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This report is a collaboration between Drift, SurveyMonkey
Audience, Salesforce, and myclever. We’ve teamed up to
shed some light on how chatbots are changing the way
people buy from and communicate with businesses.
The survey referenced throughout this report was conducted
using SurveyMonkey Audience from October 30 through
November 6, 2017 in the United States with a sample of 1,051
adults ages 18-64. The sample was balanced by age and
gender according to the US Census and is representative of
the adult online population.
2018 State of Chatbots Report2
4

9

14

25

31

47

00 Introduction: Rise of the Chatbots . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

01 The Problems With Traditional Online Experiences . . . . . . . 

02 Chatbots: Predicted Uses and Potential Benefits . . . . . . . .

03 Blockers to Using Chatbots . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

04 Chatbots vs. Other Communication Channels . . . . . . . . . . .
05 Conclusion & Key Takeaways . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Table of Contents
2018 State of Chatbots Report3
00
Introduction: Rise of the Chatbots
2018 State of Chatbots Report4
The way people communicate with
businesses has been evolving at a
rapid pace.
For years, in-person meetings and
phone calls were the dominant
means of communication. Then, with
the rise of the internet, a multitude of
new options became available, from
email, to social media, to mobile apps,
to filling out a form on a website and
waiting for a follow-up.
More recently, the rise of real-time
messaging has led to a fundamental
shift in how people prefer to connect
with businesses.
Drift’s State of Conversational
Marketing report, for example, found
that people from all 195 countries are
using online chat to start
conversations on business websites.
And that includes people who work at
companies of every size, sector, and
nearly every industry, as well as key
decision-makers (41% of people
starting online chat conversations
with businesses are executives).
2018 State of Chatbots Report5
59%
41%
What all of these communication
channels have had in common,
including online chat, is that they’ve
traditionally relied on humans to do
the communicating.
But now that chatbots have arrived on
the scene, this dynamic is starting to
change.
Chatbot | noun.
A computer program designed to
simulate conversation with human
users, especially over the internet.
Many chatbots rely on artificial
intelligence (AI) in order to simulate
how humans communicate. More
specifically, intelligent chatbots often
rely on machine learning, which is
when a computer program can
automatically improve with
experience, as well as natural
language processing (NLP), which is
when machine learning is applied to
the problem of simulating human-
produced text and language.
And while chatbots have been in
development since the 1950s, only in
recent years have businesses started
using them for communicating with
customers and potential customers.
2018 State of Chatbots Report6
2018 State of Chatbots Report
0.6
Telephone
Em
ail
W
ebsite
Face-to-face
O
nline
chat
M
obile
app
Socialm
edia
Chatbots
O
ther
2%
15%
28%
30%
38%39%
54%
60%60%
Business Communication Channels
How have you communicated with businesses in the past 12 months?
7
In our survey, we found that 15% of consumers have used
chatbots to communicate with businesses in the past 12
months.
While that’s one quarter of the amount who’ve used phone
and email to communicate with businesses over the same
time period, it’s still a significant number. And in the months
and years to come, we expect that number to grow
considerably.
Keep reading to find out why.
2018 State of Chatbots Report8
01
The Problems With Traditional
Online Experiences
2018 State of Chatbots Report9
Just like any emerging technology, chatbots will only become
widely adopted if it’s shown that they can solve real
problems. Otherwise, the novelty will eventually wear off.
So in order to better understand where the opportunity lies
for chatbots, we asked our 1,000+ survey participants to think
about the online services they use today, such as search
engines, product/service websites, and mobile apps. Then
we asked them:
What frustrations have you experienced with these online
services in the past month?
2018 State of Chatbots Report10
2018 State of Chatbots Report
10%
16%
18%
22%
23%
24%
26%
27%
28%
31%
34%
Problems With Traditional Online Experiences
What frustrations have you experienced in the past month?
Sites hard to navigate
Can't get answers to simple questions
Basic details about a business are hard to find
Takes too long to find services
Poorly designed smartphone apps
Search options on a brand's website not useful
Services not accessible on mobile devices
Poor quality online forms
Services feel impersonal
Brand is unresponsive on Twitter
No service outside normal operating hours
11
The most common frustrations reported by consumers
included websites being hard to navigate (34%), not being
able to get answers to simple questions (31%), and basic
details about a business -- like address, hours of operations,
and phone number -- being hard to find (28%).
The takeaway: The online experiences businesses are
providing no longer match the way people prefer to buy.
2018 State of Chatbots Report12
In the on-demand, real-time world we live in, where
