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I think most of us have encountered something like the following while browing any service website:

Screenshot of a conversation with a chatbot / business person chat

Now to me, personally, these are always just an annoyance in my visual field of view that I have to spend an extra second on to close. The reason being that they just seem fake or superficial, where I would waste my time just to receive some broad, pre-written response.

But is that the case for "normal" users as well (those not too familiar with tech & UX)?
Does anyone here have real life examples or experiences of how such a feature has brought their users/customers any real value?


Now in terms of statistics, chatbotsmagazine.com claims:

According to Drift, 27% of adult clients in the United States are ready to purchase basic goods through a chatbot, 13% of adults in the US have at least once bought expensive items using chatbots.

superoffice.com says that customers even prefer to go this route, rather than other forms contact:

In fact, live chat is expected to continue to grow by as much as 87% in the next 12-18 months. (In some industries, chat growth has increased by as much as 150%).

The reason for this increased adoption is because more than half of all customers prefer to chat with someone in real-time and online, rather than call a company for support.

So the numbers seem to be on the chat's side, but it just seems hard to believe from a qualitative standpoint, if you can call it that. Maybe it's just too much scepticism from my side?

  • I'm not sure what most of us here will be able to offer other than personal anecdotes so I'd think the quoted statistics would be better proof. But as my own anecdote, social anxiety makes me 1000% more likely to email or chat than to call a company on the phone. – DasBeasto Jan 8 at 16:01
  • I think this is very much user-specific. Some users would rather talk to someone rather than click or type anything. For others, it's the exact opposite. And there are probably a lot of people in between, and those are probably the targets of those chatbots. I'm in the "don't want to talk to anyone" category, and chatbots annoy me very much. Even more so when the few instances I've used one resulted in utter failure :-) – jcaron Jan 8 at 16:19
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    My personal experience (as a user) has been luke-warm at best. I hate that it presents itself as a "live person" but it is not. You chat to a bot, until it gets enough basic details to forward you to a live person (if you are so lucky). The delay in getting info is super frustrating. If there is a live person in the end, I can get my task accomplished but it always takes much, much longer than it should. To anyone considering adding a chat bot, set it to cut the fluff and get straight to the point, we have zero interest in small talk with a machine. – scunliffe Jan 9 at 0:03
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At a large manufacturer's site, selling technical products, Chat is a very popular option. I should qualify that: Live Chat is very popular. Customers are very happy when they get an actual service rep who answers their questions.

Customers do not like speaking with Chat Bots. Even though we label the bot experience at the outset, most customers don't notice and get annoyed when they realize they've spent five minutes typing to an AI agent that can't answer their questions. Most artificial intelligence systems are not able to answer general questions. However, if the bot is presented as being able to answer questions on a specific topic, the conversation has a much higher rate of success.

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  • I think that's as close as one can get to answering my question that I've half-way answered myself haha, thanks for the insight – Big_Chair Jan 10 at 19:32

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