• July 19, 2023

Only 8 Percent of Consumers Used Chatbots Recently

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Only 8 percent of consumers used a chatbot during their most recent customer service experience, and of those, only 25 percent said they would use that chatbot again, Gartner found.

Despite customer service and support leaders’ growing focus on and investment in chatbots, customer use of them remains low, suggesting they don’t consistently help customers accomplish their goals, the research firm concluded in a recent report.

The firm also found that the ability of a chatbot to move the customer’s issue forward was the top driver of adoption, explaining 18 percent of the variance in customers’ likelihood to use a chatbot again.

“While many customer service and support leaders look to chatbots as the future of the function, customers clearly need some convincing,” said Michael Rendelman, senior research specialist in the Gartner Customer Service and Support practice. “To improve chatbot adoption, the key is to focus on improving the chatbot’s ability to move customers’ issues forward.”

The research also found that resolution rates vary greatly by issue type. On the low end, just 17 percent of billing disputes are resolved by customers who used a chatbot at some stage in their journey, while on the high end, resolution rates for customers making returns or cancellations were as high as 58 percent. In between, the following are the resolution rates by service issue type for chatbot users:

  • order/purchase (52 percent);
  • account information (43 percent);
  • payment/financial transaction (40 percent);
  • submitting feedback (38 percent);
  • troubleshooting (36 percent);
  • account changes (27 percent);
  • check status (26 percent);
  • complaints (25 percent);
  • registration/activation (24 percent);
  • gathering information on products/services (19 percent); and
  • change in products/services (18 percent).

“Chatbots aren’t effective for all issue types,” Rendelman said. “As generative AI makes them more advanced, customer confusion about what chatbots can and can’t do is likely to get worse. It’s up to service and support leaders to guide customers to chatbots when it’s appropriate for their issue and to other channels when another channel is more appropriate.”

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