everything seems to be just one click away, consumers
expect to be able to find the information they’re looking for
quickly and easily.
When they can’t, they get frustrated, and could end up
turning to competitors who are providing the type of online
experience they’re looking for.
2018 State of Chatbots Report13
02
Chatbots: Predicted Uses and
Potential Benefits
2018 State of Chatbots Report14
Now that we understand the main problems consumers have
with traditional online experiences, let’s look at if (and how)
chatbots can actually solve these problems.
Predicted Uses
In our survey, we provided a brief description of how
chatbots work and the types of tasks brands and businesses
use them for. Then we asked our participants:
What do you predict you would use a chatbot for?
2018 State of Chatbots Report15
2018 State of Chatbots Report
Getting a quick answer in an emergency
Resolving a complaint or problem
Getting detailed answers or explanations
Finding a human customer service assistant
Making a reservation (e.g. restaurant or hotel)
Paying a bill
Buying a basic item
Getting ideas and inspiration for purchases
Adding yourself to a mailing list or news service
Communicating with multiple brands using one program
(none of these things)
Buying an expensive item
0.4
13%
14%
18%
22%
22%
27%
29%
33%
34%
35%
35%
37%
Predicted Use Cases for Chatbots
What do you predict you would use a chatbot for?
16
The most common predicted uses for chatbots that
consumers reported included getting quick answers to
questions in an emergency (37%), resolving a complaint or
problem (35%), and getting detailed answers or explanations
(35%).
It’s also worth noting that 34% of consumers predicted that
they’d use chatbots as a means for getting connected with a
human.
2018 State of Chatbots Report17
The takeaway: There’s alignment between consumers’
frustrations and their predicted use cases for chatbots.
Consumers want to be able to use chatbots to surface
information and get answers quickly and easily.
And if a chatbot doesn’t have all the answers, consumers
would like that chatbot to be able to connect them with a
human.
2018 State of Chatbots Report18
Potential Benefits
Beyond how consumers predict they’ll use chatbots, we also
wanted to know about the specific benefits they think
chatbots will be able to provide. So we asked our survey
participants the following question:
If chatbots were available (and working effectively) for the
online services that you use, which of these benefits would
you expect to enjoy?
2018 State of Chatbots Report19
2018 State of Chatbots Report
8%
32%
35%
37%
43%
43%
51%
55%
55%
64%
Potential Benefits of Chatbots
If chatbots were available (and working effectively) for the online services that
you use, which of these benefits would you expect to enjoy?
24 hour service
Getting an instant response
Answers to simple questions
Easy communication
Complaints resolved quickly
A good customer experience
Detailed / expert answers
Answers to complex questions
Friendliness and approachability
(none of these)(none of these)
20
By far, the most common potential benefit of chatbots that
consumers pointed to was the ability to get 24-hour service
(64%). That was followed by getting instant responses to
inquiries (55%), and getting answers to simple questions
(55%).
The takeaway: It’s clear that consumers see chatbots as
being able to provide that real-time, on-demand experience
that they’ve been craving.
2018 State of Chatbots Report21
However, that doesn’t mean chatbots are poised to replace
humans. Because when it comes to getting expert answers,
answers to detailed questions, and overall friendliness/
approachability, chatbots ranked much lower. Those are
areas where humans will continue to shine.
Potential Benefits: Millennials vs.
Baby Boomers
Here’s something that might surprise you: The benefits of
chatbots that consumers expect to enjoy don’t vary too
widely between age groups. More specifically, it isn’t just
young people who see the potential benefits of chatbots.
2018 State of Chatbots Report22
2018 State of Chatbots Report
24 hour service
Getting an instant response
Answers to simple questions
Easy communication
Complaints resolved quickly
A good customer experience
Detailed / expert answers
Answers to complex questions
Friendliness and approachability
(none of these)
0.7
13%
29%
38%
36%
38%
46%
52%
64%
61%
58%
5%
33%
33%
37%
45%
38%
48%
52%
51%
66%
Millennials
Baby Boomers
Potential Benefits of Chatbots
Millennials vs. Baby Boomers
23
When we compared responses from Millennials (age 18-34)
and Baby Boomers (age 55+), we found that Baby Boomers
were 24% more likely to to expect benefits from chatbots in
five of the nine categories we looked at.
The takeaway: Chatbots aren’t just for Millennials. This a
technology that has the potential to improve online
experiences for all consumers, regardless of age.
2018 State of Chatbots Report24
03
Blockers to Using Chatbots
2018 State of Chatbots Report25
Despite the many uses and benefits that consumers predict
chatbots will be able to provide, the mass adoption of
chatbots isn’t a foregone conclusion.
Especially when you consider how new the technology is, it’’s
understandable that consumers would have some concerns.
So, we felt it was important for us to ask our survey
participants the following question:
What would stop you from using a chatbot?
