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Survey: Where Consumers See the Biggest Opportunities for Customer Service Automation

PypestreamThe benefits of automating customer service experiences via conversational AI platforms are rapidly becoming apparent to enterprise business leaders. Not only can these solutions dramatically reduce the costs associated with traditional call-in contact centers, but they can also transform a company’s resolution rates and more quickly deliver always-on answers to customers in need—any day, any time.

But as with any disruptive new technology, it’s important for businesses to understand consumer perceptions and expectations when it comes to their interactions with new customer experiences. In a recent survey of more than 500 consumers, Pypestream uncovered new insights into the industries and applications where people think conversational AI solutions can provide the greatest value within the consumer experience. Let’s take a look at the key findings.

AI Will Improve Customer Service

Among our survey respondents, a majority of consumers expect that AI will help businesses get better at customer service in the coming years. And that should come as no surprise, given the relative newness of AI solutions. As technology improves, we can expect to see acceptance of AI applications within the customer support world grow.

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Customer Service Applications Rule

In our survey, 59 percent of respondents said that the most useful function of an automated agent is to resolve a customer service issue. Another 17 percent said such automation can help them buy a product, and 24 percent said it can help them answer questions about a product or service.

A Wide Variety of Industry Applications

Although respondents greatly favored customer service applications for AI compared to commerce and research applications, they agreed that conversational AI solutions can be useful in a wide variety of industries. The top-ranked industries, in terms of perceived AI usefulness, were:

  • Cable TV and mobile wireless
  • Utilities
  • Financial services and banking
  • Insurance
  • Consumer products
  • Travel and hospitality

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Flexibility, Privacy and Speed

Similar to the broad applicability of conversational AI across industries, the consumers we surveyed reported seeing a variety of benefits when it comes to interacting with automated systems. About a third say they find these secure systems afford them greater privacy. Another third prefers automation because it can handle multiple topics. And the final third prefers automated messaging because they can receive a faster resolution to their issues.

Today’s intelligent conversational AI solutions can go well beyond the functions of basic chatbots when it comes to delivering seamless and complete customer service, but it’s still important to know where and how customers expect these systems to help them on their path to resolution. Our recent survey findings revealed that today’s consumers see multiple benefits across multiple industries when it comes to the use of conversational AI—and that acceptance is expected to only grow in the coming years. For business leaders, this provides even more fuel for their ongoing digital transformation efforts. As consumer expectations continue to shift, the companies that can meet these expectations with next-generation customer experiences will be the ones that rise above the disruption.

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