3 Customer Expectations for Chatbots to Help Fuel Your Chatbot Strategy

With the increased buzz around chatbots, messenger apps, and artificial intelligence, many marketers are beginning to feel the pressure of establishing a chatbot strategy that both lives up to customer expectations and makes marketing sense for their particular business.

Although the chatbot hype is at an all-time high, rest-assured that if you are still struggling with what your chatbot strategy should be, you aren’t alone.

Here are a few eMarketer stats that prove that the majority of marketers also haven’t quite figured it out:

  • 68% of companies worldwide do not yet use chatbots (eMarketer, May 2017)
  • Only 7% of marketing decision-makers worldwide are using Artificial Intelligence chatbots (emarketer, December 2017)
  • 27% of marketing decision makers worldwide are planning to think about chatbots in 2018 (eMarketer, December 2017)

Now that you know you aren’t alone, let’s look at customer expectations for chatbots that can be used to help you figure out your brand’s individual chatbot strategy.

Chatbot Strategy Consideration #1: What Customers Want from Chatbots

It’s interesting to note that the top 3 customer motivations for using a chatbot are around getting answers, explanations, or resolve to their problems.

What’s perhaps more interesting is that 34% of users who would use a chatbot, would use one as a means to easily find a human customer service assistant.

Also worth noting: many customers are interested in completing simple actions, purchases, or receiving updates through chatbots.

What does this insight mean for brands and marketers?

  • Some customer audiences may prefer a Bot that answers some but not all questions, instead knowing the right time and type of questions where it makes sense to escalate to a human
  • Some brands may decide to intentionally NOT use chatbots for customer support, but instead provide quick access to real human agents based on customer preference.  This may help focus their chatbot strategy on simplified purchases, order updates, or inspiration, instead.


Chatbot Strategy Consideration #2: Customer Concerns and Confusion around Chatbots

While customers are interested in getting questions answered and resolved via chatbots, it’s also worth noting that nearly 95% of customers are concerned with getting frustrated when the chatbot doesn’t understand the request, or skepticism of the accuracy of information provided from the Bot itself. 

This is understandable, given many customers may not have had experiences chatting with a chatbot, and if they had, it may not have been a pleasant experience.

Another area worth noting is customer concerns via privacy. Given this research was taken in November, we suspect that more customers will become more wary of giving user data to Facebook in particular.

What does this insight mean for brands and marketers?

  • Customers will be wary of their first-time experiences with a chatbot. Don’t over-promise and under deliver. Consider testing your chatbot with real customers before deploying more widely, and ensure all marketing controls customer expectations for what your chatbot can truly deliver.
  • Don’t forget user concerns regarding privacy in your chatbot strategy. Ensure messaging at the beginning and throughout the chatbot experience comforts and reminds users of how any data shared will be utilized.


Chatbot Strategy Consideration #3: Customer Preference for Chatbots Versus Human Agents

Although there are a LOT of use cases for chatbots outside of the realm of customer support (which we’ll uncover in our upcoming webinar you can register for here), it’s still interesting to look at what type of reasons that customers may have for speaking with a chatbot versus speaking with a human agent.

Specifically with medical information or fixing an issue, customer concerns for privacy and skepticism of chatbot accuracy mean that most customers at this point in time would still prefer to talk to a human agent compared to a chatbot.

This said, areas like regular reminders, delivery information, or pricing information are areas in which customers are fairly open to whether they receive these through a human or a chatbot.

What does this insight mean for brands and marketers?

  • If you are considering a customer-support focused chatbot, consider different ways you can provide valuable customer support functions. You may decide to leave problem-solving and issue management to humans, while providing shipping updates or customer reminders to your chatbots.

We hope this information can help you think strategically about how to build an effective chatbot that lives up to customer expectations.

If you want to continue learning more about chatbots and developing your brand’s chatbot strategy, REGISTER NOW for our upcoming webinar, How to Build an Effective Chatbot Strategy.

Attending this webinar will give you insight into:

  • How chatbots have evolved and what opportunities they provide marketers
  • Best in class examples of chatbots from a variety of B2C and B2B brands
  • Four steps to get started on your brand’s chatbot strategy
  • Cost and maintenance to consider before getting started


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