Australians give bots the thumbs-up
SYDNEY, May 24, 2017 /PRNewswire-AsiaNet/ --
-- 75 per cent of Australians prefer to interact with customer service bots for simple tasks
LivePerson, Inc.( https://www.liveperson.com/ ), the leading provider of cloud mobile and online business messaging solutions, announced the results of global consumer research that examines how consumers perceive bots in customer care. Some of the key findings are included below:
-- Consumer feedback suggests they are happy for bots to do simple tasks
but want human help for more complex ones
-- Bots should have a friendly personality
-- To be considered 'excellent', the ideal wait time for customer service
is less than two minutes
-- Consumers globally are warming to bots, though 56% would prefer a human
-- 'Being misunderstood' by bots is the largest fear for consumers
The usage of bots in customer care is gaining momentum, as consumers continue to demand faster and better service. To understand consumer attitudes toward bots in customer care, LivePerson conducted a survey of 5,002 consumers globally and asked about their experiences using bots to speak with a company's customer service. The full report is available here: http://info.liveperson.com/Bots-In-Customer-Care.html.
With fast resolutions being a priority for consumers, an increasing number of large brands are implementing bots into their digital and customer care strategies, and our research suggests consumers are now more accepting of this. A majority of Australians have a positive or neutral perception of using a bot to communicate with a brand's customer service. Forty-two per cent of Australian respondents rate their overall perception of bots as positive while 47 per cent rate it as neutral. This is compared to global averages of 38 per cent and 51 per cent, respectively.
These warming perceptions also align with the perceived purpose of bots. When asked why they thought bots were being used by companies, 50 per cent of Australian respondents believed it was to offer faster or better customer service as opposed to simply being a cost-savings tool for the company. Respondents in the US were more sceptical, as 44 per cent selected 'faster/better service'.
LivePerson's regional vice president for APAC, Steven Fitzjohn, said that, while consumer perceptions on bots are warming, many remain sceptical with just over half of Australian respondents (57 per cent) stating they would rather speak with a human - even if they have to wait a short period of time - than chat with a bot immediately.
"The popularity of bots is increasing, as businesses look to streamline their customer service experience, but consumers remain hesitant and concerned that bots will not be able to handle the complexity of some situations," said Fitzjohn.
According to the research, 60 per cent of Australian respondents would prefer to speak with a human because they believe a human will understand what they need better than a bot. The risk of being misunderstood may be one concern, but many consumers in Australia (40 per cent) report occasionally lying or exaggerating to a customer care agent to get the solution they want.
However, in a scenario where a bot is just as accurate as a human customer care agent, a majority of Australian consumers (61 per cent) would prefer to chat with a bot over a human. This was even higher among millennials (68 per cent).
According to our research, Australian consumers trust bots for simple tasks, such as account balance enquires (75 per cent), updating personal details (59 per cent), and finding specific products (53 per cent). However, more complex tasks, such as applying for a credit card or loan, were deemed to be better handled by humans.
"We've found that it's these simple tasks - updating addresses, checking an account balance - that bots perform best. Bots excel most when they are treated as specialised agents, focused on specific and simple tasks," said Fitzjohn. "With these specialised bots working alongside human customer care agents and taking care of the routine tasks, humans are freed up to handle the more complex enquiries, allowing businesses to provide the high-quality service customers expect."
As brands implement bots into their digital and customer care strategies, many wonder if bots should have names or personalities. Our research found that a majority of consumers in Australia (46 per cent) don't care whether a bot has a personality or name as long as it solves their issues. Thirty-six per cent reported they would prefer a customer service bot to have a name and personality. Of those who would like a bot to have a personality or don't care, most would prefer the bot to have a friendly personality (69 per cent). Only 16 per cent would prefer a formal personality.
"It comes down to service," said Fitzjohn. "Consumers want their issues resolved quickly and easily, regardless of whether it is a friendly bot or human. The key is managing both human agents and bots in one platform ( https://engage.liveperson.com/usage/bots/?_ga=2.239331523.1721819067.1494956076-2104810296.1485193216 ), allowing for seamless handoffs in both directions between bots and humans so consumers can have one thread with a simple and painless experience."
This survey was commissioned by LivePerson and conducted online by independent research firm Survata, which interviewed 5,002 global consumers across six countries (US, UK, Australia, Germany, France, and Japan) ages 18 and older between April 7, 2017 and April 20, 2017. Respondents received no cash compensation for their participation. More information on methodology can be found at http://survata.com/methodology.
LivePerson, Inc. (NASDAQ: LPSN) is the leading provider of mobile and online messaging business solutions, enabling a meaningful connection between brands and consumers. LiveEngage, the Company's enterprise-class, cloud-based platform, empowers consumers to stop wasting time on hold with 1-800 numbers and, instead, message their favourite brands just as they do with friends and family. More than 18,000 businesses, including Telstra, Commonwealth Bank, Westpac, NAB, ANZ, Qantas, Medibank, BUPA, Adobe, RBS, HSBC, Citibank, IBM, and Singtel, rely on the unparalleled intelligence, security, and scalability of LiveEngage to reduce costs, increase lifetime value, and create meaningful connections with consumers. For more information, please visit http://www.liveperson.com. To view other global press releases about LivePerson, please visit http://pr.liveperson.com.
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SOURCE: LivePerson, Inc.