Chatbots are expected to be able to help round-the-clock with instant service for simple tasks, but aren’t perceived to be the best channel for more complex inquiries. That’s according to a report [PDF] from Drift, SurveyMonkey Audience, Salesforce and myclever, which surveyed 1,051 US adults ages 18-64.
The “State of Chatbots Report” indicates that chatbots have yet to find broad appeal among consumers, though they do have a user base: 15% have used them to communicate with businesses during the past year. While other research finds greater usage among youth, it seems clear that traditional channels such as phone and email (6 in 10 respondents to this latest survey) are still far more commonly used. Moreover, respondents are more likely to be using newer channels such as mobile apps (30%) and social media (28%) than chatbots.
Nonetheless, chatbots – which are increasingly being used by Fortune 500 companies – do have benefits in consumers’ eyes. For example, more than 1 in 3 respondents predict that they would use a chatbot for a variety of tasks, including:
- Getting a quick answer in an emergency (37%);
- Resolving a complaint or problem (35%); and
- Getting detailed answers or explanations (35%).
Moreover, were chatbots to be available and working effectively for online services used by respondents, a majority would expect to enjoy potential benefits such as:
- 24-hour service (64%);
- Getting an instant response (55%); and
- Answers to simple questions (55%).