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Gartner Survey Finds 64% of Customers Would Prefer That Companies Didn’t Use AI For Customer Service

Customers’ Top Concerns Include Difficulty Reaching an Agent and AI Displacing Jobs

Sixty-four percent of customers would prefer that companies didn’t use artificial intelligence (AI) in their customer service, according to a survey by Gartner, Inc. Furthermore, 53% of customers would consider switching to a competitor if they found out a company was going to use AI for customer service.

A Gartner survey of 5,728 customers conducted in December 2023 revealed that while customer service leaders are eager to adopt AI, customers remain concerned about its use within the customer service function.

“Sixty percent of customer service and support leaders are under pressure to adopt AI in their function,” said Keith McIntosh, Senior Principal, Research, in the Gartner Customer Service & Support practice. “But they can’t ignore concerns about AI use, especially when it could mean losing customers.”

Difficulty Reaching a Person is Customers’ Top AI Concern

The top concern that consumers have about AI in customer service is that it will get more difficult reaching a person (see Figure 1), followed by AI displacing jobs, and AI providing the wrong answers.

“Once customers exhaust self-service options, they’re ready to reach out to a person,” said McIntosh. “Many customers fear that GenAI will simply become another obstacle between them and an agent. The onus is on service and support leaders to show customers that AI can streamline the service experience.”

Figure 1. Customer Concerns About AI in Customer Service

“Service organizations must build customers’ trust in AI by ensuring their GenAI capabilities follow the best practices of service journey design,” said McIntosh. “Customers must know the AI-infused journey will deliver better solutions and seamless guidance, including connecting them to a person when necessary.

“For example, AI-infused chatbots must communicate to the customer that they will connect them to an agent in the event that the AI cannot provide a solution. It must then seamlessly transform into an agent chat that picks up where the chatbot left off. This way, the customer can trust that they will be able to efficiently find their solution while using the AI-infused channel.”

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