What Consumers Do Not Trust About Technology

Many consumers do not trust technology, suggesting that search marketers may need to rethink the use of bots and services that send consumers through an automated loop where they eventually end up talking to a bot built on artificial intelligence. The strategy creates a disconnect and fails to emotionally connect the person with the brand.

Consumers have not bought into interaction with brands through digital-only systems. Many still value human support, especially after leaving an online ad.

In a survey commissioned by Invoca and conducted online by The Harris Poll, 58% of the more than 2,048 U.S. adults participating in the survey admit to feeling frustrated and 18% felt angry when not given the chance to reach a human.

Only 36% of those participating in the survey believe that an entirely automated transaction process would be just as effective as completing the same transaction with a human, and only when it’s for a product or service they have purchased in the past.



Of those who participated in the survey, 87% of respondents said they have reached out to a company and experienced the option to only communicate with AI or automated communications.

The study explores consumer attitudes toward AI and automation in the brand experience, and suggests consumers remain wary of trusting information or advice from AI-based interactions, especially when it comes to more complex information.

Some 49% of consumers would trust an AI bot for retail advice, but 20% would trust an AI bot for healthcare advice and 19% would trust an AI bot for financial services advice.

Trust differs from industry to industry. Some 38% of consumers say they would trust AI for advice check-in or compare flight and hotel options or restaurant recommendations.

Age also makes a difference. Of those between the ages of 18 and 34, 80% would trust advice from AI in at least one industry -- finance, healthcare, retail, hospitality, insurance or home improvement. Some 49% of those ages 65 or older would not trust AI in any of the categories.

While 49% of consumers would trust AI-generated advice for retail item information, only 20% would trust AI-generated advice for healthcare information and just 19% would trust AI-generated advice for financial services advice.

Some 38% of consumers say they would trust AI-generated advice for hospitality advice, such as checking in for a flight or comparing flight and hotel options or restaurant recommendations. 

When it comes to healthcare, consumers would rather pick up a phone to make a call or complete a transaction. Some 32% of consumers prefer to complete a transaction on the phone, compared with 30% in-person and 25% online.

Many consumers also prefer to complete retail transactions in person. Some 46% prefer to purchase clothing, electronics, and home goods in the store, compared with 35% who say they prefer to complete these types of transactions online.

Some 51% prefer to complete a transaction in person when dealing with financial services, compared with 27% who prefer to make the transaction online.

For home maintenance and improvement transactions, in-person tops the list at 39%, followed by online and phone calls at about 24% each. 

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