An increasing number of brands have turned to automated communications technology such as AI and chatbots in recent years to engage consumers and improve brand experiences.
But many consumers remain apprehensive of automated services and widely prefer interactions with flesh-and-blood people, according to a recent survey commissioned by AI-powered call tracking and analytics platform Invoca.
A majority of respondents (52 percent) expressed frustration with companies that offer “no option for a human interaction.” Nearly one in five (18 percent) said they’re angry at companies that offer only automated communications options. Altogether, only 16 percent of consumers reported enjoying the experience of interacting with a brand’s automated communications service.
|Among those who’ve reached out to companies and not been given the opportunity to communicate with a human, 52 percent expressed feeling “frustrated,” while 18 percent expressed feeling “angry.”|
Despite the deep skepticism that seems to speedbump consumers’ widespread embrace of automated services, there’s one sector where this technology appears to be gaining traction: the retail sector. Nearly half of consumers polled (49 percent) said they trust AI technology when engaging with retailers. By comparison, only 38 percent said they’d use the technology for hospitality services, only 20 percent of consumer said they’d trust the technology on healthcare matters and even fewer (19 percent) said the same for financial services.
Overall, consumers’ preferred methods for interacting with brands remain proudly analogue. When it comes to retail, for example, most consumers (46 percent) still expressed preferring to complete their transactions in-person. Consumers also opted for this method when making home maintenance and improvement purchases. As far as healthcare matters are concerned, a majority of consumers (32 percent) prefer to complete transactions over the phone. In the hospitality world, however, the Internet has now become a favorite for a majority (55 percent).
Not surprisingly, automated services are also much more popular with younger audiences. 80 percent of consumers between the ages of 18 and 34 said they trust AI-generated advice, compared to 62 percent over the age of 35. And while healthcare and financial services remain untrusted grounds for receiving advice, 22 percent of respondents between 18 and 34 said they trust receiving automated communications in this sector, compared to 10 percent of those 65 and older.
The Invoca survey polled more than 2,000 U.S. adults and was conducted online by The Harris Poll.