Low customer adoption and satisfaction with chatbots revealed

Chatbots are not consistently meeting customers’ needs and goals

A recent survey conducted by Gartner, Inc. unveiled that only 8 per cent of customers utilized a chatbot during their most recent customer service experience. Furthermore, of those who did interact with a chatbot, only 25 per cent expressed their willingness to use it again in the future.

Despite the growing emphasis placed on chatbots by customer service and support leaders, the survey results indicate that chatbots are not consistently meeting customers’ needs and goals.

The survey, which included 497 B2B and B2C customers from December 2022 through February 2023, identified the chatbot’s ability to effectively address the customer’s issue as the primary driver for adoption, explaining 18 per cent of the variance in customers’ likelihood to use a chatbot again.

“While many customer service and support leaders look to chatbots as the future of the function, customers clearly need some convincing,” said Michael Rendelman, Senior Specialist, Research, in the Gartner Customer Service and Support practice. “To improve chatbot adoption, the key is to focus on improving the chatbot’s ability to move customers’ issues forward.”

The survey findings revealed significant discrepancies in resolution rates based on the type of issue. Billing disputes were resolved by chatbots in only 17 per cent of cases, whereas returns or cancellations saw resolution rates as high as 58 per cent when customers utilized chatbots during their journey.

Interestingly, while service organizations have an in-depth understanding of the capabilities and limitations of their chatbots, customers do not. The survey indicated that customers are only 2 per cent more likely to use a chatbot for a return or cancellation compared to a billing dispute, despite the significant difference in resolution rates between the two.

“Chatbots aren’t effective for all issue types,” noted Rendelman. “As generative AI makes them more advanced, customer confusion about what chatbots can and can’t do is likely to get worse. It’s up to service and support leaders to guide customers to chatbots when it’s appropriate for their issue and to other channels when another channel is more appropriate.”

The survey results highlight the need for customer service and support leaders to reassess their chatbot strategies, focusing on enhancing the chatbot’s capabilities to effectively address customer concerns. Clear communication and guidance are essential in directing customers to the appropriate channels based on the nature of their issues. By optimizing the chatbot experience and aligning it with customer needs, organizations can enhance customer satisfaction and increase chatbot adoption rates.



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