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Brits Embrace AI Assistants for Shopping Support

07 February 2020 - 09:39 by Simon Crisp

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Although the early days of automated customer service bots being used to answer questions posed by people trying to carry out safe shopping online were fraught with frustration, it seems that UK consumers are less bothered by this trend today.

This is according to a new study from Genesys which found that 54 per cent of respondents were happy to have their queries answered by an AI assistant or a human, showing no particular preference either way.

28 per cent are still entirely sceptical about the advantages offered by bots, claiming that they would rather be put in direct contact with a flesh and blood customer service representative. 48 per cent said that bots were best applied to the more basic support tasks, such as replying to frequently asked questions or providing account information on the fly.

Even with this apparent improvement to the reputation of bots, half of those questioned said that they found that the best way to get the desired outcome from a customer service interaction was to make a call to an actual employee of the firm in question.

Report spokesperson Brendan Dykes said that there is a clear upwards trajectory when it comes to the reputation of AI customer service solutions, although it is also obvious that now is not the time for retailers to completely ditch their human support team. Instead, a two-pronged approach seems to work best, with bots making it quicker and easier to answer basic queries while employees can deal with more complex issues.

In an age of growing attention to detail when it comes to personalisation, this is also something that retailers need to factor in when arranging their support services. Customers expect to experience tailor-made interactions with businesses, both when engaging with bots and with human workers.