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What do customers feel about AI chatbot customer support?

When implemented effectively, AI-powered chatbots deliver rapid assistance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They help customers during non-business hours and when all support agents are busy. 

With their potential cost and time-saving benefits, Gartner predicts that by 2027, about 25% of organizations will have chatbots as their primary customer support channel.

But are customers delighted with chatbot customer support? 

Are we ready to substitute human support agents with AI chatbots?

That’s what we wanted to find out. 

In October 2022, we surveyed 1,059 customers in the US to find out the level of satisfaction with AI chatbot customer support and the importance of human agents.

The survey sample consisted of the following:

  • 251 baby boomers (people born from 1946 to 1960)
  • 251 Gen Xers (born 1965 to 1980)
  • 250 millennials (born 1981 to 1996)
  • 307 Gen Zers (born 1997 to 2012)

This report presents the findings of the survey.

The infographic below shows what customers want when seeking support from a business.

1 in 4 customers is satisfied with AI chatbot customer support

The first part of the survey revealed that customers are generally unsatisfied with AI chatbot customer support. 

While 25% of the respondents were happy or very happy with AI chatbot customer support, a significant 43% of customers were not satisfied with their chatbot experiences. Additionally, 32% of respondents had neutral feelings regarding AI customer service. 

These results suggest that there is still room for improvement in the implementation and effectiveness of AI chatbots as a primary customer support channel. 

Unlike traditional rule-based chatbots that provide scripted and robotic responses, AI chatbots can understand customer queries more accurately and provide more relevant, personalized, and human-like responses. 

But for businesses to use AI chatbots best, they must address each customer segment’s concerns and preferences, even when it means having both human and AI customer support.

About 4 in 5 customers want human customer support

The second part of the survey revealed that most customers still prefer human customer support, with 86% of respondents indicating that speaking to a human is either very important or important. 

Although AI chatbots can offer impressive benefits, the current level of customer satisfaction indicates that businesses might not entirely replace human support agents with AI chatbots at this stage. 

Companies that receive massive customer support requests will focus on balancing AI chatbots and human support to meet various customer preferences and improve the customer experience.

Will AI chatbots replace humans in the future?

The survey results indicate that most customers prefer human customer support over AI chatbots. Therefore, human agents will likely continue to play an essential role in providing personalized and empathetic support.

However, decision-makers should consider that the survey was conducted before adopting advanced AI-based chatbots like ChatGPT — a low-quality AI chatbot that results in frustrated customers.

Additionally, with the release of the  ChatGPT API and the arrival of GPT-4, we can expect AI chatbots to understand customer requests better and offer more accurate responses. 

Some platforms already work with ChatGPT API and help businesses create GPT-powered chatbots of their own. Besides, marketers can choose between Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, or Telegram and give their customers options regarding their preferred communication channel.

We recommend that businesses continuously monitor AI chatbot advancements and assess their potential to enhance customer support. 

Companies that leverage AI chatbots should adopt sophisticated, more reliable and creative chatbots to handle nuanced customer instructions. They should also balance AI and human support and regularly assess their customers’ satisfaction with the support.

While the transition to AI-dominated customer support might not happen as quickly as anticipated, businesses should stay prepared for potential shifts in customer expectations. 

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