August 30, 2018

Study: Many Consumers Reluctant to Embrace Chatbots

People used to work with tellers at banks, pay their bills by check and drop them in the mail, and have a cashier check them out at the grocery store. But technological advances and business investments to drive down long-term costs changed things. So most of us adjusted to the new reality.

Today most of us use automatic teller machines to withdraw and deposit money. We do online banking to pay our bills. And we may even step up to self-service point of sale environments to pay for our goods.

When we first confront these new environments and experiences, it can be daunting. That’s particularly true for people who are resistant to change and/or uncomfortable using technology.

So businesses that want these solutions to take off need to make them easy and intuitive to use. And that’s what chatbots and virtual assistants are all about.

Of course, looking at new technologies with a measure of skepticism is sometimes a good thing. And the more controversy there is over these things, the more there is to discuss.

For example, CSG has been talking about the results of its 2018 Global Consumer Customer Service Report. The enterprise software and outsourcing provider polled

500 people in the U.S. and U.K. for the report and found that any consumers prefer human agents to chatbots and a large share of those individuals believe contact centers are adopting chatbots too quickly.

Nearly half of U.K. respondents and 40 percent of U.S. ones expressed their preference for working with humans, according to CSG. And 55 percent of U.K. respondents and 45 of U.S. ones think contact centers are moving too quickly to chatbots, the company reports.

In noting these results, CSG voiced the popular refrain we’re hearing in many discussions about artificial intelligence: that people and technology need to work together for best results.

Speaking of AI, The Future of Work Expo Jan. 30-Feb. 1 in Fort Lauderdale will explore how artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing can improve and challenge business communications; contact center and other customer service environments; and HR, marketing, and sales efforts. Check out the agenda here.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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