Only six percent of consumers prefer a fully automated customer service experience when seeking support while shopping online – validating the need for a human element in customer experience.
Voxpro – powered by TELUS International released survey results that prove a combined customer service model that observes both human and automated support continues to provide the best service. The survey, which polled 500 U.S. consumers, reveal insights and attitudes around the resolution of issues customers may face while shopping online, especially during the holiday season.
Combining technology with a human touch in E-commerce
With nearly half of consumers (47 percent) doing the majority of their holiday shopping online this year, customer support during the holiday season needs to be seamless. More than half of consumers (52 percent) reveal that they would completely avoid online shopping if they know a site does not offer any customer service options.
The integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology, such as chatbots, promised to transform customer experience for the better, but only six percent of survey respondents reveal that they prefer a fully automated customer experience when seeking support while shopping online during the holidays. In fact, according to the survey, the majority of respondents (72 percent) have never had a customer service problem solved by a chatbot alone. Over half (55 percent) of consumers reveal they have, however, had a problem solved by a combination of a live customer service agent and an automated service, like a chatbot.
When consumers were asked why they might opt in to a live chat option over making a call about an online shopping issue, 30 percent answered that they believe opting into the chat could get them to a live agent sooner. This insight proves the value of AI integrated support options as an accelerator, rather than a complete solution that cuts out the need for live human support.
Human touch in a customer service model remains important as some consumers (30 percent) believe certain issues they may run into while shopping online are too complicated to type into a live chat support option.
“The truth of the matter is, AI components are best used when integrated with the option of dealing with a live human.”
Embracing chatbot transparency
When integrating AI into a brand’s customer experience model, the survey reveals that transparency is important. Over half of consumers (59 percent) want to know if they are dealing with a live human or a bot when opting into a chat about an issue.
“Human touch continues to be a mainstay in providing beautiful customer experience, especially in e-commerce,” said Brian Hannon, Chief Commercial Officer Voxpro – powered by TELUS International. “The truth of the matter is, AI components are best used when integrated with the option of dealing with a live human. Simply put, consumers making online purchases need to feel at ease or they will go elsewhere. It is tempting for brands to dive head-first into the AI customer support arms race, but this doesn’t mean the human element is obsolete. When AI and human touch work in tandem, issues are often resolved quicker, more seamlessly, and also provide the consumer with the reassurance they need.”
A critical takeaway from the survey is that e-commerce brands continue to need some element of human support in their customer experience strategy, especially during the holiday season when online shopping increases. Combining AI components with human elements strengthen the customer experience by making it more efficient, while still offer a personable component that only a live agent can provide.