Chatbots: more efficient and cost-saving way to interact with customers

1 minute

Pekka Myllylä, Manging Director Tilde Estonia

One may say that it is easier to get a little prize in lottery than getting through to a customer hotline with the first try. The lines are busy and waiting times long, in reality, the access to real people in the call centers might be often very difficult. Now increasingly on websites of banks, telecoms, e-commerce, parcel companies and other service providers you will be greeted by a pop-up window ready to assist.

Many see them as little helpers, for others, they are annoying elements that might belong to the same league with Clippy, a virtual assistant, which came once with an office software. Clippy may have been ahead its time, carrying the unthankful burden of a pioneer, but it expressed the very idea of applying AI in interaction between computers and human beings.

Chatbots, as we know them now, have become very common

Despite of pandemic many businesses have experienced stellar growth, meaning also challenges for customer support.

“To meet the demand, Baltic languages technology company Tilde has so far launched over 20 intelligent chat robots, which are sending over 120,000 messages to customers each day. Based on feedback, the use of artificial intelligence has increased the effectiveness of customer support by a third, which means customer service cost savings in the same amount. Furthermore, virtual employees can also offer assistance to sales and marketing units to allow companies make more money with comparatively little investment."

Pekka Myllylä


Now companies and institutions are investing a lot of money in the Chatbot industry and the market is predicted to grow. According to a research by the MarketsandMarkets the global Chatbot market size is to grow from last year’s 2.9 billion dollars to 10.5 billion by 2026, at annual growth rate of 23.5% during the forecast period.


A study from Juniper Research has found that the operational cost savings from using Chatbots in banking will reach 7.3 billion dollars globally by 2023, up from an estimated 209 million in 2019. The insurance sector will also benefit from AI including Chatbots, with cost savings of almost 1.3 billion dollars by 2023, in motor, life, property and health insurance, which is up from 300 million in 2019.

Benefits for business are obvious. This is why DPD, as the first logistics company in the Baltics, introduced Chatbots in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, to support growing volumes driven by the boom e-commerce.

AI bots are the next level

There is also a crucial difference between Chatbots. One-scenario or monofunctional bots are conceived for the first-hand customer support, working by a simple robotic question-answer scenario.

“AI bots are more advanced: they can serve as channel for e-services, manage payments, book appointments, find the most fitting product or service, fill various application forms and do much more in voice or text format, without even leaving the dialogue window. Not only customers, but to the company and brand would benefit from it as well."

Pekka Myllylä


However, for small languages like Estonian, the path to the dominance of Chatbots may be not as straightforward. Even when Chatbot creators, such as Tilde, are applying state-of-art technology, there is room of improvement in terms of service development. A special challenge is with small languages, because of the language structure and the number of users. It makes a difference, when in some languages Chatbots are interacting with tens millions of users, while for others the audience is limited to 100,000 or so.

Chatbots are the best example of how one should learn all the time, as with every interaction they are improving the communication skills

The age of a Chatbot is important, because these having longer history have a clear advantage to these being in the beginning of a learning process. In the first few months, Chatbots are getting their first real conversations with clients, and the way they communicate can be very different.

In different languages the Chatbot skills are different. They can what they know. Hand in hand with best efforts of Chatbot developers and the best intentions of ‘virtual employees’, these helpers need continuous real-life training. At Tilde we see that the more requests and contacts they have, the better they work. So Chatbots are conceived for people, to help them, and they need people, to help Chatbots to move closer to perfection.