CX software firm Cyara has released research that found that six in 10 (65 per cent) consumers interacted with a brand via chatbot in the last six months – 24 per cent more than those who picked up the phone.To access the full study, visit here.
The research also found that 24/7 support, speed and autonomy named chatbots’ biggest benefits. However, businesses are still failing the customer experience (CX) test with almost half (45 per cent) of users left feeling frustrated.
Cyara, provider of the award-winning Automated Customer Experience (CX) Assurance Platform, today released a new global study that shows while most Australian customers want to use chatbots for automated support, many businesses fail to deliver positive chatbot experiences even as they increasingly rely on them as primary methods of customer interactions online. Additionally, half of customers (50 per cent) believe a positive or negative chatbot experience is a reflection of the overall brand.
The survey, conducted in November 2022 and commissioned by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Cyara, explores the consumer sentiment about chatbots. As part of a global study, Cyara polled 395 Australian consumers, who have used sales and/or support chatbots in the last six months, about their recent chatbot experiences and expectations.
For most respondents (65 per cent), chatbots were the top way consumers typically interacted with brands in the last six months, followed by in-person and phone (46 per cent and 41 per cent respectively). However, consumers surveyed gave their chatbot experiences an average rating of 6.4/10 or 64 per cent—equivalent to a D grade. When specifically asked about their chatbot interactions, 45 per cent of customers said they often feel frustrated, while one in three (37 per cent) interactions were said to be negative.
Overall, findings from the study include:
- Australian Customers want to use chatbots. Customers like chatbots as they provide 24/7 support (76 per cent), faster response times (58 per cent), and autonomy (44 per cent). In fact, respondents are 24% more likely to interact with brands using a chatbot than speaking directly with an agent, and rank them higher than any other digital avenue. However, customers are often met with friction while interacting with chatbots.
- Almost three quarters (73 per cent) of customers agree that chatbots aren’t able to handle complex questions. Customers find chatbots are often unable to provide accurate answers, with half of customers (51 per cent) agreeing it is difficult to find a solution to their question or problem using a chatbot. Six in 10 (60 per cent) respondents said they had to answer the same questions over and over again when interacting with a chatbot while 45 per cent received responses and/or solutions from the chatbot that didn’t make sense in the context of their question. Customers also struggle to find alternate resolutions to their problems with almost half (47 per cent) reporting that they are often unable to connect with an agent even after exhausting the chatbot’s responses.
- Negative chatbot interactions lead to unfavourable business outcomes. The challenges of using chatbots push customers to seek out alternate and possibly more expensive ways of interacting with a brand. One in three customers said after a negative chatbot experience, they are extremely or highly likely to abandon their purchase altogether (30 per cent), take their purchase to a different brand (29 per cent), or tell their friends and family about their poor experience (28 per cent). Two thirds (64 per cent) of customers would find a different way to connect with an agent instead following a negative chatbot experience.
- Positive chatbot experiences bring value to customers and businesses. Following good chatbot experiences, 64 per cent of customers surveyed said they are more likely to return to a brand, while 62 per ent of respondents are more likely to seek out chatbots in the future after a positive experience.
“Delivering positive chatbot experiences has a critical impact on customer satisfaction and sales, and sub-par chatbots will not cut it for consumers today. Organisations that invest in quality assurance testing and training chatbots can provide customers with better and more consistent chatbot experiences,” said Dennis Reno, chief customer officer of Cyara. “Businesses that strive to meet customers’ chatbot expectations can increase customer loyalty, boost brand reputation, and lower contact centre support costs since customers are less likely to seek out more expensive avenues of communication. And of course, satisfied customers lead to increased sales, which has a positive impact on a company’s bottom line.”
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