India Inc takes to chatbots for better efficiency, customer interface

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on July 26, 2019 Published on July 26, 2019

TIA, RICHA and CARA are some of the most efficient employees of Tata group. TIA has simplified the loan procurement process for Tata Capital's customers to a great extent. RICHA, who is working with Tata Steel, is exceptional in customer communication. Tata Consultancy Services employees directly approach CARA for instant answers to their queries.

The three though are no ordinary employees. TIA, RICHA and CARA are AI (artificial intelligence) platforms in the form of chatbots and voice assistants, taking over tasks previously handled by human employees at Tata Group.

The Tata example

Tata Capital introduced TIA, a personal loan assistant on Tata Capital app to “voice-assist the personal loan customer to check loan eligibility and aid the customer through the loan approval process within minutes”.

“TIA brings ease and convenience to the customer by providing a personalised and seamless experience,” said Abonty Banerjee, Chief Digital Officer, Tata Capital. “Data through TIA is also used in a more meaningful manner, thus helping us create a far more delightful customer experience. We have been able to deepen our engagement with our customers as well. It helps to reduce the overall cost to serve in a significant manner and also is a good opportunity to upsell.”

Currently, over 25 per cent of Tata Capital’s customers utilise the bot for loan assistance, instead of the traditional approach. With CARA , a huge chunk of TCS’ direct general HR inquiries have been taken off the hands of human employees, this maximising their productivity by 40 per cent, as per reports.

Traditional industries such as manufacturing benefit too. “RICHA has helped improve the productivity of ProCare (Procurement Helpdesk) by improving accuracy and speed of response to procedural queries,” a Tata Steel spokesperson told BusinessLine.

The Mahindra story

Chatbots taking over the trivial tasks for human employees has been the trend at Mahindra Group as well.

Tripper, Club Mahindra’s AI platform, interacts with members for holiday bookings and simple transactions via a chat interface. Mahindra’s Automotive team launched a personal voice assistant for customers to assist them during test drives and address model specific queries in multiple languages.

Anish Shah, Group President (Strategy), Mahindra Group, said: “Internal bots have resulted in a significant reduction in query resolution times, especially during peak seasons like the filing of income tax returns, salary days etc. “

Mahindra Group is in works to launch a chatbot for assisting customers of Mahindra Finance within the mutual fund space.

“The chatbot intends to educate investors on mutual funds and service their queries, thus helping them avoid call centre queues. Additionally, it would be able to onboard as well as complete an entire investment journey for the customer with an integrated payment gateway,” Shah said.

Similar to CARA, Mindtree Artificial Conversation Interface (MACI) introduced at Larsen & Toubro-acquired Mindtree is a chat assistant that helps manage functions such as HR, finance and travel.

“As of now, it has already answered about 1,80,000 queries and this has saved manual hours, and in terms of people it has freed up people’s bandwidth by 45-50 per cent. This automation has resulted in the query handling error rate coming down by more than 70 per cent,” Kumar Visvanathan, Head of People Shared Services, Mindtree, said.

The writer is an intern with BusinessLine Mumbai Bureau

Published on July 26, 2019
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