Customers rate traditional chatbots vs. ChatGPT assistants

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
Dan Berthiaume profile picture
Consumers are much more receptive to chatbots based on the ChatGPT AI model.

Not all artificial intelligence (AI)-based customer service chatbots are created equal.

According to a recent survey of over 1,000 U.S. consumers and retailer interviews conducted by online marketplace Capterra, 53% of surveyed consumers who have used traditional retail customer support chatbots rate their overall experience as “fair” or “poor.”

Furthermore, more than half (55%) of surveyed traditional chatbot users don’t trust them. And only 17% of surveyed retail chatbot users have used a bot to search for products, and just 7% have used it to receive product recommendations.

However, surveyed respondents have much more favorable views of ChatGPT, a new AI model from research and deployment company Open AI. Using 570 GB of publicly available data on the Internet, ChatGPT interacts with users in a conversational style that mimics human interaction and uses machine learning (ML) to continually refine and improve its responses.

[Read more: ChatGPT is coming – what it means for your enterprise]

For example, 67% of surveyed ChatGPT users feel understood by the bot often or always, compared to 25% of traditional retail chatbot users. Close to six in 10 (56%) respondents who have used ChatGPT for any purpose say they are likely to shop from a brand that offers a similar tool. However, only 11% have used the bot specifically for shopping purposes.

Other interesting findings related to ChatGPT bots include:

  • Only 19% of the surveyed ChatGPT users say they “always” or “often” simplify their queries to be understood by the tool.
  • Two-thirds (66%) of ChatGPT users say the bot provides recommendations that feel personalized.
  • Respondents’ highest-reported use case for ChatGPT—by a wide margin—is “just for fun” (77%).

Survey reveals consumer distrust of ChatGPT

Interestingly, another recent survey reveals general consumer distrust of next-generation AI technology, such as ChatGPT. Data from AI platform InRule reveals:

  • 59% of all respondents distrust generative chatbot technology.
  • 47% of all respondents prefer humans over chatbots like ChatGPT during customer experience.
  • Even as cutting-edge technology like ChatGPT continues to be released to improve experiences, 70% of respondents will still prefer to interact with and keep a human in the loop.

But the InRule survey also shows that younger consumers in general have a more favorable view of customer service automation than older consumers:

  • 40% of Gen Z respondents think automation helps yield stronger privacy and security. measures through stricter compliance, compared to 12% of boomer respondents.
  • 41% of Gen Z respondents thought automation offers greater personalization, versus 20% of boomer respondents.
  • 43% of Gen Z respondents believe automation improves customer support through quicker responses or shorter wait times, while only 28% of boomer respondents believe so.