Twilio Reveals that Customers Prefer Bots for Simple Interactions

September 14, 2016         By: Steven Anderson

The notion of talking to a machine rubs many the wrong way when it comes to phone calls, but what holds true for the phone doesn’t seem to hold likewise true for computers and mobile devices.

A new report from Twilio suggests that customers actually prefer dealing with bots online.

However, there’s one big problem: what customers want isn’t technically available yet in terms of the technology.

Twilio’s look at the field, which was aided by a study from Vanson Bourne, revealed that about two out of three consumers wanted to use a messaging app to talk to, and since the study dealt with 6,000 customers in Asia, Europe and North America, it was pretty much inclusive of the biggest markets on Earth.

Meanwhile, 47 percent of consumers wanted access to text messaging, while 21 percent wanted to turn mainly to Facebook Messenger.

WhatsApp stepped in at 18 percent, while rounding out the list was Line at six percent and Snapchat finishing up at two percent.

Users wanted the communication to work both ways, too, with 85 percent wanting to be able to answer messages received from the various brands that sent them.

This actually relates well to some earlier studies about customer service, which offered one key point: customers want self-service options for at least some points of interaction.

There’s a certain sense of satisfaction that comes along with solving your own problems without help; just ask any gamer who’s puzzled his or her way through a particularly tough challenge.

That kind of satisfaction in a customer service environment isn’t normally seen, and it’s welcome when it arrives. The problem is that the technology isn’t quite up to the challenge of providing what the customers want.

It can be partially provided, and there’s a lot of movement in that direction, but it’s not quite there yet.

The good news is we’re rapidly working toward giving users the technology they want, and it will help improve the mobile shopping experience substantially.

Technology improvements tend to help, and though the customers want to see things going in an unexpected direction, technology is ready to rise up and supply what’s desired.