NEWS15 May 2017

Customers prefer bots over customer service agents for simple tasks

News North America Technology Trends

US – If customer service bots are just as accurate as a human customer care agent, 55% of customers would prefer to chat to a bot over a human, according to new research.

Customer service bots crop

The research, from cloud mobile and online business messaging solutions provider LivePerson, revealed that 38% of people worldwide have a positive perception of using a bot to communicate with a brand; 51% have a neutral perception; and 11% have a negative one.

Just over half ( 56%) of the people surveyed said they would still rather speak to a human, even if they had to wait for a short period of time, than chat with a bot immediately. According to 60% of respondents, this was because they believe that a human would understand what they need better than a bot. Some consumers, especially in Europe, said that they occasionally lie or exaggerate their issue to a customer care agent in order to get what they want. 

However, in a scenario where a bot is just as accurate as a human customer care agent, 55% of consumers said they would prefer to chat to a bot over a human. Bots are trusted for simple tasks, such as updating an address or confirming an account balance; while people would prefer a human to handle more complex inquiries, such as correcting a mistake on a bill.

"We're continuing to see consumers shift to a more positive perception of bots as they experience the high-quality service that many bots offer, working alongside human customer care agents," said Rurik Bradbury, global head of communications and research at LivePerson.

"This research is part of an ongoing effort to understand consumers’ evolving perceptions of bots and provide our customers with insights and best practices for implementing bots within digital and customer care organisations."

The research, carried out online by Survata, gathered views from 5,000 consumers (aged 18+) across six countries (US, UK, Australia, Germany, France and Japan).