Many websites offer chatbots and a growing number of companies are also offering hybrid chats where the visitor can choose whether to deal with a live agent or a chatbot. Many surveys have been published saying that users hate chatbots, but behavioural data shows the opposite result.
Several surveys state that people don’t like chatbots or that they actively try to avoid them if possible, and prefer humans. Yet we acknowledge that chatbots and automation will become more and more popular because of their clear benefits – speed, being available 24/7 and being able to offload work (and therefore stress) from humans.
A recent data analysis from a conversion and chat technology company, Leadoo Marketing Technologies, brings a new twist to this discussion. The company has analysed 162 chats with 444,015 conversations that offer both live chat and a chatbot next to each other. These chats are known as hybrid chats.
The analysis shows that when live chat and a chatbot are offered side by side, 33% choose live chat, but a whopping 67% choose a chatbot.
“We were really surprised by the results as public sentiment is quite negative towards chatbots and automation as a whole. This once again shows that asking for opinions with surveys isn’t the whole truth: you also need to get behavioural data to see how people really act”, co-founder and CMO Santtu Kottila explains.
According to the company, there was also no statistical difference when they analysed the same numbers – whether the companies were in product or service businesses, B2C or B2B businesses, or in different industries.
“It’s really quite interesting that the numbers are so similar, even when comparing across industries and business types. The data set has companies from really traditional industries such as manufacturing and on the other side, companies from new and emerging businesses like SaaS and tech, and yet there’s still no difference.” Kottila continues.
Chatbots and automation tools are supposed to make life easier for people. Chats and chatbots are no exception. People value speed, as we tend to use only a couple of minutes on a given website.
“This data underlines the importance of speed. People work at a faster pace now, and are not afraid of using chatbots to get things done when given the opportunity to choose.”
Hybrid chats and chatbots will remove manual tasks from humans but it will not make people redundant. Not, at least, according to Kottila.
“I would say that it’s actually quite the opposite. Automation takes a lot of repetitive tasks away from humans who get easily bored of dealing with the same tasks day in and day out. That frees our time to focus on the more complex issues that bots can’t handle.”