EOS 2021 Chatbot Survey: How employees and customers profit from AI.
Chatbots relieve employees of simple tasks – giving them more time for more complex customer issues and increasing their satisfaction. But will human service remain important in a future with highly intelligent chatbots?
- Use of chatbots increases employee and customer satisfaction.
- Chatbots still offer a lot of potential for cost savings in companies.
- In the future, chatbots are not going to replace employees – they are going to work closely with them.
“I am on your website right now and want to make an installment payment, but it’s not working and I don’t know why.” Around one and a half years ago, it was still the case that employees from the service center at EOS Contentia – a national subsidiary of EOS in Belgium – were probably going to need a long time to handle these types of calls from defaulting payers. EOS Contentia is one of Belgium’s leading providers of debt collection and debt purchase services in the utility, healthcare, and telecommunications sectors. The possible reasons for a failed transfer are countless – an error in the EOS online payment website itself is rarely one of them. To solve the problem, the EOS employees thus began to probe the most important potential sources of error one after another. And sometimes, in coordination with the customers, they also restarted the computer. Chatbot Tom has been assuming this often cumbersome routine chore since July 2020. “My colleagues are very happy to be relieved of this task,” says Wesley van de Walle, Tom Project Manager at EOS Contentia.
A chatbot prevents employees from having to handle easy tasks for which they are actually overqualified.
Chatbots save money and make companies more efficient.
There even seems to be a lot of room for improvement here: Of the 1,809 companies (65 percent of all survey respondents) already using chatbots, 58 percent only use them as initial points of contact for customers. The digital assistant only preselects a topic based on the query; a human service employee takes over after that.
In the future, too, the human factor will make the difference.
Within the scope of the chatbot survey, EOS conducted 200 computer-assisted telephone interviews in each of 14 European countries (Germany, Denmark, Belgium, Switzerland, Spain, France, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, and Russia), or 2,800 interviews in total. The participating companies were selected according to headcount and revenue (at least 20 employees and at least 5 million euros in annual revenue (except for Croatia)). Another requirement was that the companies had to have contact with private customers.