2018 State of Chatbots Report26
2018 State of Chatbots Report
3%
15%
24%
26%
27%
30%
43%I’d prefer to deal with a real-life assistant
I'd worry about it making a mistake
If I could only access it through Facebook
I’d prefer to use a normal website
If it wasn’t able to ‘chat’ in a friendly manner
Nothing would stop me from using a chatbot
Other
Nothing would stop me from using a chatbot
Other
Potential Blockers to Using Chatbots
What would stop you from using a chatbot?
27
The most common potential blockers to using chatbots that
consumers reported included preferring to deal with a human
instead (43%), worrying about the chatbot making a mistake,
such as during a purchase or while making a reservation
(30%), and being locked into using chatbots only through
Facebook (27%).
However, it’s also worth noting that 15% of consumers said
nothing would stop them from using chatbots. And that figure
was consistent across all age groups.
2018 State of Chatbots Report28
The takeaway: Not all consumers are ready to abandon
human-to-human interactions entirely, and some aren’t sure
they trust the technology to perform certain tasks without
making mistakes.
Also, if consumers could only access a chatbot through a
specific social network, that could be a deterrent to adoption.
But here’s the thing: As a business, it doesn’t have to be
either/or…
2018 State of Chatbots Report29
You can use chatbots where they make sense (e.g., for
providing quick answers to simple questions) and then have
humans step in when they’re needed.
What’s more, you don’t have to rely on a specific social
network like Facebook in order to provide customers and
potential customers with access to a chatbot. These days,
you can have chatbots operating directly on your website,
and you can use hyperlinks to make it easy for people to
trigger chatbot conversations from any social network.
2018 State of Chatbots Report30
04
Chatbots vs. Other
Communication Channels
2018 State of Chatbots Report31
While not all consumers are ready to trust chatbots entirely,
most still acknowledge that chatbots are poised to provide
several benefits that can enhance their online experiences.
And it’s clear that one of the major benefits consumers see
when it comes to using chatbots is speed:
They believe that chatbots will be able to respond to their
inquiries more quickly.
2018 State of Chatbots Report32
From a business perspective, there’s a massive upside to
providing speedy response times. As research from
InsideSales.com and the Harvard Business Review shows,
even if you wait just five minutes to respond after a lead first
reaches out, there’s a 10x decrease in your odds of actually
getting in touch with that lead.
After 10 minutes, there’s a 400% decrease in your odds of
qualifying that lead.
2018 State of Chatbots Report33
So as part of our survey, we wanted to see how expected
response times for chatbots compared to expected response
times for other communication channels. The question we
asked:
How soon would you expect to get a response on each of
these communication channels?
2018 State of Chatbots Report34
2018 State of Chatbots Report
Response Time by Communication Channel
How soon would you expect to get a response on each of these channels?
0.8
O
nline
chat
Chatbots
Face-to-face
Telephone
Apps
Socialm
edia
W
eb
form
Em
ail
Letter
16%
27%
34%
40%
55%
64%
73%75%77%
Instant Response
35
2018 State of Chatbots Report
Response Time by Communication Channel
How soon would you expect to get a response on each of these channels?
0.7
O
nline
chat
Chatbots
Face-to-face
Telephone
Apps
Socialm
edia
W
eb
form
Em
ail
Letter
24%
62%
52%50%
37%
31%
20%19%18%
Within 24 hours
36
2018 State of Chatbots Report
Response Time by Communication Channel
How soon would you expect to get a response on each of these channels?
0.6
O
nline
chat
Chatbots
Face-to-face
Telephone
Apps
Socialm
edia
W
eb
form
Em
ail
Letter
60%
12%
14%
9%8%
5%
7%7%
5%
After 24 hours
37
Ultimately, consumers expect to get instant responses from
online chat more than any other channel (77%), but chatbots
came in a close second (75%), and were followed by face-to-
face meetings (73%).
Meanwhile, email (62%), web forms (52%), and social media
(50%), were the top channels when it came to expecting
responses within 24 hours, and letters were far and away the
number one channel when it came to expecting responses
after 24 hours (60%).
2018 State of Chatbots Report38
The takeaway: Online chat is the channel that most
consumers expect a real-time response from. However,
chatbots came in a close second -- higher than face-to-face,
telephone, or apps.
And here’s something to consider: As a business, by using
online chat in combination with chatbots, you can deliver
response times and resolve issues faster than ever before.
When employees are online, they can take the lead in
responding to incoming chats. But if chat volume gets too
high, or if there are no employees online at the moment,
chatbots can step in to assist so your response times don’t
suffer.
2018 State of Chatbots Report39
In addition to looking at response times, we also wanted to
see how chatbots compared to more traditional business
communication channels in terms of perceived benefits.
Specifically, we wanted to hone in on how chatbots
compared to apps, email, and phone calls.
So we asked our survey participants:
Which of these benefits do you most associate with
