During their most recent interaction with customer service, only 8% of customers utilized chatbots.

According to a Gartner survey, only 8% of customers used a chatbot during their most recent experience with customer service. Only 25% of them indicated that they would utilize that chatbot again in the future.

Even though leaders in customer service and support are increasingly focusing on chatbots, few customers use them, indicating that they do not always assist customers in achieving their objectives.

The ability of a chatbot to move the customer’s issue forward was the top driver of adoption, accounting for 18% of the variance in customers’ likelihood of using their chatbot again, according to a survey conducted by Gartner among 497 B2B and B2C customers from December 2022 to February 2023.

Michael Rendelman, Senior Specialist, Research, in the Gartner Customer Service and Support practice, stated, “While many customer service and support leaders look to chatbots as the future of the function, customers clearly need some convincing.” The key to increasing chatbot adoption is enhancing the chatbot’s capacity to resolve customer issues.

58% of returns and cancellations are resolved by chatbots, but only 17% of billing disputes are. Rates of resolution vary greatly depending on the issue type: Figure 1 shows that customers who have used a chatbot at some point in their journey resolve only 17% of billing disputes, while resolution rates for customers who have returned or cancelled were as high as 58%.

Customers, on the other hand, do not have a thorough understanding of the chatbots’ capabilities or drawbacks, nor do they know which problems they can solve with them. Despite the significant difference in resolution rates between the two, the survey found that customers are just 2% more likely to use a chatbot for a return or cancellation than they are for a billing dispute.

Rendelman stated, “Chatbots are not effective for all issue types.” Customers’ confusion regarding what chatbots can and cannot do is likely to grow as generative AI advances them. Customers should be directed to chatbots when it is appropriate for their issue, and to other channels when another channel is more appropriate, by service and support leaders.