If 2014 was the year of the selfie, 2016 may well be the year of the chatbot. So far this year, both Facebook and Microsoft have announced significant investment into chatbot technology across their software platforms.
But developing and rolling out chatbots – third-party apps that provide real-time customer assistance through virtual conversations – is only one part of the equation. What do we humans think about them?
Drawing on survey data from the UK, this infographic from myclever illustrates how respondents view chatbots, as well as their current frustrations with existing online customer service.
According to the survey, the perceived benefits (such as access to business listing information and round-the-clock availability) of chatbots could address some major consumer gripes. Nevertheless, barriers to adoption do remain, particularly consumer concerns around the bots being sufficiently advanced enough to understand questions and queries.
Other interesting insights include:
- Utilities and councils were industries with the two most frustrating online services for consumers.
- 18% of respondents actively avoid calling helplines for fear of encountering automated menus – a figure that rises to 61% for respondents under 24 years old.
- 68% of respondents saw 24-hour availability as the top expected benefit of chatbots.
- Face-to-face is the preferred channel of communication but chatbots were ranked second, narrowly beating email.