August 21st, 2017 by Oren Smilansky

I know I speak not just for myself when I say I’ve often been annoyed to encounter a robot when calling customer service, but research from Pegasystems suggests that tides are turning. The software company recently found that customers are becoming more receptive to artificial intelligence (AI)-powered service interactions, but expect businesses to be at the top of their game and look out for their best interests by protecting their data, being transparent about the use of AI, and maintaining a human feel.

The survey, which took into consideration responses from 6,000 global consumers of various ages, found that 70 percent said they are open to AI helping them complete tasks if it would save them time or money; 40 percent said they anticipate that AI will in some way improve the quality of customer service they receive.

Companies, however, need to understand that people still want to be assured that humans are working alongside the machines, or are have at least had a hand in shaping the entity they are talking to. A revealing fact is that the most popular method for seeking help is by interacting with a human service agent (45 percent), and that it outranked chat, the second most preferred method, by 25 percent.

Pegasystems found that people also want to know–without having to ask first–when they are interacting with AI; 88 percent of respondents indicated that their trust in the company depends on such openness in communication.

Acquiring the necessary customer data for AI remains an obstacle for companies. Pegasystems finds that only 27 percent are willing to volunteer their information for the sake of better service, because the other 73 percent are not comfortable with how it will be used. Since these systems depend on data to make predictions and recommendations about customers, that presents a challenge that organizations will have to work their way around.

 

 

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