69 per cent of UK consumers say they will choose to interact with a chatbot before a human, because they want instant answers, with 21 per cent saying they would purchase goods and services from a chatbot.
According to a survey of 2,000 UK consumers, conducted by Morar Consulting and commissioned by Ubisend, 75 per cent of UK consumers have not yet spoken to a chatbot, but 57 per cent of them are aware of what a chatbot is. 35 per cent of respondents say they would like more companies to adopt chatbots, while 22 per cent would use a chatbot for recommendations on goods and services.
“The conditions are ripe for chatbots now. The things consumers demand most when communicating with a company are at the heart of what a chatbot delivers. A perfect storm has been created where technology can now match or exceed consumers’ expectations of how brands should be interacting with them,” said Dean Withey, CEO at Ubisend.
“In this age where convenience always wins out, brands need to solve problems quickly and efficiently to differentiate themselves from a customer service standpoint. Chatbots have the ability to answer questions 24/7, they will never lose their temper with a customer, and they provide the quick and efficient communication that people now demand.”
The impression of chatbots is a generally positive one, according to the research. 43 per cent of consumers perceive companies using chatbots as being ‘innovative’, 30 per cent calling them ‘helpful’, 22 per cent deeming them to be ‘more efficient’ in their customer service, and 17 per cent thinking chatbots are ‘fun’.
23 per cent of respondents said they find chatbots ‘gimmicky’. However, 38 per cent of those were aged over 60 years old compared to only 10 per cent of 16 to 25 year olds.
“While chatbots must make customer experience efficient and reliable, the best chatbots also delight users,” added Withey. “They will not only deliver the excellent customer service needed, but they will offer a novelty experience that cannot be delivered by any other means of digital contact.
“Chatbots bring brand personas to life. This imagination makes people happy and helps increase brand recall. For the first time, brands can have an engaging conversation online.”
The research also found that the ‘Meerkats’ from the Compare the Market adverts are the brand character(s) that consumers would most like to engage with as a chatbot. They were followed by the Andrex puppies and George Clooney’s Nespresso advert persona.