communicating with businesses and organizations?
2018 State of Chatbots Report40
2018 State of Chatbots Report
Quick answers to simple questions
Getting 24 hour service
Convenience for you
Quick answers to complex questions
Ease of communication
Ability to easily register a complaint
Getting detailed / expert answers
A good customer experience
Friendliness and approachability
Having a complaint resolved quickly
None of these
0.7
7%
18%
22%
30%
27%
24%
41%
28%
57%
54%
51%
6%
15%
22%
28%
28%
33%
35%
38%
53%
62%
69%
Chatbots
Apps
Chatbots vs. Apps Which of these benefits do you most associate
with communicating with businesses?
41
2018 State of Chatbots Report
Quick answers to simple questions
Getting 24 hour service
Convenience for you
Quick answers to complex questions
Ease of communication
Ability to easily register a complaint
Getting detailed / expert answers
A good customer experience
Friendliness and approachability
Having a complaint resolved quickly
None of these
0.7
5%
27%
19%
25%
41%
36%
49%
29%
51%
38%
33%
6%
15%
22%
28%
28%
33%
35%
38%
53%
62%
69%
Chatbots
Email
Chatbots vs. Email Which of these benefits do you most associate
with communicating with businesses?
42
2018 State of Chatbots Report
Quick answers to simple questions
Getting 24 hour service
Convenience for you
Quick answers to complex questions
Ease of communication
Ability to easily register a complaint
Getting detailed / expert answers
A good customer experience
Friendliness and approachability
Having a complaint resolved quickly
None of these
0.7
3%
35%
40%
43%
51%
35%
52%
56%
47%
31%
63%
6%
15%
22%
28%
28%
33%
35%
38%
53%
62%
69%
Chatbots
Phone
Chatbots vs. Phone Which of these benefits do you most associate
with communicating with businesses?
43
The takeaway: Chatbots are the new apps, but they’ve yet to
completely replace the need for phone and email when it
comes to communicating with businesses.
Consumers preferred chatbots over apps in five of the ten
benefit categories we looked at, which included not only
getting quick answers to simple questions and 24-hour
service, but also getting quick answers to complex questions
and getting detailed/expert answers.
2018 State of Chatbots Report44
When it came to email, consumers once again preferred
chatbots in the categories related to speedy response times
(re: quick answers, 24-hour service). However, email had a
definitive edge when it came to getting detailed/expert
answers.
It’s a similar story when we look at chatbots vs. phone calls,
although in this case it’s notable that consumers also
preferred using the phone for getting quick answers to
complex questions. Email and phone were also considered
superior when it came to ease of communication, as well as
registering complaints and getting them resolved in a timely
fashion.
2018 State of Chatbots Report45
One way businesses can make up for these perceived
limitations of chatbots: Have chatbots give consumers the
option of being able to send an email or schedule a call if
that’s how they’d prefer to communicate. Because especially
when dealing with complex technical issues, hopping on the
phone with an engineer is likely going to be the better option.
While chatbots have a lot to offer in terms improving online
experiences, they can’t replace the human touch.
2018 State of Chatbots Report46
05
Conclusion & Key Takeaways
2018 State of Chatbots Report47
These days, consumers expect to be
able to find the information they’re
looking for online quickly and easily.
And when a business can’t provide
that type of experience, they become
frustrated.
Chatbots are poised to ease these
frustrations by providing the real-time,
on-demand approach that consumers
are seeking out.
The top three potential benefits of
chatbots that consumers reported in
our survey:
1. 24-hour service (64%)
2. instant responses (55%)
3. answers to simple questions (55%)
And that’s true across all age groups.
It’s not just Millennials who see the
potential benefits of chatbots.
In fact, Baby Boomers were 24%
more likely to to expect benefits from
chatbots in five of the nine categories
we looked at compared to their
Millennial counterparts.
2018 State of Chatbots Report48
However, chatbots -- like all
technologies -- aren’t without their
limitations: 43% of consumers said
they prefer dealing with an actual
person (that was the number one
potential barrier to using chatbots).
That being said, 34% of consumers
also predicted that they would use
chatbots for getting connected with a
human. So it doesn’t have to be
either/or.
As a business, you can use chatbots
to supplement your human workforce
(not replace them).
Compared to other business
communication channels, chatbots
scored the second-highest when it
came to consumers expecting instant
responses, only losing out to online
chat.
But by using chatbots in combination
with online chat, businesses can
deliver a level of real-time service that
they’d be unable to achieve using
either technology on its own.
2018 State of Chatbots Report49
And while chatbots can’t replace
phone or email when it comes to
providing in-depth answers to
technical questions (some things will
always require a human touch), they
are poised to become the new apps.
As you saw in the previous section,
chatbots outperformed apps in the
following five benefits categories:
1. Quick answers to simple
questions (Chatbots, 69% | Apps,
51%)

