Consumers go cold on automated chatbots, finds Acquia research

Consumers clamour for clunky chatbots to be chopped

New research has charted a rise in consumer dissatisfaction with the increasing reliance placed by brands on automated chatbots, with one in five urging firms to abandon the practice in favour of real-time messaging with actual staff.

Research conducted by Acquia found that 45% described their own experience of chatbots as ‘annoying’ while no less than 78% of respondents dismissed the technology as too impersonal.

Widespread dissatisfaction with the service provided by chatbots has done nothing to dent the enthusiasm of marketers, with 80% of CMOs either already using the technology or planning to do so by 2020 according to a separate Oracle survey.

Sylvia Jensen, vice president of EMEA marketing at Acquia commented: “Acquia’s research shows that chatbots are part of a broader disconnect between marketers and customers. Chatbots can offer fantastic benefits to both marketers and consumers by solving large volumes of customer issues and queries autonomously and in real time — but too often, they’re implemented in isolation.

“This is the reason many consumers have a negative perception of chatbots. Any chatbot is only as good as the wider customer experience and journey they are part of. Marketers therefore need to ensure that chatbots are fully integrated with the wider customer journey to give customers the personalised, helpful experiences they want.”

The survey of over 5,000 consumers and 500 marketers across Australia, Europe and North America was conducted to inform Acquia’s inaugural Customer Experience Trends Report.

In recent months attention has turned to the rise of content-driven chatbots to deliver a more personalised user experience.

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