Developers still have some way to go before consumers are convinced that Chat Bots are a beneficial customer service device, according to myclever™ Agency.

A report from the social media experts found that 45% of consumers still believe that Chat Bots – an automated response system that can answer customer enquiries through a messaging app – are the best way to get quick responses from a business.

But 55% of the 1,000 UK consumers surveyed for the report said they were still concerned that Chat Bots would not be able to understand the question being asked.

Four in ten (40%) had concerns that Chat Bots would not follow through on instructions, leaving them without bookings or purchases made via the service app.

The findings come despite 46% of surveyed consumers saying they thought Chat Bots were the fastest way to get a response online.

The report also highlighted the importance of developing effective digital communication links with young customers, particularly millennials, with 42% of 25-34 year olds admitting they avoided contacting businesses face-to-face whenever they could.

Rob McNair, managing director of myClever, said businesses that took the time to develop Chat Bots earlier would most likely see the benefits, as the product will have more time to learn than those that waited.

“Expectations for Chat Bots, and what they could offer consumers as a customer service tool remain high, but clearly this report has highlighted that developers have some way to go to change the perception of the service,” he said.

“The biggest concerns were whether the Chat Bots would be able to understand questions or follow through on instructions, but the main benefit of using Chat Bots is that the tool learns and becomes more efficient the more it is used.

“Brands that explore and implement Chat Bots earlier will have more influence in shaping the roles of Chat Bots, and will be streets ahead of those companies that choose to wait. Businesses already have so much data at hand from past customer questions, or complaints, and all this information can be used as a starting point for the Chat Bot.

“The key is then ensuring that Chat Bots become the focal point for online interaction with customers as this opens up the potential for the tool to learn more and become more efficient and responsive. What our report highlights is that developers have some work to do to convey that message to the wider community.”

Rob added: “As the use of ad-blockers becomes more widespread businesses need to get savvier in their targeting and Chat Bots could be the ideal platform for targeted, personal content, but our report suggests developers are yet to get this message across to consumers.”


By Jonathan Davies, editor of Digital Marketing Magazine


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