2. Getting 24-hour service
(Chatbots, 62% | Apps, 54%)

3. Quick answers to complex
questions (Chatbots, 38% | Apps,
28%)

4. Ability to easily register a
complaint (Chatbots, 38% | Apps,
28%)

5. Getting detailed / expert
answers (Chatbots, 28% | Apps,
27%)
2018 State of Chatbots Report50
There’s been a lot of hype around chatbots recently, and we
hope this report has helped to separate fact from fantasy.
Ultimately, we see chatbots as a technology that can help
bridge the gaps between business communication channels,
and that can help deliver a better, speedier online experience
to consumers.
Thanks for reading!
2018 State of Chatbots Report51
The 2018 State of Chatbots Report

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The 2018 State of Chatbots Report

  • 1.
  • 2. This report is a collaboration between Drift, SurveyMonkey Audience, Salesforce, and myclever. We’ve teamed up to shed some light on how chatbots are changing the way people buy from and communicate with businesses. The survey referenced throughout this report was conducted using SurveyMonkey Audience from October 30 through November 6, 2017 in the United States with a sample of 1,051 adults ages 18-64. The sample was balanced by age and gender according to the US Census and is representative of the adult online population. 2018 State of Chatbots Report2
  • 3. 4 9 14 25 31 47 00 Introduction: Rise of the Chatbots . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
 01 The Problems With Traditional Online Experiences . . . . . . . 
 02 Chatbots: Predicted Uses and Potential Benefits . . . . . . . .
 03 Blockers to Using Chatbots . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
 04 Chatbots vs. Other Communication Channels . . . . . . . . . . . 05 Conclusion & Key Takeaways . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 
 Table of Contents 2018 State of Chatbots Report3
  • 4. 00 Introduction: Rise of the Chatbots 2018 State of Chatbots Report4
  • 5. The way people communicate with businesses has been evolving at a rapid pace. For years, in-person meetings and phone calls were the dominant means of communication. Then, with the rise of the internet, a multitude of new options became available, from email, to social media, to mobile apps, to filling out a form on a website and waiting for a follow-up. More recently, the rise of real-time messaging has led to a fundamental shift in how people prefer to connect with businesses. Drift’s State of Conversational Marketing report, for example, found that people from all 195 countries are using online chat to start conversations on business websites. And that includes people who work at companies of every size, sector, and nearly every industry, as well as key decision-makers (41% of people starting online chat conversations with businesses are executives). 2018 State of Chatbots Report5 59% 41%
  • 6. What all of these communication channels have had in common, including online chat, is that they’ve traditionally relied on humans to do the communicating. But now that chatbots have arrived on the scene, this dynamic is starting to change. Chatbot | noun. A computer program designed to simulate conversation with human users, especially over the internet. Many chatbots rely on artificial intelligence (AI) in order to simulate how humans communicate. More specifically, intelligent chatbots often rely on machine learning, which is when a computer program can automatically improve with experience, as well as natural language processing (NLP), which is when machine learning is applied to the problem of simulating human- produced text and language. And while chatbots have been in development since the 1950s, only in recent years have businesses started using them for communicating with customers and potential customers. 2018 State of Chatbots Report6
  • 7. 2018 State of Chatbots Report 0.6 Telephone Em ail W ebsite Face-to-face O nline chat M obile app Socialm edia Chatbots O ther 2% 15% 28% 30% 38%39% 54% 60%60% Business Communication Channels How have you communicated with businesses in the past 12 months? 7
  • 8. In our survey, we found that 15% of consumers have used chatbots to communicate with businesses in the past 12 months. While that’s one quarter of the amount who’ve used phone and email to communicate with businesses over the same time period, it’s still a significant number. And in the months and years to come, we expect that number to grow considerably. Keep reading to find out why. 2018 State of Chatbots Report8
  • 9. 01 The Problems With Traditional Online Experiences 2018 State of Chatbots Report9
  • 10. Just like any emerging technology, chatbots will only become widely adopted if it’s shown that they can solve real problems. Otherwise, the novelty will eventually wear off. So in order to better understand where the opportunity lies for chatbots, we asked our 1,000+ survey participants to think about the online services they use today, such as search engines, product/service websites, and mobile apps. Then we asked them: What frustrations have you experienced with these online services in the past month? 2018 State of Chatbots Report10
  • 11. 2018 State of Chatbots Report 10% 16% 18% 22% 23% 24% 26% 27% 28% 31% 34% Problems With Traditional Online Experiences What frustrations have you experienced in the past month? Sites hard to navigate Can't get answers to simple questions Basic details about a business are hard to find Takes too long to find services Poorly designed smartphone apps Search options on a brand's website not useful Services not accessible on mobile devices Poor quality online forms Services feel impersonal Brand is unresponsive on Twitter No service outside normal operating hours 11
