Chatbots will help service industries, particularly the healthcare and banking sectors, save over $8 billion per annum by 2022, up from $20 million in 2017, according to Juniper Research.

Juniper expects these cost savings to be made as a result of enquiry resolution times being reduced: healthcare and banking providers using bots can expect average time savings of just over four minutes per enquiry, equating to average cost savings of around $0.50 to $0.70 per interaction, the report said.

The company also forecast the success rate of bot interactions in the healthcare sector – defined as an enquiry completed without having to revert to a human operator – will go up from 12 per cent currently to over 75 per cent in 2022. In the banking sector, the rate is expected to exceed 90 per cent.

Juniper found many bots are suited to enquiries such as healthcare diagnosis, where users can select predefined answers and bots can provide a recommended course of action.

What’s more, as artificial intelligence capabilities advance, bots will be able to aid in more sophisticated healthcare applications, such as monitoring and analysis of mental health, Juniper said.

The company also claims SMS chatbots are likely to be less successful in generating revenues than app-based bots, but can offer a ubiquitous service for mass messaging. Governments, for instance, could use chatbots in times of emergency.

In March, App Annie CEO Bertrand Schmitt told Mobile World Live there is still a long way to go before bots can become efficient and understand what a user wants.