Data from PSFK's survey on chat defines consumer expectations for immediate, proactive service without sacrificing the human element

Consumers have new expectations for service. They won't settle for lengthy hold times to solve a problem or waiting until the next business day to find what they need; instead, they will seek out brands, retailers and organizations that provide proactive care, anytime and anywhere. To understand the role of chat in this kind of seamless communication, PSFK polled its research panel (the Purple Panel) for insights on chat interfaces and conversational AI in customer service.

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  • Consumers are 4x more likely to prefer to use a chat box over a human—and prefer chat as much as email
  • 74% of consumers prefer chatbots when they're looking for instant answers
  • The top reason people use chat is for customer service (67%) followed by making a complaint (50%)

Don't replace people—amplify them

  • Companies that use chatbots are seen as efficient (47%), innovative (40%) and helpful (36%). But they are also seen as less personal (38%)
  • 75% of consumers prefer human-powered chat when they're looking for better understanding
  • 80% of consumers think they know when a computer is talking to them via chat

Protect customer data and relationships

  • As many people are uncomfortable providing personal information via chat as people who are comfortable
  • Companies resist setting up chatbots mainly because of the lack of humanity and emotional intelligence
  • 15% of consumers today are willing to use chat to purchase products and services—but there is potential for growth

PSFK Premium members can find a breakdown of the raw survey data in the Customer Service Debrief file download.

About: These insights were collected in the PSFK Chat Survey, conducted in March 2018, in which 457 business professionals offered their perspectives on the future state of the chatbots in customer service.

Consumers have new expectations for service. They won't settle for lengthy hold times to solve a problem or waiting until the next business day to find what they need; instead, they will seek out brands, retailers and organizations that provide proactive care, anytime and anywhere. To understand the role of chat in this kind of seamless communication, PSFK polled its research panel (the Purple Panel) for insights on chat interfaces and conversational AI in customer service.

Offer immediate assistance, 24/7