- Fourteen percent of chatbot conversations lead to a chat with a live human being, according to a study of chatbot usage by SnatchBot, a bot building platform, shared with Mobile Marketer. The average chatbot session lasts for one minute and 32 seconds, the company found in its study of the more than 6,000 chatbots created with its technology. A chatbot is software that mimics conversation with people.
- About 12% of conversations with a chatbot were abandoned, while 80% of them ended with the words “thank you” to indicate a customer was satisfied with the chatbot experience, SnatchBot said. Thirty million consumers have conversed with chatbots created with its platform.
- The industries that most use chatbots are education (16%), information technology (13%), e-commerce (13%), financial and legal services including insurance (11%) and customer service (10%). Most bots were created to support chat features on a website or app, followed by Facebook’s Messenger messaging app, SnatchBot said.
Chatbots are becoming more popular as companies seek ways to cut the costs of hiring live customer service reps while answering specific questions more quickly. A growing number of brands are also using them to create unique experiences, including as a gift guide from Saks, a stand-in for Santa at Simon Malls and for animal adoption in an effort from The Dodo.
The technology has had plenty of misfires over the years with consumers complaining of clunky conversations with Apple’s Siri or the early chatbots that Facebook introduced for Messenger in 2016. Facebook was reported to scale back its early chatbot ambitions after seeing a 70% failure rate among chatbot conversations, The Information reported in February.
But chatbot technology shouldn’t be written off entirely because it didn’t quickly live up the early hype. New technologies go through adoption phases and chatbots are very promising with tech giants like Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Samsung, among others, investing millions of dollars into voice-activated digital assistants. The devices use machine learning to get smarter about interacting with people. Chatbots are forecast to save companies more than $8 billion a year by 2022, up from $20 million this year, as artificial intelligence becomes increasingly sophisticated, Juniper Research said in a study.
Chatbot technology still has to overcome resistance from later adopters who don’t find much value in conversing with a repackaged script. About two-thirds of people (68%) said they have never used a retail chatbot, and 23% don’t even know what chatbots are, according to a survey last month by applet platform IFTTT. Less than half (48%) of marketers said current two-way communications platforms could meet those needs, including social media, messaging apps and chatbots, a study by LiveWorld found last month.