Do consumers like interacting with customer support bots?

A customer support bot is technology that uses artificial intelligence (AI) with natural language processing to emulate human conversation. These bots can converse with people using text or speech, and range in sophistication from Apple's Siri to the chatbots that pop up when you visit popular blogs. 

Businesses use bots for a variety of functions including sales and customer support. Customer support bots can perform tasks like booking appointments, answering questions, and ordering food. If you have a question about store hours or whether a flight is on time, a customer support bot can typically help you. More complex or unusual questions are a roll of the dice - the customer support bot might ask you to reword the question or it might connect you to a live agent for further assistance.

One of the benefits of customer support bots that appeals most to organizations is the potential for saving labor costs. By one estimate, the retail, banking, and healthcare industries could collectively save $11 billion by 2023*. This is likely a primary driver behind chatbot industry growth, which Business Insider forecasts will reach $9.4 billion by 2024**.

Clearly, businesses like customer support bots, but how do consumers feel about them?

We surveyed over 2400 consumers and found that use of customer support bots is increasing and customer satisfaction with bots is on the rise, but there are still some clear opportunities for improvement. 35% of survey respondents said they had used bots, which represented a 9 point YOY increase. Not surprisingly, use of customer support bots is higher among Generation Z and Millennials.

These two groups of younger consumers are also more likely to think bots make issue resolution quicker and easier than their older counterparts. However, YOY there was a significant increase in how all consumers collectively rated speed and ease, indicating that perceptions are improving among all consumer groups.

Although adoption and perceptions are improving, consumers are still cautious about customer support bots. For example, 80% said bots need to get smarter before they'll use them regularly for customer service.

What does this mean for organizations that want to implement customer support bots? Drive on! But design your bots with their limitations in mind. Additionally, don't expect full-scale customer adoption right out of the gate. If you build a bot that addresses consumers' desire for speed and ease of use, adoption will follow.

*Source: Juniper Research

**Source: Business Insider



How NICE can help you implement effective customer support bots.

NICE is the leading cloud customer interaction platform—100% focused on helping contact centers achieve their customer experience goals. Partnerships with leading chatbot companies make NICE CXone the top choice for holistic, integrated digital experiences.

Any digital channel

Your customers are trying to reach you for service on digital channels – even if you’re not there yet. How many SMS text messages go to your call center phone number with no response? Who’s trying to find you on Facebook, Twitter, or WhatsApp and not finding you? Now with CXone it is easy to provide digital-first omnichannel service in all the channels your customers expect.

  • Personalized digital interactions: deliver native experiences in each of 30+ messaging channels, such as rich media, emojis, and other collaboration tools.
  • Simple to Activate: pre-integrated channels make it easy to offer to customers and agents.
  • Easy to Say “Yes”: simple packaging removes barriers to offering all channels to customers and agents.
CXone digital channel
Empowered agents

CXone empowers all your agents to deliver a true digital-first omnichannel customer experience by simultaneously combining all customer interactions in one intelligent inbox across multiple digital channels and voice for agents to select ("pull"), while dynamically prioritizing the most time-sensitive or real-time interactions according to service levels ("push"). All delivered in a single application – complete with full customer context, journey history, and sentiment.

  • Single Interface: one inbox for all digital messaging and real-time (voice/chat) channels – retaining native experience of each messaging platform.
  • Agents in Control: ‘pulling’ work in natural flow, while dynamic prioritization maintains SLAs – and prevents ‘cherry picking’.
  • Customer Card: full customer context, journey and conversation history, plus sentiment.
Holistic management

With CXone, omnichannel interactions are managed holistically, from agents to supervisors and beyond. Integrated workforce optimization, analytics, automation and artificial intelligence across digital and voice interactions ensure complete management across contact center operations.

Related resources
Case Studies

Best Practice: The Power of a Digital First Contact Center

Your customers have different preferences in how they want to contact your business. Hear from NICE customer, ESCI on how opening digital channels transformed their contact center, improved agent productivity and drive down costs for their contact center.