Efficacy of chatbots brought into question

A Covid-19 induced dip in customer service levels coincides with negative consumer views on the efficacy of chatbots.
A survey by the Call Centre Management Association (CCMA) and 8x8 found that more than half (57%) of respondents have experienced difficulties in receiving customer service since the pandemic started; and 64% of consumers had abandoned a query because the chatbot did not understand them. Just one in three (34%) say their trust in chatbots is increasing.

The survey also found that personalisation is key to the future of chatbots and understanding consumer preferences will be crucial.

Chris Marron, Director Market Intelligence at 8x8, commented: “Organisations should not rely on chatbots to build trust. The human connection remains critically important. The most effective implementations recognise that Artificial Intelligence augments human advisors, it does not replace them.
“To be ready for the future, organisations should aim to meet customers on their terms and use the channels of their choice. This research demonstrates personalisation of interactions and channels will be crucial moving forward.”
Stephen Yap, CCMA’s Research Director, added: “The pandemic has accelerated the mainstreaming of chatbot technology. However, providers need to work harder to build customers’ trust in chatbots and to ensure that the option of a human advisor is still available for more complex queries. For now, the role of the chatbot is to act as a gatekeeper.”

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