Australian consumers more likely to interact with brands via chatbot

Dennis Reno, Chief Customer Officer of Cyara

Cyara, provider of the award-winning Automated Customer Experience (CX) Assurance Platform, released a new study that shows while most Australian customers want to use chatbots for automated support, many businesses fail to deliver positive chatbot experiences even as they increasingly rely on them as primary methods of customer interactions online.

What were the findings of Cyara’s research?

Half of customers (50%) believe a positive or negative chatbot experience is a reflection of the overall brand. The survey, conducted in November 2022 and commissioned by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Cyara, explores the consumer sentiment about chatbots. As part of a global study, Cyara polled 395 Australian consumers, who have used sales and/or support chatbots in the last six months, about their recent chatbot experiences and expectations.

For many (65%), chatbots were the top way consumers interacted with brands in the last six months, followed by in-person and phone (46% and 41% respectively). But they gave their chatbot experiences an average rating of 6.4/10 or 64%—equivalent to a D grade.

When asked about their chatbot interactions, 45% said they often feel frustrated, while one in three (37%) interactions were said to be negative. Findings from the study include:

Australian Customers want to use chatbots

Customers like chatbots as they provide 24/7 support (76%), faster response times (58%), and autonomy (44%). In fact, respondents are 24% more likely to interact with brands using a chatbot than speaking directly with an agent, and rank them higher than any other digital avenue. However, customers are often met with friction while interacting with chatbots.

Chatbots aren’t able to handle complex questions

Clients find chatbots are often unable to provide accurate answers, with half of customers (51%) agreeing it is difficult to find a solution to their question or problem using a chatbot.

Six in 10 (60%) respondents said they had to answer the same questions over and over again when interacting with a chatbot while 45% received responses and/or solutions from the chatbot that didn’t make sense in the context of their question. Customers also struggle to find alternate resolutions to their problems with almost half (47%) reporting that they are often unable to connect with an agent even after exhausting the chatbot’s responses.

Negative chatbot interactions can be costly

The challenges of using chatbots push clients to seek out alternate and possibly more expensive ways of interacting with a brand. One in three customers said after a negative chatbot experience, they are likely to abandon their purchase altogether (30%).

29% of respondents take their purchase to a different brand, or tell their friends and family about their poor experience (28%). Two thirds (64%) of customers would find a different way to connect with an agent instead following a negative chatbot experience.

Positive chatbot experiences bring value

Following good chatbot experiences, 64% said they are more likely to return to a brand, while 62% are more likely to seek out chatbots in the future after a positive experience.

What were the Cyara’s thoughts on the findings?

“Delivering positive chatbot experiences has a critical impact on customer satisfaction and sales, and sub-par chatbots will not cut it for consumers today. Organisations that invest in quality assurance testing and training chatbots can provide customers with better and more consistent chatbot experiences,” said Dennis Reno, Chief Customer Officer of Cyara.

“Businesses that strive to meet customers’ chatbot expectations can increase customer loyalty, boost brand reputation, and lower contact centre support costs since customers are less likely to seek out more expensive avenues of communication. And of course, satisfied customers lead to increased sales, which has a positive impact on a company’s bottom line.”

To access the full study, visit here.