Leading brands are investing in Artificial Intelligence (AI) to augment existing teams and resources to improve the customer experience. However, most companies are still only scratching the surface of how AI can be used for customer support. There is a significant disconnect between what customers are experiencing and what brands think they are delivering. To understand this disconnect, we surveyed 6,000 consumers and 800 senior business leaders from a number of industries across Europe.
How brands and their clients perceive customer services
How AI is transforming the way customers interact with companies
Impact of ineffective chatbots on your brand
How AI can improve the customer service
Freshworks conducted its AI in Customer Service research, talking to 6055 consumers and 812 senior decision makers in customer service departments across specific markets in Europe. The research investigated the attitudes of both businesses and consumers towards the use of AI, chatbots and automated assistants in customer support.
Freshworks found that when dealing with chatbots, most consumers use language they would not take with a human agent; According to the businesses surveyed, customers across Europe use more abusive language or swearwords in conversations with chatbots than when speaking to human customer service agents.
The results also show that some consumers are turning to chatbots to discuss sensitive issues, with a significant number of European consumers asking bots questions they’d be too embarrassed to discuss with a human.
According to surveyed senior decision makers who use AI in their customer service operations, 83% of the customer service interactions they receive via a chatbot involve some degree of abusive language or swearwords.
This reduces in the UK (52%) but increases in the Netherlands (92%), Germany (92%) and France (87%).
Europeans are ruder to their robot assistants than they are to humans, with surveyed senior decision makers reporting that abusive behaviour in interactions with human customer service agents dips to 75%
Surveyed consumers aged 18-34 have the highest percentage across age groups admitting that they are ruder to virtual support agents than humans (33% of 18-24s, 36% of 24-34s).
This drops to just 11% for the over 55s
Consumers could be turning to chatbots to discuss embarrassing issues, with one in five surveyed consumer (21%) saying that one of the benefits of interacting with chatbots to solve a customer service issue is that they can ask them questions they’d be embarrassed to as a human. (Germany 27%, Netherlands 21%, France 19%, UK 17%)
This rises to a third (33%) of 18-24-year old respondents
Almost one quarter (24%) of surveyed consumers said they’ve had an issue solving a customer service problem with a chatbots, which indicates that companies are not deploying chatbots in their CX operations effectively. This also shows that chatbot technology needs to become more sophisticated to meet consumers’ expectations
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