Consumers Welcome Some Automated Business Messaging, But Humans Must Tag Along to Help

More than half of consumers are frustrated by customer-service situations in which they can only interact with automated agents, and nearly one in five even reporting feeling angry in those situations. That’s per a new survey of U.S. consumers conducted by The Harris Poll and commissioned by call tracking and analytics firm Invoca.

The survey suggests that customers welcome automated help in certain situations and to an extent. Forty-nine percent of respondents said they approve of the use of AI for business messaging in retail, and there is support among all age groups, with more than 80% of 18- to 34-year-olds trusting AI business advice compared to 62% for those older than 34.

But enthusiasm for AI chat varies widely by industry. For finance and health care, only 19 to 20% of consumers are comfortable conversing with AI. Customers do not even prefer to chat via online messaging with people service representatives in health care, preferring phone conversations or in-person meetings.

Overall, doubt about the efficiency of AI for customer service is still widespread. Only 36% of respondents said completing a transaction via AI is as effective as doing so with a human employee, and that was when the AI is processing a repeat transaction.

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Joe Zappa is the Managing Editor of Street Fight. He joined Street Fight as a contributing writer in 2015, has compiled the daily newsletter since 2016, and has spearheaded the newsroom's editorial operations since 2018. Follow him on Twitter @joe_zappa, and shoot him an email at jzappa@streetfightmag.com.
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