New research from NewVoiceMedia,
a Vonage (News - Alert) Company (NYSE:VG) and leading global provider of cloud contact
center and inside sales solutions, reveals that three-quarters of
consumers prefer to have their customer service inquiries handled by a
live agent over self-service options or a chat bot.
Chat bots can provide customers with quick answers to frequently asked
questions or issues, and the survey notes the benefit of chat bots for
certain interactions, such as 24/7 service. When it comes to handling
sensitive financial and personal information, however, most customers
are more comfortable with a live agent, and just 13 percent say they'd
be happy if all service interactions are replaced by bots in the future.
According to the survey¹, top concerns for using chat bots
for service include: lack of understanding of the issue (65 percent);
inability to solve complex issues (63 percent) or get answers to simple
questions (49 percent); and lack of a personal service experience (45
percent). Though 48 percent of respondents indicated they would be
willing to use chat bots for service - versus the 38 percent who
wouldn't - 46 percent also felt that bots keep them from reaching a live
When asked about transactions for which they would not feel comfortable
using a chat bot, a significant majority of respondents said large
banking (82 percent), medical inquiries (75 percent) and small banking
(60 percent). For frequently asked questions or common issues, however,
chat bots can add efficiencies to the live agent's day, freeing them to
provide the extra care and time to more complex issues and to the
customers who really need it.
"When a situation becomes emotional or complex, people want to engage
with people," says Dennis Fois, President of NewVoiceMedia (News - Alert). "As
businesses add more customer service channels, conversations are
becoming more complex and higher value, and personal, emotive customer
interactions play a critical role in bridging the gap for what digital
innovation alone cannot solve. For this reason, companies must find the
right balance between automation and human support to deliver the
service that customers demand. Frontline contact center teams will
continue to be the difference-makers on the battlefield to win the
hearts and minds of customers, and organizations deploying self-service
solutions should ensure that there is always an option to reach a live
A cloud contact center solution presents businesses with the opportunity
to take advantage of emerging technologies such as bots and AI
technology, withut losing that personal touch, creating a better
customer experience. The key is providing customers with the right
balance of personalized, white glove service by a live agent when they
have the need for deeper, more complex customer care, while also giving
them the ability to get quick answers to basic questions provided by
chat bots through a variety of communications channels - chat, voice,
SMS, or social messaging.
Customers prefer live agents for technical support (91 percent); getting
a quick response in an emergency (89 percent); making a complaint (86
percent); buying an expensive item (82 percent); purchase inquiries (79
percent); returns and cancellations (73 percent); booking appointments
and reservations (59 percent); and paying a bill (54 percent). However,
when asked about buying a basic item, 56 percent would choose a chat bot
over a live interaction. The top benefit cited for dealing with chat
bots was 24-hour service.
Younger respondents (aged 18-44) were more open to using chat bots
overall and across the individual scenarios compared to older consumers
(aged 45-60+). In fact, 52 percent of those aged 60 and older would be
unwilling to use chat bots for service at all.
This research follows NewVoiceMedia's Serial
Switchers Swayed by Sentiment study, in which nearly half of
respondents (48 percent) indicated calling as their preferred method of
communication with a business and 56 percent considered calls to be the
quickest way of resolving an issue. The survey also found that the top
reasons customers leave a business due to poor service are feeling
unappreciated (40 percent) and not being able to speak to a person (33
percent), but that 86 percent would be more likely to return to a
business if they felt they'd made a positive emotional connection with a
customer service agent.
For further information, download the research whitepaper at www.newvoicemedia.com.
Dennis Fois talks more about finding order in a world that merges the
benefits of cutting-edge technology with the need humans have for
conversation and connection, in CONVO, NewVoiceMedia's first-ever
magazine, which celebrates the art of great conversations. Download
your copy here.
¹Survey conducted via the SurveyMonkey Audience (News - Alert) market
research tool, with a sample of 1,040 US adults, age 18-60+.
- ENDS -
a Vonage Company, is a leading global provider of cloud contact
center and inside sales technology that enables businesses to create
exceptional, emotive customer experiences to serve better and sell more.
Its award-winning platform joins up all communications channels without
expensive, disruptive hardware changes and plugs straight into your CRM
for full access to hard-won data. With a true cloud environment and
proven 99.999% platform availability, NewVoiceMedia ensures complete
flexibility, scalability and reliability.
NewVoiceMedia's 700+ customers include Canadian Cancer Society, Ebury,
FCR Media, FlixBus, JustGiving, Kingston University, Lumesse, Paysafe
and Vax. For more information, visit www.newvoicemedia.com
or follow NewVoiceMedia on Twitter (News - Alert) @NewVoiceMedia.
In November 2018, NewVoiceMedia was acquired by Vonage (NYSE:VG), a
business cloud communications leader.
View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20181206005294/en/
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