Brands want to wow consumers with techie services, but a report released Monday from voice platform Usabilla suggests consumers would rather speak to a live human being to solve their complex problems and create worthwhile customer experiences.
Usabilla, which provides a way for consumers to give brands feedback about their products and services, surveyed 1,000 customers across generations to understand how brands can strike a balance between man and machine. The report reveals that consumers do not want machines to replace humans.
Some 55% of customers report that they prefer to speak with human customer service agents on the phone. When faced with a phone tree, where consumers need to push more than one button to speak with a person, 73% of shoppers skip the maze and press “0.”
About 18% say they prefer to interact with humans when engaging with brands, regardless of the circumstance. Only 17% of retail customers expect to resolve an issue with their order without human assistance.
The study also asked how brands could improve the experience of working with consumers, revealing that 40% want better training for customer service reps and 31% want faster customer service.
When asked why they might choose a human over a chatbot, 43% of the consumers participating in the study said “I want to connect with a real human who can understand my problem." It was the top reason, even compared with concerns like efficiency, data security and more.
A whopping 82% of consumers report that just one poor experience with a brand will reduce the likelihood that they will recommend the brand to others.
But don't misunderstand -- consumers are willing to use chatbots to solve simple problems. About 35% of customers report that the number one reason they would use a chatbot is to save time, and 54% said they would always choose a chatbot over a human customer service rep if it saved them 10 minutes.
Of those participating in the study, 70% have used chatbots. About 60% of those who have not would feel comfortable doing so.
Some 52% of shoppers have positive feelings toward technology as it relates to artificial intelligence. And while some brands may have the perception that chatbots scare off customers because of “creepiness,” less than 1% of respondents said they would choose a human representative over a chatbot because they are “creeped out” by chatbots.