  • 12. The most common frustrations reported by consumers included websites being hard to navigate (34%), not being able to get answers to simple questions (31%), and basic details about a business -- like address, hours of operations, and phone number -- being hard to find (28%). The takeaway: The online experiences businesses are providing no longer match the way people prefer to buy. 2018 State of Chatbots Report12
  • 13. In the on-demand, real-time world we live in, where everything seems to be just one click away, consumers expect to be able to find the information they’re looking for quickly and easily. When they can’t, they get frustrated, and could end up turning to competitors who are providing the type of online experience they’re looking for. 2018 State of Chatbots Report13
  • 14. 02 Chatbots: Predicted Uses and Potential Benefits 2018 State of Chatbots Report14
  • 15. Now that we understand the main problems consumers have with traditional online experiences, let’s look at if (and how) chatbots can actually solve these problems. Predicted Uses In our survey, we provided a brief description of how chatbots work and the types of tasks brands and businesses use them for. Then we asked our participants: What do you predict you would use a chatbot for? 2018 State of Chatbots Report15
  • 16. 2018 State of Chatbots Report Getting a quick answer in an emergency Resolving a complaint or problem Getting detailed answers or explanations Finding a human customer service assistant Making a reservation (e.g. restaurant or hotel) Paying a bill Buying a basic item Getting ideas and inspiration for purchases Adding yourself to a mailing list or news service Communicating with multiple brands using one program (none of these things) Buying an expensive item 0.4 13% 14% 18% 22% 22% 27% 29% 33% 34% 35% 35% 37% Predicted Use Cases for Chatbots What do you predict you would use a chatbot for? 16
  • 17. The most common predicted uses for chatbots that consumers reported included getting quick answers to questions in an emergency (37%), resolving a complaint or problem (35%), and getting detailed answers or explanations (35%). It’s also worth noting that 34% of consumers predicted that they’d use chatbots as a means for getting connected with a human. 2018 State of Chatbots Report17
  • 18. The takeaway: There’s alignment between consumers’ frustrations and their predicted use cases for chatbots. Consumers want to be able to use chatbots to surface information and get answers quickly and easily. And if a chatbot doesn’t have all the answers, consumers would like that chatbot to be able to connect them with a human. 2018 State of Chatbots Report18
  • 19. Potential Benefits Beyond how consumers predict they’ll use chatbots, we also wanted to know about the specific benefits they think chatbots will be able to provide. So we asked our survey participants the following question: If chatbots were available (and working effectively) for the online services that you use, which of these benefits would you expect to enjoy? 2018 State of Chatbots Report19
  • 20. 2018 State of Chatbots Report 8% 32% 35% 37% 43% 43% 51% 55% 55% 64% Potential Benefits of Chatbots If chatbots were available (and working effectively) for the online services that you use, which of these benefits would you expect to enjoy? 24 hour service Getting an instant response Answers to simple questions Easy communication Complaints resolved quickly A good customer experience Detailed / expert answers Answers to complex questions Friendliness and approachability (none of these)(none of these) 20
  • 21. By far, the most common potential benefit of chatbots that consumers pointed to was the ability to get 24-hour service (64%). That was followed by getting instant responses to inquiries (55%), and getting answers to simple questions (55%). The takeaway: It’s clear that consumers see chatbots as being able to provide that real-time, on-demand experience that they’ve been craving. 2018 State of Chatbots Report21
  • 22. However, that doesn’t mean chatbots are poised to replace humans. Because when it comes to getting expert answers, answers to detailed questions, and overall friendliness/ approachability, chatbots ranked much lower. Those are areas where humans will continue to shine. Potential Benefits: Millennials vs. Baby Boomers Here’s something that might surprise you: The benefits of chatbots that consumers expect to enjoy don’t vary too widely between age groups. More specifically, it isn’t just young people who see the potential benefits of chatbots. 2018 State of Chatbots Report22
  • 23. 2018 State of Chatbots Report 24 hour service Getting an instant response Answers to simple questions Easy communication Complaints resolved quickly A good customer experience Detailed / expert answers Answers to complex questions Friendliness and approachability (none of these) 0.7 13% 29% 38% 36% 38% 46% 52% 64% 61% 58% 5% 33% 33% 37% 45% 38% 48% 52% 51% 66% Millennials Baby Boomers Potential Benefits of Chatbots Millennials vs. Baby Boomers 23
  • 24. When we compared responses from Millennials (age 18-34) and Baby Boomers (age 55+), we found that Baby Boomers were 24% more likely to to expect benefits from chatbots in five of the nine categories we looked at. The takeaway: Chatbots aren’t just for Millennials. This a technology that has the potential to improve online experiences for all consumers, regardless of age. 2018 State of Chatbots Report24
  • 25. 03 Blockers to Using Chatbots 2018 State of Chatbots Report25
  • 26. Despite the many uses and benefits that consumers predict chatbots will be able to provide, the mass adoption of chatbots isn’t a foregone conclusion. Especially when you consider how new the technology is, it’’s understandable that consumers would have some concerns. So, we felt it was important for us to ask our survey participants the following question: What would stop you from using a chatbot? 2018 State of Chatbots Report26
