Asian consumers prefer human agents over chatbots, claims study

The study reveals that many consumers interact with chatbots due to lack of options.

Although chatbots and artificial intelligence are making headlines these days, Asian consumers have made it clear that they prefer human agents over clunky chatbots. They have also provided communications and media service providers with the ways of making the chatbots better, stated a new study that Amdocs commissioned to Forrester Consulting, reportedMIS-Asia.

The survey captured the views of customers, of communications and media service providers across Asia, on the best way to use AI for customer care and commerce.

Consumers replied that most bots today are not capable enough to deal with complex human requests, to deliver personalised offers and they certainly do not understand human emotions.

Almost a third of consumers in Asia, which is 31%, interact with virtual agents at least once a week because it is more convenient and faster. On the other hand, nearly 47% said they interact with chatbots only when there is no other option available.

While offered a choice, 83% preferred speaking to a human agent since human beings better understand their needs and can address multiple questions at once.

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"Consumers have a good sense of how bots can serve them, better-developed than perhaps the industry's. Their level of frustration with today's bots is striking; a third even said they will take their business elsewhere if the poor service continues. The good news is that consumers actually believe that if anyone can get AI right, the communications and media industry can. And that's ahead of banks and retailers. So, AI could be a winning gambit for service providers as long as they sync up their AI investment priorities with what customers actually want," said Gary Miles, general manager at Amdocs.

The study also revealed that around 48% of total consumers wanted bots to look like a human, while only 20% wanted to see bots in some avatars. However, 43% consumers said that they do not care about the bots' appearances and 42% preferred them to be female.

The traits that the consumers expect to see in a chatbot are politeness, intelligence, and caring approach, revealed the study.

The study also found a serious problem here, which is service providers in Asia are not really investing in the areas, which customers rank as the top areas that need to be improved. Almost 31% of service providers are creating avatar images for their bots, whereas, consumers prefer human-like images.