March 9, 2018

Is Your Company Doing Everything It Can to Make Consumers Like Chatbots?

There’s no denying that brands are more excited about chatbots than consumers in 2018. That’s why brands must ensure there’s a potential audience ready to embrace AI solutions like chatbots before investing in the technology. Company stakeholders are responsible for making users more comfortable with the solution and can help them see the benefits of working with chatbots, not resisting them.

How do they do that?

When rolling out a new technology experience (whether in store or online), it’s just as valuable to know where consumers get frustrated as it is to know what’s working. In our last blog post, we uncovered what’s holding more people back from using chatbots. Now, let’s translate those lessons into actionable next steps for brands.

The Top Three Chatbot Assurances Consumers Want

According to our study, 2018 Artificial Intelligence and Chatbot Report, brands should be providing a number of guarantees to showcase the value chatbots add to every customer experience.

Here are the top assurances that our findings reveal are most important:

  • Thirty-nine percent of people want a better understanding of how businesses use their information.
    After sharing personal information with a chatbot, consumers worry about what’s next. Who has access to their data? Are brands using this information ethically?

    A little transparency into the chatbot process can work wonders in helping people answer questions like these. However, considering that every consumer brings different privacy expectations to the table – on top of industries requiring varying levels of sensitive information, and therefore security concerns – brands should allow end users to dictate their own paces of discovery.

    Consumers who are more comfortable with AI technologies can access an in-depth look into how chatbots manage and secure their information. Self-discovery also allows more skeptical users to gradually learn about the perks of relinquishing elements of privacy while still empowering them to experience the benefits of chatbots now.

    Another quick tip is to frame sharing information with chatbots in terms of user benefits. This approach introduces people to chatbots in a familiar and digestible way. Clearly articulated benefits earn the technology a foot in the door with consumers, and brands can build upon these early engagements to overcome existing privacy and security concerns.

  • Thirty-nine percent of people want guarantees that chatbots provide accurate and up-to-date information.
    Many consumers feel AI solutions are not up to scruff, whether because they believe chatbots are incapable of matching human cognition or that something more nefarious is at play.

    In reality, chatbots add a level of intelligence and consistency to consumer interactions that humans cannot achieve alone, or at scale. There are many small ways to convey this sophistication throughout the customer journey. For example, a chatbot could bring up a past conversation when interacting with someone to showcase that the system recognizes and appreciates the user as an individual. Then, the chatbot could introduce a time-bound fact like the shopper’s most recent purchase to highlight that the information provided is also up to date.

    Not only do these touch points continuously remind consumers that they can trust chatbots, but they also mimic positive interactions with informed customer service representatives, both of which helps put users at ease.

  • Seventeen percent of people want the power to escalate interactions with chatbots to humans.

    Humans are still incredibly important to the success of any new technology investment. Employee involvement ranks as consumers’ most requested assurance when working with chatbots.

    It’s not that people anticipate needing human help to solve every problem. Rather, they’re just more comfortable using chatbots when there’s the promise of a human ‘plan B.’ This is true even for those who are excited about new chatbot experiences.

    Additionally, stakeholders must find ways to foster relationships between employees and chatbots. As with consumers, employees will likely respond positively to how chatbots benefit them.

    AI solutions are great for employees because they take over routine and automated responsibilities, freeing up team members to handle higher priority needs. And, in the case where a human agent is brought in for help, the chatbot arms him or her with the information and resources to easily get the job done. This results in a valuable and enjoyable interaction for all parties involved.

    Finally, brands must relay the availability of humans (and the overall partnership between humans and chatbots) to consumers. This could be as simple as adding language into a chatbot text window or creating a full-suite of chatbot resources (videos, user testimonials, etc.) for the interested consumer.

And at the end of the day, consumers want the promise of an enjoyable experience before interacting with chatbots. Some people need more assurances than others, but brands should feel optimistic about the fact that just 14 percent of consumers say nothing will make them more comfortable using the technology.

To build confidence among the remaining 86 percent, chatbots must put their best face forward. Or rather, brands must help consumers see chatbots as exciting and valuable tools, not specters of science fiction fantasies. Simple guarantees like transparency, accurate information and the availability of humans can go a long way in helping chatbots earn a new – and more accurate reputation.

Interested in learning more about consumers’ existing relationships with chatbots and how brands can successfully bring on the technology? Read more in our 2018 Artificial Intelligence and Chatbot Report.


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