the purpose of chatbots is to improve customer engagement and they seem to be succeeding at that

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How do they really know? That’s the question that immediately comes to mind in reviewing the top-level data from Voxpro’s recent survey of customers and their relationship with chatbots. The data show that 68 percent of consumers haven’t used chatbots to contact a brand. About 1,000 people answered the survey.

How reliable is that number, though? I’m not disrespecting Voxpro here — just the opposite. Isn’t it at least possible that some consumers have interacted with bots without realizing it? Of course it is, and it’s therefore reasonable that the true number of people who haven’t used a chatbot actually might be smaller.

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One Direction

Consider another data bit from Voxpro’s study: Fifty-six percent of survey respondents said they hadn’t used chat or other automated features because they prefer dealing with real people. That leaves 12 percent not using because… I don’t know.

Whatever the true measure is, within this narrow range, I’d say we’re right on schedule. It’s early days in the automated assistant game, and the numbers so far only confirm this.

We’re still working toward finding the right circumstances for the technology — another indicator that it’s early days. Despite this being early, however, the objective is still to find better ways to support the customer experience, though I’d prefer to say we’re trying to promote customer engagement.

“Engagement” may sound foreign to many ears when discussing having our machines interacting with customers — until you realize that engagement…