Consumers threaten exodus over the rise of AI chatbots

robot_ai_cyborg 2Brand owners might see the adoption of AI chatbots as a perfect way to cut costs but the rise of the machines threatens to spark a customer exodus, with a new study claiming nearly two-thirds of consumers hate dealing with robots, and most are prepared to switch to a competitor to speak to a human.

The Gartner survey of 5,728 customers reveals that while customer service leaders are eager to adopt AI, customers remain concerned about its use, with just over half (53%) insisting they would consider switching to a competitor if they had a bad experience.

The top concern that consumers have about AI in customer service is that it will get more and more difficult to reach a person, followed by AI displacing jobs, and AI providing the wrong answers.

Gartner customer service and support practice senior principal of research Keith McIntosh said: “Three-fifths of customer service and support leaders are under pressure to adopt AI in their function. But they can’t ignore concerns about AI use, especially when it could mean losing customers.

“Once customers exhaust self-service options, they’re ready to reach out to a person. Many customers fear that GenAI will simply become another obstacle between them and an agent. The onus is on service and support leaders to show customers that AI can streamline the service experience.”

The report maintains that organisations must build customers’ trust in AI by ensuring their GenAI capabilities follow the best practices. Customers must know the AI-infused journey will deliver better solutions and seamless guidance, including connecting them to a person when necessary.

McIntosh concluded: “AI-infused chatbots must communicate to the customer that they will connect them to an agent in the event that the AI cannot provide a solution.

“It must then seamlessly transform into an agent chat that picks up where the chatbot left off. This way, the customer can trust that they will be able to efficiently find their solution while using the AI-infused channel.”

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