somebody new to manage the online patient intake process or COVID-19 rules.

Beef up your website, specifically the content. Patients want to be better informed by your website. These already high expectations towards a practice website will increase even more. How to add quality content:

  • Add content for most common questions (FAQs)
  • Add content about your new processes
  • Make it easy for patients to engage with your practice 
  • Ensure patients can request an appointment. Real time booking is not 100% necessary

Test your new processes. Proactively communicate with your patients about your processes and let them know you are ready. Ask for feedback.

Increase patient communication. Now is the perfect time to start a newsletter to indicate your ability to communicate important information, especially for patients that need ongoing support. For example, communicating with orthopedic patients that can’t go to physical therapy.

The bottom line, don’t wait until you have to actbecause you don’t have to this time around. Start now.