Consumers want the best of both worlds – chatbots as well as human customer service

Although a majority of consumers are now using artificial intelligence (AI) solutions as part of chatbots or other experiences, not all of them were aware that they had used AI. According to research by PointSource, 62% of consumers had used AI previously. Similarly, 43% of people had interacted with a chatbot, however a quarter (23%) of people were not sure of it. The results suggest that AI isn’t just yet as clearly identifiable by consumers as other technologies.

The report also found that people were more likely to remember the negative chatbot experiences as opposed to the positive ones. Only 16% of the 1,008 US respondents said they were satisfied with their chatbot experiences.

Although 90% of respondents consider chatbots important, over half (54%) still prefer to talk to a customer service agent.

The main reasons for this are frustrations about chatbots not understanding them (51%), accuracy of information (44%) and privacy and security concerns (41%).

Most consumers would prefer to use chatbots when their on hold on the phone for more than five minutes.

Similarly, 59% of consumers get frustrated about a chatbot interaction if the bot does not provide the right answers.

Chatbots are preferred for simple tasks such as tracking items out for delivery (39%), as well as checking the stock of an item (38%).

Among the factors would make respondents feel more comfortable about interacting with a chatbot are an assurance that they could swap to a human customer agent if necessary (49%), being certain of the accuracy of the information provided (39%) and having a better idea of how their information was used (39%).

It seems that most consumers prefer the best of both worlds. They wish to be able to have the option to speak to a real human being, but at the same time would be happy to shop more frequently with a brand that offered a faster customer service (49%).

These are important takeaways for eCommerce retailers and marketers.

“Understanding which kinds of AI experiences consumers already recognize helps brands identify future integration opportunities and see where consumers would benefit from extra education about new tech-powered experiences. When brands and end users are on the same page, stakeholders can seek out solutions that solve real business goals and delight consumers. The bonus is that people will also know that these benefits are the reward of working with AI,” according to a PointSource blog post.