It's Official: We Like Talking to Machines More Than Real People

By Tracey E. Schelmetic May 11, 2012

For a long time, we all had to complain when we had to talk to a machine instead of a human in a call center. And then, as automated systems, interactive voice response (IVR) solutions, speech recognition and VXML-based technologies improve, we decided that we’re okay with automated systems.

Now the moment has arrived, when we like automated systems better than real humans. It's not surprising that our increased mobility has had something to do with these perceptions.

According to a recent survey commissioned by Nuance Research and conducted by Vocal Laboratories Inc. (Vocalabs), two out of three consumers prefer self-service over speaking to a person for customer service inquiries. Why? Convenience is apparently the number one factor; 75 percent of consumers say they find self-service to be more convenient. Only six percent of respondents to the study felt that speaking to a person is always more convenient.

Additionally, the consumer experience is materially influencing perceptions of the company. The vast majority of participants (92 percent) felt a company was innovative after “good” customer service experiences when using the company’s mobile app. An overwhelming majority (89 percent) said they felt those companies were customer focused, with 88 percent arguing that they felt those companies were easy to do business with. Another 86 percent stated they had high confidence in their strength.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, companies whose mobile apps deliver “bad” customer service experiences suffer a nearly equal and opposite effect. When consumers (81 percent) have a bad customer experience, they felt discouraged from wanting to use the app in the future, while 77 percent questioned their ability to serve customers, and another 73 percent have a lower opinion of the company.

More than half (58 percent) said that they want to switch to a different company after a bad customer experience on their mobile app.

“The opportunities for companies to better serve their customers have never been greater,” Dan Nordale, VP of enterprise marketing for Nuance Communications, said in a press release. “This latest research underpins that consumers are more and more preferring to self-serve over speaking with a person. We’ve found that companies that offer voice-enabled solutions to make self-service interactions faster and easier, especially in the mobile channel, are enjoying a significantly positive impact on their brand and business.”




Edited by Braden Becker

TechZone360 Contributor

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