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New Longitude survey of over 5,600 people in 16 countries highlights growing acceptance of automated machines among consumers, but transparency is key
As artificial intelligence (AI) chatbots and other smart tools adopt more human attributes, human involvement in digital interactions between consumers and brands becomes less and less important.
Providing customers with options for natural and streamlined 24/7 self-service, Verizon Business adds Cisco Webex Contact Center with AI-based virtual agents for voice and chat as part of ” a complete stack of integrated services
NEW YORK, NY – Verizon Business today released the results of its human relations survey, conducted by Longitude. With responses from more than 5,600 consumers worldwide, the data shows that while the ability to interact with a human is still essential, blended interactions – offering both AI and human support – are also or more satisfactory to consumers than human interactions only when it comes to customer service.
“In today’s hyper-connected world, where consumers are ready to switch brands after a bad experience, providing good customer service is essential to ensure business continuity and growth,” said Aamir Hussain. , senior vice president of commercial products, Verizon Business. “At Verizon, we are focused on providing solutions that strike the right balance between artificial and human intelligence to create better experiences for our customers that will give them the competitive edge they need for their business operations.
Technological transparency and human connection
While 56% of consumers now say they are comfortable with a fully automated interaction in which the company demonstrates a good understanding of their preferences, attitudes or other personal interactions, a connection with a human is particularly desirable in service situations. customer. Most respondents (62%) would prefer direct interaction with a human (voice, real-time chat, or in person) to fully or partially automated interaction (37%) in order to resolve a customer service issue.
Additionally, survey data underscores that the roles played by humans and machines in their online interactions with brands need to be clearly defined. Almost two-thirds of respondents (65%) want businesses to be honest about using AI-based bots to guide interactions. Such transparency seems to be the norm, but 41 percent of those surveyed would reduce their involvement with a company if it were not available.
Additional survey results:
78% of respondents agree that blended interactions (offering both AI and human support) are as satisfying, if not more, than human interactions only when it comes to customer service.
48% of people aged 18 to 34 (and 41% in total) say that it is entirely possible to have a “human connection” in a fully automated interaction.
Almost half (47%) of respondents say interacting with machines online is a more positive experience for them than two years ago.
There is a fine line between knowing your customer and knowing too much. While only 13% of respondents say that a business obtaining information about them from a third party is a factor of negative interaction, 34% of customers (and 52% of those aged 55 to 65) have completely ceased to interact with a brand if the company has obtained information about them from a third party.
Half of U.S. consumers surveyed say they generally don’t need a human agent to help them get customer support, much more so than in Europe (43%) or Asia-Pacific (38%).
More respondents in the United States (47%) than in other regions also say that it is possible to have what they define as a human connection in a fully automated interaction.
When asked which brands they feel most positive about, 52% of U.S. consumers say their interactions with those brands tend to be mostly or fully automated. For Asia-Pacific consumers it is 45% and among European consumers it is 42%.
As the tools AI and machine learning become better understood to understand nuances and feelings, automated interactions will assume more human characteristics, allowing organizations to reduce the need for human intervention. If brands don’t try to pretend that these are true human-to-human experiences, they will benefit from the improved customer experiences they create. For the full survey results, read the white paper “The Human Connection: Technology for a Better Customer Experience”.
Drive Customer Excellence with Verizon Contact Center and CX
With over 30 years of customer experience expertise, Verizon offers multiple contact center as a service solutions with digital / AI experience capabilities, such as Virtual Contact Center (CXOne), Genesys Cloud, Digital CX and Conversational IVR. More recently, Verizon added Cisco Webex Contact Center, a next-generation cloud contact center solution designed to maximize agent productivity and improve customer satisfaction, to its strong portfolio of cloud contact center solutions.
Verizon Business also offers a portfolio of contact center-as-a-service solutions, backed by professional services, that enable rapid time to market and the ability to generate revenue with every customer interaction, while minimizing the initial investment in capital, to offer a primarily digital customer experience. and improve customer satisfaction. Interested businesses can also take advantage of Verizon’s 4G LTE / 5G wireless network to provide remote access to agents, even from rural areas.