  • 27. 2018 State of Chatbots Report 3% 15% 24% 26% 27% 30% 43%I’d prefer to deal with a real-life assistant I'd worry about it making a mistake If I could only access it through Facebook I’d prefer to use a normal website If it wasn’t able to ‘chat’ in a friendly manner Nothing would stop me from using a chatbot Other Nothing would stop me from using a chatbot Other Potential Blockers to Using Chatbots What would stop you from using a chatbot? 27
  • 28. The most common potential blockers to using chatbots that consumers reported included preferring to deal with a human instead (43%), worrying about the chatbot making a mistake, such as during a purchase or while making a reservation (30%), and being locked into using chatbots only through Facebook (27%). However, it’s also worth noting that 15% of consumers said nothing would stop them from using chatbots. And that figure was consistent across all age groups. 2018 State of Chatbots Report28
  • 29. The takeaway: Not all consumers are ready to abandon human-to-human interactions entirely, and some aren’t sure they trust the technology to perform certain tasks without making mistakes. Also, if consumers could only access a chatbot through a specific social network, that could be a deterrent to adoption. But here’s the thing: As a business, it doesn’t have to be either/or… 2018 State of Chatbots Report29
  • 30. You can use chatbots where they make sense (e.g., for providing quick answers to simple questions) and then have humans step in when they’re needed. What’s more, you don’t have to rely on a specific social network like Facebook in order to provide customers and potential customers with access to a chatbot. These days, you can have chatbots operating directly on your website, and you can use hyperlinks to make it easy for people to trigger chatbot conversations from any social network. 2018 State of Chatbots Report30
  • 31. 04 Chatbots vs. Other Communication Channels 2018 State of Chatbots Report31
  • 32. While not all consumers are ready to trust chatbots entirely, most still acknowledge that chatbots are poised to provide several benefits that can enhance their online experiences. And it’s clear that one of the major benefits consumers see when it comes to using chatbots is speed: They believe that chatbots will be able to respond to their inquiries more quickly. 2018 State of Chatbots Report32
  • 33. From a business perspective, there’s a massive upside to providing speedy response times. As research from InsideSales.com and the Harvard Business Review shows, even if you wait just five minutes to respond after a lead first reaches out, there’s a 10x decrease in your odds of actually getting in touch with that lead. After 10 minutes, there’s a 400% decrease in your odds of qualifying that lead. 2018 State of Chatbots Report33
  • 34. So as part of our survey, we wanted to see how expected response times for chatbots compared to expected response times for other communication channels. The question we asked: How soon would you expect to get a response on each of these communication channels? 2018 State of Chatbots Report34
  • 35. 2018 State of Chatbots Report Response Time by Communication Channel How soon would you expect to get a response on each of these channels? 0.8 O nline chat Chatbots Face-to-face Telephone Apps Socialm edia W eb form Em ail Letter 16% 27% 34% 40% 55% 64% 73%75%77% Instant Response 35
  • 36. 2018 State of Chatbots Report Response Time by Communication Channel How soon would you expect to get a response on each of these channels? 0.7 O nline chat Chatbots Face-to-face Telephone Apps Socialm edia W eb form Em ail Letter 24% 62% 52%50% 37% 31% 20%19%18% Within 24 hours 36
  • 37. 2018 State of Chatbots Report Response Time by Communication Channel How soon would you expect to get a response on each of these channels? 0.6 O nline chat Chatbots Face-to-face Telephone Apps Socialm edia W eb form Em ail Letter 60% 12% 14% 9%8% 5% 7%7% 5% After 24 hours 37
  • 38. Ultimately, consumers expect to get instant responses from online chat more than any other channel (77%), but chatbots came in a close second (75%), and were followed by face-to- face meetings (73%). Meanwhile, email (62%), web forms (52%), and social media (50%), were the top channels when it came to expecting responses within 24 hours, and letters were far and away the number one channel when it came to expecting responses after 24 hours (60%). 2018 State of Chatbots Report38
  • 39. The takeaway: Online chat is the channel that most consumers expect a real-time response from. However, chatbots came in a close second -- higher than face-to-face, telephone, or apps. And here’s something to consider: As a business, by using online chat in combination with chatbots, you can deliver response times and resolve issues faster than ever before. When employees are online, they can take the lead in responding to incoming chats. But if chat volume gets too high, or if there are no employees online at the moment, chatbots can step in to assist so your response times don’t suffer. 2018 State of Chatbots Report39
  • 40. In addition to looking at response times, we also wanted to see how chatbots compared to more traditional business communication channels in terms of perceived benefits. Specifically, we wanted to hone in on how chatbots compared to apps, email, and phone calls. So we asked our survey participants: Which of these benefits do you most associate with communicating with businesses and organizations? 2018 State of Chatbots Report40
