What is it about?

“Hello, my name is Leon. How can I help you today?” Consumers do not like to discover that Leon is a bot. It feels like Leon lied from the start. Yet numerous companies rely on millions of round-the-clock customer service bots, and few seem to open with, “Hi I’m a bot.” In this research we explore how customers react if they recognize that the conversation partner is in fact a machine. We show that when bots cannot resolve a service issue, customers are actually pleased to discover that their conversation partner was a non-human. Chatbots, it seems, make good fall guys. Conversely, customers detest addressing important matters with a bot. For critical service issues, a chatbot interaction degrades customer trust with the brand.

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Why is it important?

The study sheds light on how chatbots can be better deployed in order to increase customers' trust and loyalty.


This flagship paper of our research area on Human-Chatbot-Interaction has been recognized by two prestigious awards during the last two months: the Robert Johnston Best Paper Award by the Journal of Service Management and a 2023 Emerald Literati Award by Emerald Publishing. More information can be found here: https://www.servsig.org/wordpress/2023/07/josm-2022-robert-johnston-award/ https://www.facebook.com/EmeraldPublishingImpact

Dr Maik Hammerschmidt
Georg-August-Universitat Gottingen

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Trust me, I'm a bot – repercussions of chatbot disclosure in different service frontline settings, Journal of Service Management, June 2021, Emerald, DOI: 10.1108/josm-10-2020-0380.
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