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How does AI affect customer behavior?

A good chatbot interaction can have positive impact on customer experience.

A new survey reveals how consumers respond to artificial intelligence-based customer service interactions, such as with automated chatbots.

According to the new “2023 State of Customer Engagement” study from interactive AI solutions provider LivePerson, surveyed consumers, especially Gen Z, embrace automated customer service. Three in four consumer respondents (83% for ages 18-24) are more likely to purchase if they can message with a brand rather than call. 

And all surveyed age groups say experiences driven by automation and AI increase their loyalty. More than six in 10 consumer respondents (62%) feel positive about engaging with chatbots, and 68% say that communicating with automated solutions to resolve issues faster increases their loyalty to a brand. Six in 10 surveyed 18-24 year olds would rather interact with a chatbot than a human to find a product.

The study, based on survey results from over 2,500 consumers and more than 1,000 direct-to-consumer brand executives, also finds that brand respondents are aware of consumer acceptance of AI-based customer service. When asked if they are currently evaluating or planning to implement AI or automated solutions for customer engagement within the next six months, 89% of brand respondents said yes, and 85% said that AI is extremely or very important to their customer engagement strategies. 

However, brand respondents appear to be giving themselves better marks than their consumers do. When asked how mature their company's use of AI is today, 78% rated themselves excellent or good. Yet, only 43% of consumer respodents say that brand chatbots are currently easy to use.

[Read more: Do customers like AI-based chatbots?]

The study also finds that there are large gaps between how brands think about and execute customer engagement strategies, and what their customers actually want.

For example:

  • 62% of consumer respondents say they’re more critical of how brands engage them now than they were a year ago. This includes 57% of surveyed consumers who say long wait times matter more to them now than they did a year ago. Almost eight in 10 (77%) brands believe the opposite. 
  • Close to six in 10 (58%) consumer respondents don’t want brands to use cookies to track their activity for better personalization, but 81% of brand respondents say it’s highly important that they do. And 50% of brand respondents think consumers prefer cookies over being asked for information directly in a conversation, when in reality, 69% of consumer respondents feel comfortable revealing personal information in a conversation. 

Other interesting consumer findings include:

  • Four in 10 consumer respondents say they would switch to a competitor if a brand took more than 30 minutes to reply, even if it was their favorite brand.
  • Three-quarters (76%) of consumer respondents (81% for ages 18-24) said they are more likely to make a purchase if they feel a personal connection with a brand.

“There’s a number of sharp disconnects between brands and consumers when it comes to customer engagement. While brands give themselves high marks, their customers are actually getting more impatient,” said Rob LoCascio, founder and CEO of LivePerson.

In November 2022, LivePerson commissioned an online survey of 2,517 consumers aged 18 and older, as well as 1,022 executives at business-to-consumer brands with more than 500 employees. Click here to obtain the full survey.

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