Consumers beg brands to drop ‘annoying’ chatbots

Dec 17, 2018 | Ads, Content marketing

1 in 5 UK consumers are desperate for brands to ditch chatbots and live online interactions with customer experience representatives, new research by Acquia says.

In what should be a wake-up call for organisations, nearly half (45%) of consumers said they generally find chatbots ‘annoying’ — with 78% of consumers saying the problem with automated experiences is that they’re too impersonal.

Consumers’ claims place a considerable dent in marketers’ plans to integrate chatbots with their communications stack, with 80% of CMOs saying they already used chatbots or are planning to use them by 2020, according to an Oracle survey.

Marketers are placing such confidence in chatbots that the market is expected to exceed £1 billion by 2024, driven by marketers’ attempts to better understand their customers while processing large volumes of requests quickly.

The conclusions are part of Acquia’s inaugural annual global report entitled Closing the CX Gap: Customer Experience Trends Report 2019, which assesses the state of customer experience. More than 5,000 consumers and 500 marketers across Australia, the UK, France, Germany and North America provided input for the report.

Sylvia Jensen, VP of EMEA marketing at Acquia said: “Acquia’s research shows that chatbots are part of a broader disconnect between marketers and customers. Chatbots can offer fantastic benefits to both marketers and consumers by solving large volumes of customer issues and queries autonomously and in real time — but too often, they’re implemented in isolation.

“This is the reason many consumers have a negative perception of chatbots. Any chatbot is only as good as the wider customer experience and journey they are part of. Marketers therefore need to ensure that chatbots are fully integrated with the wider customer journey to give customers the personalised, helpful experiences they want.”

Highlighting the broad disconnect between marketers and consumers, Acquia’s research finds that the majority (87%) of marketers are confident their brand’s experience meets expectations, whereas half (53%) of consumers feel that brands fall short.

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