November 28

Do customers trust chatbots?


messenger chatbot

When it comes to customer service chatbots, today’s online shoppers have trust issues. With fears of “error” responses, or even worse, completely inaccurate answers, customers reluctantly turn to call center agents to handle issues directly with a live representative. Ultimately, this often results in frustrated customers and wasted money.

But there is good news: customers want to be able to trust self-service technology. In fact, a recent study shows nearly half (44%) of online consumers prefer using chatbots for customer service if brands get the experience right. Furthermore, 65% say they “feel good” when they’re able to resolve their customer service problems without a live agent. So, how can brands make sure they’re offering the best chatbot experience possible for customers?

: Chatbots Don’t Solve the Problem

A huge barrier in customer trust regarding chatbots is that customers feel chatbots can’t help them. A mere 11% feel confident that chatbots are able to help them resolve their questions. Customers feel frustrated when the chatbot session ends without a resolution. Though chatbot AI technology has greatly matured in the last few years, it still struggles to diagnose issues and or show customers how to solve them.

Chatbots mostly rely on the descriptions from customers to diagnose the issue. They then must try to explain how to resolve an issue via text chat, or by linking to FAQ pages. For many customers, following written step-by-step instructions without visuals is a real challenge. For this reason, customers often use chatbots to connect with a human agent, rather than to resolve an issue (we’ll dive deeper into this in a moment).

The global chatbot marketing revenue reached $84 million this year

According to figures published by Statista, revenue generated from the chatbot industry amounted to around $83 million in 2021.

As part of the same study, Statista calculated the predicted revenue growth of the industry over the next few years. The study found that the market will continue to grow substantially and by 2027 it’s expected to be worth around $454.8 million.

Even a real person can lack ‘humanness’

Study authors add their findings show it’s more about the kind of language businesses use, rather than who answers the phone, which turns customers off. When companies avoid using the same old customer service jargon, scores for consumer trust, satisfaction, and commitment to the brand go up.

“An agent can be so scripted that people feel like they’re talking to a machine,” Kelleher explains.


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