Chatbots Deliver Speed, But Consumers Still Want Humans. Are We Moving Too Quickly To Automation?

Chatbots Deliver Speed, But Consumers Still Want Humans. Are We Moving Too Quickly To Automation?

Chatbots Deliver Speed, But Consumers Still Want Humans. Are We Moving Too Quickly To Automation—Infographic

Bots are everywhere. But as Sci-fi predictions become reality, are consumers really ready for shiny and chrome?

Despite today's technology-dependent environment, CGS's 2018 Global Consumer Customer Service Survey of more than 500 U.S. and U.K. participants found that many consumers still prefer human agents to chatbots for their more complex customer service engagements.

Top Channels For Quick Customer Service Inquiries

Chat: 52% (US), 49% (UK)

Phone: 24% (US), 20% (UK)

Email: 13% (US), 18% (UK)

Social Media: 11% (US), 13% (UK)

Why Are Digital Channels Growing In Popularity? It's All About Speed.

Humans fall short because they are:

  • Less available: 32% (US), 24% (UK)
  • Take longer to respond: 32% (US), 24% (UK)

However, nearly 40% (US) and 50% (UK) still prefer a human to a chatbot.


Feel chatbots answers aren't as detailed: 41% (US), 47% (UK)

Feel chatbots are less helpful: 37% (US), 36% (UK)

Top 4 Reasons Consumers Give Up On A Chatbot And Reach Out To A Human

  1. Issue is too complex or unusual: 60% (US), 56% (UK)
  2. Bot redirects user to FAQs: 41% (US), 41% (UK)
  3. Bot takes too long to respond: 18% (US), 22% (UK)
  4. Conversation feels impersonal: 13% (US), 25% (UK)

Consumers Want Speed

Not a cookie-cutter approach for their personal or complex issues.

Expect customer service reps to be familiar with and have access to a full history of their past interactions, across all channels: 38% (US), 35% (UK)

Yet, they're worried about oversharing. 55% across both geographies are concerned about how their data is managed.

Would consumers pay extra to have human customer support? Overwhelmingly, no. A whopping 3/4 of respondents are unwilling to pay more. They just expect it.

Moving Too Quickly To Bots: Concern By Generation

Many consumers are concerned that companies are moving too quickly to all chatbot responses, making it harder to interact with actual human representatives when needed.

Age: 18-24    33% (US)  32% (UK)

Age: 25-34    37% (US) 51% (UK)

Age: 35-44    60% (US) 61% (UK)

Age: 45-54    43% (US) 59% (UK)

Age: 55-64    42% (US)  53% (UK)

Age: 65+        55%(US) 67% (UK)

Brands Must Evaluate Their Customer Service Experiences And Strategize How To:

Leverage new technologies for process improvements and efficiencies, while not forcing customers through channels they find uncomfortable

Empower human agents to address complex or unusual issues by hiring people with the right skills and providing ongoing technical and soft skill training

Ensure that when customers have exhausted DIY options, they still have access to a human to help solve more personal, complex issues

Enable human agents with access to customer information gathered across channels over multiple interactions

Provide fast-and-easy service for simple requests

Leverage data from customer interactions to continuously improve experiences across all channels

Balance the desire for personalization with trust and transparency around data use and protection

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