Consumer Outlook on Chatbots in 2018

  • February 16, 2018

    A recent Forbes article reveals what today’s consumers value about chatbots. The article cites a survey that shows 44% of consumers prefer interacting with a chatbot online versus a customer service agent. What may surprise some is that baby boomers in fact gravitate towards chatbots as well, so much so that they see the benefits of chatbots more than their millennial counterparts.

    The research study conducted by MyClever, Drift, Salesforce and SurveyMonkey surveyed 1,000 adults aged 18-64 to find out what they thought about chatbots. The major takeaway is that many people aren’t ready to forgo human-to-human interaction but also see a lot of the benefits chatbots offer. For most, chatbots serve best as a supplement to customer service to answer quick, simple questions.

     

    Value in Speed

     

    One of the primary benefits consumers find in chatbots is speed. Respondents believe chatbots will answer their questions more quickly than through other customer service channels. This particular result affirms that there is immense value in providing quick results for customers. Businesses that can respond quickly to leads or inquiries will be up to 10x more likely to secure a sale than their slower competition. Chatbots can bridge the response time gap.

    The survey asked participants from which channels would they expect an immediate response from? Respondents expected online chats and chatbots to provide immediate responses the quickest of all nine channels surveyed. Researchers proclaim that these results reveal chatbots working in conjunction with online chat features can deliver results and resolve issues faster than ever before.

     

    Comparing Chatbots to Traditional Communication

     

    The survey then compares benefits between chatbots and other traditional communication channels. It asks participants, “Which of these benefits do you most associate with communicating with businesses?”. When comparing to phone, email and apps, consumers almost always favor chatbots in situations such as quick answers to simple questions, receiving 24- hour service and convenience. Chatbots, however are not favored in areas such as receiving expert advice, ease of communication and having a complaint resolved quickly.

    Overall, the state of chatbots in 2018 is optimistic. While the technology is still evolving, chatbots present tremendous opportunities for businesses to serve their clients expeditiously.

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