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This article was published on October 9, 2017

Chatbots are here to stay, what the data is telling us about the people that use them

Chatbots are here to stay, what the data is telling us about the people that use them
Josiah Motley

By now it should be of no surprise that chatbots are starting to become way more mainstream than they were ten, even five, years ago. Chatbots are popping up for everything. Heck, there’s even a chatbot now from Imperson that lets you follow along with Steve Aoki on his new tour and chat it up with his bot. It seems there is a conversational UI for almost everything, and if there is a place without them, you can guarantee someone is out there trying to figure out a way to implement one.

People surveyed also said they would prefer to chat or text with companies instead of talking on the phone – a perfect fit for the chatbot

We know businesses are loving them thanks to better service times for customers and for certain problems to be solved automatically without the need for a (paid) human to jump in, but what about other statistics and interesting facts revolving around chatbots? Are people happy with them? Do they prefer a chatty AI or do they just want to cut to the chase? All of these are questions that will need to be asked when deciding if a chatbot is right for your business, so of course, there are companies out there that are breaking out the customer surveys and figuring out what people are liking, where they’re getting the most use, and a plethora of other random information about them.

Ok, let’s start with the basics – do people like chatbots? Well, yes and no. In a survey by LivePerson, they asked 5,000 people how they felt about them. 38% of people surveyed felt positive about their experiences, while only 11% felt negatively. The rest simply hadn’t had enough interactions with them to make a choice, but you expect that number to continue to drop as conversations with chatbots continue to become a more normal part of our customer service experience and people form their opinions.

Next, let’s look at what people are using chatbots for. According to the same survey, an overwhelming 67% of those surveyed used a chatbot for customer support in the last year, but only 14% have used one to help with productivity. As the technology advances, these numbers will most likely change a bit, but chances are that your normal, typical interactions with chatbots will stay in the customer service sphere. It should also be noted that of those surveyed, 47% said to skip on the conversational UIs and focus on delivering a chatbot that’s straight to the point.

And what about the users? What kind of behaviors should we be looking for from the end user? The Wall Street Journal posted a infograph from noHold that dives a bit into the usages of people from different states in the US. As you can see, Connecticut is over hear giving the most feedback while also still keeping conversations short. Then you have New Mexico, who apparently just has a very foul mouth, even more than DC. New Jersey residents are short and to the point, while Ohio records an average session at slightly over 15 minutes.

The study from noHold also went into some other usage numbers from the over 350,000 chat sessions it analyzed. California has the highest adoption rate with the most sessions per month. In addition, both California and Delaware are at the top of the list for longer introductions and nice greetings. In a quote from Diego Ventura, CEO of noHold, he also offers some interesting insights regarding these nice greetings, “Two data points specifically are intriguing to me. The fact that people ask questions with an average of five words means that we are progressing into a more evolved paradigm than the one supported by Search, where the average query is less than two words. Also, the fact that some people take the time to be nice to our Virtual Assistants is telling of the evolution between human and AI interaction.”

Chatbots are here to stay. There’s no question there. The only questions remaining are how to implement, where to implement, how to set conversational tones, and other questions about the operations of your chatbot. According to a study in the Economist, “75% of more than 200 business executives surveyed said AI will be actively implemented in their companies within the next three years,” so now it’s only a matter of how and when, not if.