August 17, 2020

IN BOTS WE TRUST

New Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association study finds that marketing and brand building are key to getting users to trust your bot’s abilities

 

When it comes to your brand’s bot, you might take an “If you build it, they will come,” approach—launch your bot, direct people to it, and let the A.I. take care of the rest.

 

But a fascinating new study has found that users’ preconceived notions of a bots’ abilities can affect their effectiveness, even in a high-stakes situation like a COVID-19 symptom screening.

 

Recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, the  study finds that, “There is a gap between how users perceive chatbots’ and human agents’ abilities.”

 

Divorced from brand perceptions, users initially perceive a chatbots’ ability to be less than that of a human agent’s.

 

It makes sense based on personal experience, doesn’t it? We’ve all had bad bot experiences where we didn’t get the answers we needed. It’s natural to have a little skepticism.

 

But the study goes on to find that, “When chatbots are perceived to provide the same service quality as human agents, users are more likely to see them as persuasive, be more satisfied, and be more likely to use them.”

 

“Therefore, to offset users’ biases, a necessary component in deploying chatbots for COVID-19 screening is a strong messaging campaign that emphasizes the chatbot’s ability,” the study says.

 

So when it comes to your bot, it isn’t enough to “set it and forget it.” Your marketing and outreach campaign needs to assure users that your bot delivers the same information as a human agent, just as effectively—or even MORE effectively.

 

And once you’ve established that trust, users often perceive your bot as being more effective than a human agent.

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