Usabilla Study Finds Customers Crave Human Interaction, but Are Comfortable Using Chatbots and AI for More Seamless Interactions
Despite 55 percent of customers preferring to speak with human customer service agents over the phone, 70 percent report using chatbots and 60 percent of those who haven’t said they would feel comfortable doing so, according to a study released by Usabilla, the global Voice of Customer (VoC) technology provider.
The report finds overall customer satisfaction with the level of automation brands currently offer, with 66 percent responding in the affirmative when asked if brands were creating enough opportunities to eliminate human interaction, according to Usabilla’s 2018 report, “In the Age of Automation, Customers Want More Human, Less Machine.”
Overall, the report underlines the importance of convenience when it comes to choosing automation over human interaction. When faced with the dreaded phone-tree, 73 percent of shoppers skip the robo-call, often pressing “0” to reach a human first, and over half (54 percent) said they would always choose a chatbot over a human customer service rep if it saved them 10 minutes.
When it comes to new and emerging technologies, 52 percent of shoppers report positive feelings toward tech development as it relates to AI, and less than 1 percent of respondents reported they’d choose a human representative over a chatbot because they are “creeped out” by chatbots. Yet only about a third (36 percent) report that they’d prefer to use a chatbot over speaking with a person when they have a simple request, question or issue, indicating that brands must work to balance tech-enabled automation with human interaction.
“Today’s consumer is engaging with brands across a variety of touchpoints, and they crave simplicity and convenience in these experiences, meaning it’s more critical than ever to strike the right balance between automation and high-touch human interaction,” said Katie Hickey, Marketing Manager at Usabilla. “That said, robots won’t and shouldn’t be taking over customer interactions. While our research finds that consumers across generations are open-minded about using tech like chatbots and AI, they still trust humans when it comes to solving complex problems or dealing with sensitive information, such as filling a prescription or making a bank deposit.”