In 2020, chatbots are hardly a novelty, with businesses already taking advantage of AI-powered customer service. That said, as these chatbot statistics show, there’s much that is assumed or misunderstood about this technology. While chatbots present a substantial opportunity for companies to improve processes across multiple departments, a clear understanding of the potential benefits, along with the technology’s limitations, is crucial.
So, read on for some up-to-date stats covering general information about the technology, user behavior and expectations, along with relevant industry-related stats on chatbots.
This marks a CAGR of 29.7% from 2019 when the market was worth $2.6 billion. The key factors for this strong growth, according to the report, include advancement in technology and rising customer demands for self-service and 24x7 customer assistance at lower operational costs.
In 2018, 25% of all customer interactions were automated, and by 2030, it is estimated that a billion service tickets will be raised automatically by customer-owned AI-powered bots. Chatbot adoption statistics show that AI-powered chatbots are being widely deployed across customer-facing industries because they can save time, improving the overall customer experience. The trend is also visible in live chat software platforms, with some already featuring chatbot functionalities.
These savings are expected to be most notable in industries like healthcare and banking that handle multiple customer queries. In fact, 90% of queries in these sectors are going to be handled by chatbots within the next five years, resulting in cost savings in the range of $0.50-$0.70 per customer interaction. These chatbot growth statistics seem particularly striking given that the global savings from chatbots were estimated to amount to just $20 million in 2017.
Using chatbots, businesses are expected to dramatically cut response and interaction times. Apart from healthcare and banking, retail is another sector that is likely to benefit from the use of chatbots. At the same time, these potential benefits are contingent on large-scale investments to improve chatbot functionality.
Benefits such as cost savings, up-selling, marketing, and cart recovery are likely to be the driving factors for the widespread adoption of chatbots in eCommerce. These potential benefits could mean that eCommerce transactions worth $122 billion will be driven by chatbots by 2023.
This compares to 20% in 2017 and 26.65% in 2018. Better natural language processing along with greater familiarity with chatbot usage has led to significant improvement in chatbots’ ability to handle entire chats. The rate at which AI’s ability to resolve user queries has improved shows that it can be a powerful tool for every organization.
This compares to 85.8% average satisfaction rates for chats that get transferred to human agents. While the lower score for human-assisted chats is likely because the issues involved are too tough in the first place, there is also an indication that bots get quite close to delivering the right answers without causing frustration.
Chatbot adoption is more likely in retail, with consumers already comfortable dealing with such automated systems. Nearly 1 in every 2 customers is willing to engage in a purchase process that is completely guided by a chatbot in the absence of a human sales agent. The implications for cost-saving for ecommerce businesses are immense.
Chatbot automation stats show that, at present, most automated customer support is not developed enough to do away with the human component completely. This makes it difficult for customers to rely solely on chatbots. However, if chatbots were designed well enough to deal with the most common queries, a significant proportion of customers wouldn’t mind not dealing with a human customer support agent.
There are indications that customers judge a website based on whether it has automated support or not. At the same time, chatbot marketing stats show that 87% of consumers still prefer interacting with a human given a choice between the two. Reasons for this preference include the ability of human agents to answer a wider variety of questions, understand complex situations, and “understand” the customer better.
This stat underscores that the current chatbot technology leaves a lot to be desired for customers when getting their queries answered. While customers have shown a general acceptance of chatbots, businesses should keep human support staff at hand for quick issue resolution in cases where the AI response fails to satisfy the customer.
Evidence suggests that customers prefer messaging to interact with businesses than other channels. Customer service statistics show that immediate response can further boost the appeal of messenger apps, and this can be achieved by bots, something already done by companies on apps like Facebook Messenger.
While there is a distinct preference for human interaction among some consumers, chatbot statistics show that there is also a segment that is equally comfortable with either. Already sizeable at a quarter of the overall consumer base, this segment knows that both forms of interaction have certain advantages and disadvantages and what really matters is that the end goal is achieved.
Nearly three out of four consumers confirm that they have already made use of conversational bots or voice assistants to gather more information about a business’s offerings. Stats on chatbot services further show that while bots might not be running all customer interactions completely on their own as of yet, when it comes to handling queries on product or service features, they have largely overtaken human agents.
Given their comfort with technology, it’s not surprising that Millennials lead all age groups in reporting positive experiences with chatbots. The faster resolution of issues with chatbots also syncs well with younger consumers’ need for instant gratification. At the same time, given how demanding they are when it comes to technology, the high level of satisfaction, as reflected by current chatbot trends, bodes well for the success of the technology.
The general level of satisfaction with chatbots across different age groups is also fairly high, according to customer surveys from 2019. Smartphone voice assistants like Siri and Alexa, based on the same AI-based technology, have an even higher rate of satisfaction at 71%, pointing to consistent improvement in the ability of machines to converse with humans and answer various queries.
