AI Chatbots in Customer Service: Adoption Hurdles and Simple Remedies

55 Pages Posted: 14 Dec 2022 Last revised: 1 Nov 2023

See all articles by Evgeny Kagan

Evgeny Kagan

Johns Hopkins University - Carey Business School

Maqbool Dada

Johns Hopkins University - Carey Business School

Brett Hathaway

Brigham Young University

Date Written: November 22, 2022

Abstract

Despite recent advances in large language models, chatbot technology continues to face adoption hurdles. We report the results of six studies (two surveys and four experiments) that examine the choice between the chatbot channel and the live agent channel in customer service. We show that people respond positively to improvements in chatbot performance; however, the chatbot channel is utilized less frequently than expected time minimization would predict. This underutilization is caused by two separate behaviors: gatekeeper aversion (aversion to any service format that may involve a transfer to a different server) and algorithm aversion (aversion to an algorithmic service provider). Among the two factors, gatekeeper aversion is the more dominant one, accounting for 73% to 86% of behavior. Examining potential remedies, we find that chatbot uptake can be increased by making salient the expected time savings offered by the chatbot.

Keywords: Human-AI interface, Experiments, Service Operations, Behavioral Queueing

Suggested Citation

Kagan, Evgeny and Dada, Maqbool and Hathaway, Brett, AI Chatbots in Customer Service: Adoption Hurdles and Simple Remedies (November 22, 2022). Johns Hopkins Carey Business School Research Paper No. 23-03, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4283285 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4283285

Evgeny Kagan (Contact Author)

Johns Hopkins University - Carey Business School ( email )

100 International Drive
Baltimore, MD 21202
United States

Maqbool Dada

Johns Hopkins University - Carey Business School ( email )

100 International Drive
Baltimore, MD 21202
United States

Brett Hathaway

Brigham Young University ( email )

Provo, UT 84602
United States

HOME PAGE: http://brett-hathaway.com

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