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04/18/2022

Survey: This feature makes consumers more open to chatbots

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Chatbots are slowly gaining consumer acceptance.

One important chatbot offering substantially increases customer willingness to use the automated customer service tool.

According to a new survey of 1,000 consumers from customer experience platform Simplr, 80% of respondents become much more willing to use a chatbot if they know they can easily and quickly transfer to a live person. The study also found that a seamless transfer from bot to human results in 60% of consumers being more likely to continue to do business with the company in the future.

However, when a chatbot fails and there is no option to transfer to a live agent, 60% of respondents become less likely to remain a customer. The study also found that chatbot usage has doubled since 2020, as 18% of respondents have used a chatbot in the past three months, compared to 9% of respondents to a similar study in 2020.

Other interesting findings include:

  • Roughly half (49%) of respondents rate their willingness to actually use a chatbot as "neutral."
  • One in five Gen Z consumers prefer to start with a chatbot, compared to only 4% of boomers. Meanwhile, 71% of boomers prefer to start by talking on the phone with a live agent, compared to 41% of Gen Z consumers.
  • Adding a chatbot increases likelihood to do business with a company for 35% of respondents.
  • While 20% of respondents overall said they were pleased to see chatbots pop up on a site when they were not actively seeking help, 53% of boomer respondents indicated that uninitiated chatbots "annoyed" them, compared to only 28% of millennials and 24% of Gen Z respondents.

"These results underscore the importance of taking into consideration who your target audiences are when you are designing your chatbot experiences," said Daniel Rodriguez, Simplr chief marketing officer. "Those that appeal to younger audiences can afford to be more 'chatbot forward' in their customer experience approach, while those who sell to boomers need to make sure there is human assistance easily available."

Tidio survey shows growing chatbot acceptance

Customer service platform Tidio recently surveyed over 750 consumers to determine the latest trends in automated, artificial intelligence (AI)-based customer service chatbots. The survey found that about 53% of respondents think waiting too long for replies is the most frustrating part of interacting with businesses.

Given the alternatives of waiting 15 minutes or longer to converse with a human agent or immediately interact with a chatbot, 62% of respondents would prefer to talk to a chatbot. This desire for immediacy is reflected in responses to a question about what consumers expect from chatbots.

About three in 10 (29%) respondents said 24/7 customer service, and another 24% said receiving a fast reply. However, 17% cited being able to reach a human agent if they want to, and using messages for asking questions in a natural way rather than using a search bar and having no need to talk to anyone both received 11% response rates. Another 8% expect to receive personalized messages.

To download a full copy of the 2022 Consumer Study of Chatbots, click here.