A study has found that people are inclined to trust chatbots with sensitive information and that they are open to receiving advice from these AI services.
The “Humanity in the Machine” report — published by media agency Mindshare UK on Thursday — urges brands to engage with customers through chatbots, which can be defined as artificial intelligence programmes that conduct conversations with humans through chat interfaces.
In conjunction with Goldsmiths University and experts at the likes of IBM, Mindshare UK observed how consumers use chatbots when making a banking transaction. It also surveyed 1,000 UK smartphone users aged 18-65 on their attitudes towards chatbots.
The study found that 63% of people would consider messaging an online chatbot to get in touch with a business or brand.
Website and app chatbots can help customers with things like forgotten passwords and transactions. Companies can also use them to push promotions and adverts at people. However, chatbots can become confused when they’re asked a slightly complicated question that a human would be able to understand. Of those surveyed, 79% agreed that they’d need to know a human could step in if they asked to speak to someone.
Jeremy Pounder, futures director at Mindshare, said in a statement:
“Chatbots have emerged as a new way for brands to engage with customers and we wanted to explore attitudes towards this new technology. Surprisingly consumers are very receptive to AI chat technology, and even trust it over human interaction in certain scenarios.
“This presents a huge opportunity for brands. In order to maintain this positive perception, brands must strike the right balance between the ‘human’ and ‘machine’ experience. Those that do, will be in a position to redefine the consumer experience, not only maintaining consumer trust but driving repeat custom and brand advocacy.”