  • 41. 2018 State of Chatbots Report Quick answers to simple questions Getting 24 hour service Convenience for you Quick answers to complex questions Ease of communication Ability to easily register a complaint Getting detailed / expert answers A good customer experience Friendliness and approachability Having a complaint resolved quickly None of these 0.7 7% 18% 22% 30% 27% 24% 41% 28% 57% 54% 51% 6% 15% 22% 28% 28% 33% 35% 38% 53% 62% 69% Chatbots Apps Chatbots vs. Apps Which of these benefits do you most associate with communicating with businesses? 41
  • 42. 2018 State of Chatbots Report Quick answers to simple questions Getting 24 hour service Convenience for you Quick answers to complex questions Ease of communication Ability to easily register a complaint Getting detailed / expert answers A good customer experience Friendliness and approachability Having a complaint resolved quickly None of these 0.7 5% 27% 19% 25% 41% 36% 49% 29% 51% 38% 33% 6% 15% 22% 28% 28% 33% 35% 38% 53% 62% 69% Chatbots Email Chatbots vs. Email Which of these benefits do you most associate with communicating with businesses? 42
  • 43. 2018 State of Chatbots Report Quick answers to simple questions Getting 24 hour service Convenience for you Quick answers to complex questions Ease of communication Ability to easily register a complaint Getting detailed / expert answers A good customer experience Friendliness and approachability Having a complaint resolved quickly None of these 0.7 3% 35% 40% 43% 51% 35% 52% 56% 47% 31% 63% 6% 15% 22% 28% 28% 33% 35% 38% 53% 62% 69% Chatbots Phone Chatbots vs. Phone Which of these benefits do you most associate with communicating with businesses? 43
  • 44. The takeaway: Chatbots are the new apps, but they’ve yet to completely replace the need for phone and email when it comes to communicating with businesses. Consumers preferred chatbots over apps in five of the ten benefit categories we looked at, which included not only getting quick answers to simple questions and 24-hour service, but also getting quick answers to complex questions and getting detailed/expert answers. 2018 State of Chatbots Report44
  • 45. When it came to email, consumers once again preferred chatbots in the categories related to speedy response times (re: quick answers, 24-hour service). However, email had a definitive edge when it came to getting detailed/expert answers. It’s a similar story when we look at chatbots vs. phone calls, although in this case it’s notable that consumers also preferred using the phone for getting quick answers to complex questions. Email and phone were also considered superior when it came to ease of communication, as well as registering complaints and getting them resolved in a timely fashion. 2018 State of Chatbots Report45
  • 46. One way businesses can make up for these perceived limitations of chatbots: Have chatbots give consumers the option of being able to send an email or schedule a call if that’s how they’d prefer to communicate. Because especially when dealing with complex technical issues, hopping on the phone with an engineer is likely going to be the better option. While chatbots have a lot to offer in terms improving online experiences, they can’t replace the human touch. 2018 State of Chatbots Report46
  • 47. 05 Conclusion & Key Takeaways 2018 State of Chatbots Report47
  • 48. These days, consumers expect to be able to find the information they’re looking for online quickly and easily. And when a business can’t provide that type of experience, they become frustrated. Chatbots are poised to ease these frustrations by providing the real-time, on-demand approach that consumers are seeking out. The top three potential benefits of chatbots that consumers reported in our survey: 1. 24-hour service (64%) 2. instant responses (55%) 3. answers to simple questions (55%) And that’s true across all age groups. It’s not just Millennials who see the potential benefits of chatbots. In fact, Baby Boomers were 24% more likely to to expect benefits from chatbots in five of the nine categories we looked at compared to their Millennial counterparts. 2018 State of Chatbots Report48
  • 49. However, chatbots -- like all technologies -- aren’t without their limitations: 43% of consumers said they prefer dealing with an actual person (that was the number one potential barrier to using chatbots). That being said, 34% of consumers also predicted that they would use chatbots for getting connected with a human. So it doesn’t have to be either/or. As a business, you can use chatbots to supplement your human workforce (not replace them). Compared to other business communication channels, chatbots scored the second-highest when it came to consumers expecting instant responses, only losing out to online chat. But by using chatbots in combination with online chat, businesses can deliver a level of real-time service that they’d be unable to achieve using either technology on its own. 2018 State of Chatbots Report49
  • 50. And while chatbots can’t replace phone or email when it comes to providing in-depth answers to technical questions (some things will always require a human touch), they are poised to become the new apps. As you saw in the previous section, chatbots outperformed apps in the following five benefits categories: 1. Quick answers to simple questions (Chatbots, 69% | Apps, 51%)
 2. Getting 24-hour service (Chatbots, 62% | Apps, 54%)
 3. Quick answers to complex questions (Chatbots, 38% | Apps, 28%)
 4. Ability to easily register a complaint (Chatbots, 38% | Apps, 28%)
 5. Getting detailed / expert answers (Chatbots, 28% | Apps, 27%) 2018 State of Chatbots Report50
  • 51. There’s been a lot of hype around chatbots recently, and we hope this report has helped to separate fact from fantasy. Ultimately, we see chatbots as a technology that can help bridge the gaps between business communication channels, and that can help deliver a better, speedier online experience to consumers. Thanks for reading! 2018 State of Chatbots Report51