Study: French people very dissatisfied with customer service chatbots

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Study: French people very dissatisfied with customer service chatbots

A survey, led by Odoxa for Kiamo, reveals the French’s disenchantment with customer service chatbots. Carried out on the Internet a few weeks ago with 1,005 French people aged 18 and over, it tells us that only one in two of us (56%) feel well considered when we contact customer service. It also teaches us that human contact is largely favored, to the detriment of automated or AI-powered conversational agents.

The chatbot, an interlocutor little appreciated by the French

51% of French people feel “fairly well regarded” when they call customer service. But advisors who can be reached by telephone are the only ones they trust (70%). Much more than FAQs on websites (49%) or online customer forums or communities (44%). However, it is the automated agents that the French do not trust. Chatbots, on the Internet, and callbots, on the telephone, do not give confidence to, respectively, 73 and 79% of us. However, we note that 51% of 18-25 year olds trust chatbots, proof of a first generational gap.

7 out of 10 users consider their interactions with chatbots to be unsatisfactory.

Overall, more than 8 out of 10 French people have already sent a request to a chatbot, and 70% of them are not satisfied with the exchanges. Again, we notice that satisfaction decreases with the age of the user. 52% of 18-24 year olds are satisfied with their conversations with automated agents, compared to only 16% in the 65 and over age group. It is most often understanding the questions that poses a problem, for 72% of respondents. The solution provided to their request is also singled out, deemed unsatisfactory by 71% of them.

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Automated tools and AI in customer service seen in a very negative light

This negative opinion on chatbots, callbots and other automated tools powered by AI used in customer service has repercussions on the image that the French have of the companies that use them. For 67% of respondents, this gives ” a bad image “ of the company. Here again, the gap is obvious between the generations. 62% of 18-24 year olds, on the contrary, believe that this gives ” a good image “ of the company concerned.

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The main reason for this bad image conveyed by the use of automated tools is undoubtedly to be found in fears for employment. 83% of French people believe that “AI and its applications pose a threat to contact center jobs”. Nearly half (48%) think that chatbots will never completely replace humans in customer relations. But 10% believe that they have already done so, while 42% think that this will be the case within 10 years.

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A big generation gap, but a common idea

Despite this deep form of disenchantment, younger people find satisfaction in using chatbots. The French, who are not very satisfied with the waiting time for their support by customer service (38% satisfied), recognize that chatbots offer speed advantages. 57% of them validate this point. But here again, the generational gap is marked: from 73% of 18-24 year olds satisfied with the speed advantages of chatbot support, it drops to 38% for those aged 65 and over.

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Everyone agrees on one point: chatbots “are not effective in handling complex requests” (88%). Equally shared by all profiles and age groups, the observation that artificial intelligence “impoverishes customer relations, intelligent automated tools (not being) as effective as telephone advisors”. 72% of those questioned are of this opinion: from 54% of 18-24 year olds – at least – to 88% of independents – at most. However, for “request a package return or order refund”, the French will turn more readily to a free chatbot than to a paid call to a telephone advisor (63% versus 35%). Only the oldest are resisting (50% will prefer to pay for a call, compared to 45% who will opt for a free chatbot).

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A selection of customer service tools

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Fred Richardson

a computer enthusiast with an insatiable appetite for problem-solving. After graduating with a degree in Computer Science in 2010, he embarked on a lifelong journey of exploring the intricacies of technology. For the past 25 years, Fred has dedicated himself to building custom PCs, mastering the art of hardware and software integration. With a deep-rooted belief in the power of coding, he has sought to unravel the complexities of life's challenges through lines of programming. From the early days of DOS 3.3 to the present, Fred has been a steadfast support for users, utilizing his knowledge to assist and guide others in navigating the ever-changing world of technology.