Chatbot engagement statistics, based on the use of highly structured outbound sales calls, also show that, when undisclosed, chatbots can be four times more effective than inexperienced workers in generating customer purchases. This means that the technology has at least reached a level where structured calls can be completely handled by machines, even if other forms of communication with customers can’t pass the Turing Test completely.
Despite customer claims of comfort with bots, there seems to be some mismatch with actual customer behavior. While bots are as adept at running a sales process as experienced human sales agents, one of the salient chatbot facts is that customers—in significant numbers—seem uncomfortable engaging in such a process because of the perception of less knowledgeability and empathy the machine’s part.
The perception of the help chatbots can provide is getting better, which, in turn, improves customer comfort when knowingly dealing with a machine agent. Since chatbot customer service ratings show a major improvement over just one year, businesses can expect that this will cease to be a major hindrance very soon.
Consumers seem to be less forgiving of chatbots than they are with humans, expecting efficient execution from companies. This is something businesses will have to be cautious about, as anything less-than-satisfactory could end up negatively impacting their relationships with their customers. Chatbot stats also show that 73% of consumers say they would not use a company’s chatbot after just one bad experience.
As the security risks of disclosing personal information via online channels become more well-known, people seem to be more comfortable when dealing with other human beings rather than bots. This means that to facilitate the wider adoption of chatbots, businesses will have to convince consumers that their personal data is not going to be misused.
(Computer Generated Solutions)
Chatbots are already pretty much ubiquitous now, and backed by positive customer response, businesses are deploying them on a large scale. Full-time availability coupled with lower human resources costs, makes the use of chatbots an attractive prospect for businesses. Certain areas of concern, however, keep even more businesses from adopting the technology.
AI-powered chatbots are driving an operational improvement in customer experience, with 80% of businesses reporting enhanced call volume processing when using chatbots. A lot of customer issues fall under a few specific categories, and automating their resolution can speed up the redressal process.
(MIT Technology Review)
Business leaders also say that chatbots have increased their customer satisfaction scores by 24%. The benefits of chatbots in customer service, therefore, are based on actual improvement observed by business executives. Faster response times leave a positive impression on customers and encourage them to move further along the sales funnel.
CIOs and CTOs worldwide agree that conversational bots are going to play a critical role in the enterprise architecture of the future, with the potential to make a huge impact on company operations. 56% of businesses say that such bots are already driving disruption in the industry, while 43% report their competitors are already implementing the technology, according to chatbot market statistics.
These benefits include an increase in their Net Promoter Score, a reduction in customer wait times by more than 5 minutes, and an increase in first call resolution by more than 20%. As a result, 74% of organizations also say that conversational assistants are a key enabler of the company’s business and customer engagement strategy.
This enhancement takes place by automatically following up on scheduled tasks. AI chatbot stats further show that 60% consider the top benefit to be an improvement in the ability to handle client queries by networking with other bots, while 57% cite the personalized attention delivered to website visitors. Other key benefits include more effective communication within the organization and improvement in customer acquisition and retention.
This is quite expected, given the obvious utility of conversational bots in responding to consumers’ queries. CRM (55%) and sales and marketing (40%) are the other top areas/departments. Chatbot industry stats also indicate marginal deployment in audit, finance and accounts (11%), HR, finance, supply chain, R&D, manufacturing, and ICT.
Other top reasons include the inability of bots to incorporate context for personalized experiences, failure to understand human input adequately, security and legal aspects, shortage of skilled developers, poor mechanisms for discoverability, and platform fragmentation. This shows that not everyone is sold on the utility of chatbots. Industry chatbot statistics further show that a significant percentage of companies, especially in the utilities and industrial equipment industries, have either no plans to invest in bots or are in wait-and-see mode.
The deployment of chatbots is not hassle-free for supporters either. Apart from the lack of skilled talent, the deployment cost (49%), costs to acquire or purchase (46%), and data privacy and security issues (42%) are also major challenges. Chatbot growth data, however, shows that at least some of these issues, such as availability of talent and purchase costs, may become less of a challenge with time as bots become more mainstream.
Across multiple user surveys, Facebook Messenger has appeared as the tool preferred by users to communicate with businesses. Bots on Facebook Messenger enable businesses to be available 24/7 and facilitate quick issue resolution. The low density of chatbots on the platform, as reflected by Facebook chatbot statistics, therefore, presents a huge opportunity for savvy marketers to excel in customer communication.
Chatbots have multiple uses for businesses, their quality is improving and it seems they are here to stay. That said, assuming that all consumers would be equally welcoming of the change would be a mistake given some valid concerns about the widespread application of chatbots. As AI and related technologies develop further, chatbot statistics indicate that these concerns will have to be addressed to ensure smooth deployment across the board.