Nearly two-thirds of consumers worldwide say they’d like the ability to message with brands, according to LivePerson’s Consumer Preferences for Conversational Commerce survey which examines consumer preferences around brand interactions, messaging, and chatbots. And, as consumer interest in messaging increases, brands need to pay greater attention to conversational design — the ability to evaluate and optimise conversations — to meet customer expectations.
Consumer messaging capabilities can take many forms, including the native messaging apps of iOS and Android, messaging platforms like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, voice assistants such as Alexa, and even branded mobile apps and websites.
The survey also looked at the ways consumers are using chatbots and messaging to interact with brands and their attitudes toward those experiences:
On doing business with brands
- 49% report a higher likelihood of spending more with a brand that offers messaging as a contact option.
- Among people who have interacted with chatbots 80% used them for customer care, (up from 67% in 2018).
- In the US, a whopping 90% of consumers say they’re more likely to do business with a company that can answer their questions immediately. Similarly high numbers were found in the other countries surveyed.
Personalization and privacy
- 96% in the US of Americans “agreed” or “strongly agreed” with the statement, “I’m more likely to do business with a company that interacts with me in a personalized way (i.e., knows information about me from previous transactions).”
- A small majority of consumers feel that personalization is convenient rather than an invasion of privacy.
- Younger people prefer convenience over privacy relative to older generations.
Humans versus bots
- 50% of respondents said they’d prefer a bot over a human agent to tell them their account balance or update an address.
- Conversely, consumer confidence in bots is lower for more complex tasks — just 15% said they would want a bot to assist with correcting a mistake on a bill.
- Younger respondents (ages 18-34) were more likely to cite “good” experiences with bots, while older people (over 34) were more likely to cite “negative” experiences. In fact, the younger group ranks chatbots and human support roughly equally, while the older segment significantly prefers human agents even when it is explicitly stated that a chatbot can help them.
The Consumer Preferences for Conversational Commerce survey shows that consumers — particularly younger consumers — are increasingly interested in the convenience and ease bots and messaging offer. That said, there is still a lot of room for improvement when it comes to the experiences consumers are having. Savvy brands should pay attention to conversational design to ensure they are not only offering customers their preferred channels of communication, but that they are also meeting and exceeding customer expectations in those channels.
Manlio Carrelli, executive vice president, LivePerson.