The role of chatbots in ecommerce has evolved from a sales tool to a customer service assistant. These AI-powered helpers can answer questions 24/7 and don't make users wait on hold, but not everyone sees the benefits of interacting with chatbots in lieu of other channels.
When US internet users want to resolve a customer service issue quickly, more than half turn to chat, according to a July 2018 survey by CGS, a business process outsourcing firm. Phone (24%), email (13%) and social media (11%) are less frequently used channels. Most prefer to bypass speaking to a human because they take longer to respond (32%) and are less available (32%).
Yet 40% of these customers would prefer a human over a chatbot. Why?
Fully 41% of respondents said chatbots don't provide enough detailed answers, while 37% said chatbots aren't helpful generally. Six in 10 said they would give up on a chatbot if the issue is too complex, and 41% would do the same if the chatbot directs them to FAQs.
This isn't the time for deep personalization—most don't care that a chatbot conversation feels impersonal (13%). They just want to get a problem resolved quickly. More than one-third do expect a customer service rep to be familiar with and have access to all of their prior interactions, though.