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Why Consumers Want Your Chatbot to be More Human? 46% consumers want their bots to look like a human while 20% want to see them as an avatar

By Nidhi Singh

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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Chatbot has become the new buzz word in the world of technology. Today, each and every business is using chatbot to reach out to maximum number of customers on social media. The tool helps a brand engage with more customers and create a seamless experience.

The market is bursting with numerous bots for various purposes, but most of them lack the essential qualities that chatbots must have.

According to a study involving 7,000 consumers in America, Europe, and Asia by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Amdocs (the provider of software and services to communications and media companies worldwide), clients of communications and media service providers explained how they want software robots or chatbots to serve them.

CEOs and other senior decision makers of world's biggest media companies have also revealed how plans to increase the involvement of robots in customer interactions could be hampered by unplanned investment choices.

Prioritize Investments in AI

"Consumers have a good sense of how bots can serve them. Their level of frustration with today's bots is striking; a third even say they will take their business elsewhere if the poor service continues," said Gary Miles, General Manager, Amdocs.

He added that the good news is that consumers even believe that if anyone can get AI right, it's the communications and media industry, which is ahead of banks and retailers. So AI could be a winning move for service providers as long as the investment priority is in sync with what customers actually want.

Humans Vs Bots:

The survey further stated that the consumers love the speed of bots, but they don't want it to be forced on them until these tools are more human and smarter.

Thirty-five per cent of consumers interact with virtual agents at least once a week because it's more convenient and quicker.

The survey revealed if offered a choice, 83 per cent would prefer to speak to humans as they understand the needs better and can address multiple questions at once.

Consumers are of the opinion that bots cannot deal with problems like complex requests, delivering personalized products and the technology does not understand human emotions.

Users have strong views on how they want bots to look like and behave. Forty-six per cent consumers want their bots to look like a human while 20 per cent of them want to see them as an avatar. Though half of them don't care either way, 36 per cent prefer them to be female and 14 per cent want them to be male. In terms of personality traits, consumers want bots to be polite, caring, intelligent and funny.

Service Provider Not Focusing On Consumer Need

The survey highlighted that the service providers are not investing in the right areas. Forty-two per cent are prioritizing AI investment in information security and privacy and 39 per cent in the speed of response.

Talking about the design, 40 per cent of service providers are creating avatar images for their bots while consumers prefer human-like images. They are also investing in features that consumers don't find as desirable. Nearly a quarter of service providers are building their bots to be sassy and some want their bots to sound authoritative. Again, nearly a half of service providers are building their bots to sound youthful.

Nidhi Singh

Former Correspondent, Entrepreneur Asia-Pacific

A self confessed Bollywood Lover, Travel junkie and Food Evangelist.I like travelling and I believe it is very important to take ones mind off the daily monotony .

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