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Commercial Chatbots: What does the Consumer think?

Within Greenhouse Group Labs, four students are currently exploring the world of chatbots. The aim is to reveal insights regarding businesses’ incentives to use chatbots and the effect of chatbot usage on customer satisfaction. Meanwhile, various chatbots will be developed and prototyped, most probably with wit.ai.

What precisely is a chatbot? According to academics, a chatbot could be defined as an artificially intelligent system that is able to manage a natural conversation with a user and has a sound knowledge base to interact with a user. In other words, a chatbot is some computer-made software with which (whom) you can chat - on websites, messenger services (like Facebook, Telegram etc.) amongst other things.

In fact, Matt Schlicht wrote a complete beginner guide to chatbots, which can be found here. If you would like to talk to a chatbot yourself, we’d suggest to install a chatbot on Facebook Messenger – click here for a full collection.

When we started to delve into the relation between the chatbot and the consumer, it surfaced quickly that not much literature was available. And so… we developed an exploratory survey ourselves to bring some understanding about the consumer-chatbot relationship to light. The survey was distributed among about 70 respondents.

We first asked some questions about information gathering and making purchases on a website. After, we asked similar questions, but now about information gathering and making purchases through a chatbot. For instance, “Are you likely to order a pizza through a chatbot?” and “Are you likely to purchase a car through a chatbot?”

Also, some questions about speed were asked. A large majority of the respondents said to prefer to talk to a real person instead of a chatbot. Interestingly, if the person would take more than ten minutes to answer, an immediate response from a chatbot would be preferred. Moreover, we included bits and pieces of their knowledge about chatbots and reasons why people would (not) be eager to talk to a chatbot…

Based on the results, you can see the infografic bellow:

What is next? The coming two weeks we’ll be trying to get our own first chatbot to work, whilst further researching businesses’ incentives for chatbots and the relationship between chatbots and customer satisfaction. So stay tuned :)