Most customers don’t want companies to use AI for customer service

Most customers don’t want companies to use AI for customer service Duncan is an award-winning technology industry analyst, specialising in cloud computing, blockchain, martech and edge computing.

64% of customers would prefer that companies did not use artificial intelligence (AI) in their customer service.

This is according to a survey by analyst firm Gartner, which also found that 53% of customers would consider switching to a competitor if they found out a company was going to use AI for customer service.

A Gartner survey of 5,728 customers conducted in December 2023 revealed that while customer service leaders are eager to adopt AI, customers remain concerned about its use within the customer service function.

Keith McIntosh, Senior principal, research, in the Gartner Customer Service & Support practice, said: “60% of customer service and support leaders are under pressure to adopt AI in their function. But they can’t ignore concerns about AI use, especially when it could mean losing customers.”

Difficulty Reaching a Person is Customers’ Top AI Concern

The top concern that consumers have about AI in customer service is that it will get more difficult reaching a person (see Figure 1), followed by AI displacing jobs, and AI providing the wrong answers.

McIntosh said: “Once customers exhaust self-service options, they’re ready to reach out to a person. Many customers fear that GenAI will simply become another obstacle between them and an agent. The onus is on service and support leaders to show customers that AI can streamline the service experience.”

Figure 1. Customer Concerns About AI in Customer Service

Source: Gartner (July 2024)

“McIntosh said: Service organisations must build customers’ trust in AI by ensuring their GenAI capabilities follow the best practices of service journey design Customers must know the AI-infused journey will deliver better solutions and seamless guidance, including connecting them to a person when necessary.

“For example, AI-infused chatbots must communicate to the customer that they will connect them to an agent in the event that the AI cannot provide a solution. It must then seamlessly transform into an agent chat that picks up where the chatbot left off. This way, the customer can trust that they will be able to efficiently find their solution while using the AI-infused channel.”

Interested in hearing leading global brands discuss subjects like this in person? Find out more about Digital Marketing World Forum (#DMWF) Europe, London, North America, and Singapore.

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