If you pay attention the next time you’re browsing the web on your phone or computer, you might notice that a significant percentage of the sites you visit use chatbots. Some open automatically and launch into a dialogue, while others have a more subtle design and need to be manually opened and engaged with by the user.
While some chatbots are more noticeable or aggressive than others, they can be found on almost any type of business website if you look hard enough, from nursing homes and apartment complexes inviting you to schedule a tour, to retailers asking you how they can help you shop. After the customer has been converted and made a transaction, some websites also use a chatbot to ask for feedback about the customer’s shopping experience. For example, you’ve probably seen pop-up messages saying things like, “Thanks for shopping with [Company]! How likely are you to recommend [Company] to a friend?” or, “We appreciate your business! Would you like to share any feedback about your experience with us today?”
In this week’s article, our response scribes will take a closer look at prompts like these to answer the following questions:
- What percentage of websites are using chatbots, and what are some other chatbot statistics to know in 2022?
- Why is it beneficial to get feedback from your customers?
- Are chatbots an effective way to get feedback or reviews from your customers?
- Are there better alternatives to chatbots, and what sort of data supports these comparisons?
We hope that, by answering these questions, our team will provide your business with actionable insights — and give you inspiration for steps you can take today to start getting more feedback and reviews from your customers.
How Many Websites Use Chatbots?
According to a study by Salesforce, nearly one quarter (23%) of all customer service businesses are already using AI chatbots on their websites. However, data from Userlike suggests that a much higher percentage of consumers — closer to 80% — have engaged with a chatbot on at least one occasion. Additionally, more than two thirds of consumers, or about 68%, say that they “enjoy the speed at which chatbots answer” (a trend, by the way, which is mirrored by the overwhelming preference for fast review response times from business owners). Plus, data from Drift shows that chatbots have helped more than half of businesses (approximately 55%) “generate high-quality leads,” according to BloggingWizard.
Statistics like these suggest that chatbots hold immense potential for businesses that are seeking insights from existing and/or potential customers. On the other hand, however, there’s also data pointing to the limitations of chatbots — like the fact that, according to NewVoiceMedia, roughly half of all consumers perceive chatbots as barriers that businesses intentionally use to block them from bringing complex or difficult issues to live agents for resolution. Additionally, most people (60%) still prefer chatting with live agents to using chatbots for customer support, according to findings from Userlike. All of these statistics and sources, along with numerous others, can be explored in more detail here.
Since there are clearly both pros and cons to using chatbots, this brings us to another important question for businesses to focus on…
Are Chatbots an Effective Way to Ask for Customer Feedback?
Can chatbots succeed in obtaining useful feedback from your customers, with minimal effort on your team’s behalf? Yes.
Are there better, more commonly used ways to approach the challenge of gathering feedback? Again, the answer is yes.
According to a survey conducted by BrightLocal, here were the most (and least) commonly used methods of asking for reviews in 2021 compared to 2020, ranked here by their popularity in 2021. These figures were determined by asking survey respondents how they had been prompted for reviews during the past 12 months, with a total of more than 1,120 participants. You might be surprised to see where chatbots fall on this list!
- Emails — 41% of customers were prompted for a review using this method in 2021, compared to 45% in 2020
- Receipts or invoices — 35% (2021), 30% (2020)
- In person — 35% (2021), 34% (2020)
- Text messages — 27% (2021), 20% (2020)
- Social media — 18% (2021), 26% (2020)
- Phone calls — 13% (2021), 24% (2020)
- On a device at the business — 10% (2021), 16% (2020)
- On a sign at the business — 10% (2021), 16% (2020)
- Chatbots — 8% (2021), 15% (2020)
- Business cards — 8% (2021), 20% (2020)
The upshot for businesses? Along with the other functions they serve, like helping your customers make payments or schedule appointments, chatbots are also a moderately useful tool for obtaining customer reviews. However, businesses should also consider exploring more productive methods of securing feedback, like an email campaign — or, for even greater efficiency, leveraging a review generation service.
We’ll talk more about the benefits of using a review generation service later on in this post; but first, let’s walk through some of the ways that customer feedback helps to support your business.
Why Does Your Business Need Customer Feedback?
At this point, you might be wondering why customer feedback is so critical for your business, especially if you’re confident in the level of quality and satisfaction you deliver. But feedback isn’t just a way to learn what your customers want, or how to enhance the level of service you provide. When it’s shared publicly in the form of an online review, customer feedback is also an opportunity to grow your business and build trust in your brand. Here are three ways that online reviews from your customers — and your responses as a business owner — can benefit your brand:
- Online reviews make it easier for people to find your business. According to Google support, “High-quality, positive reviews from your customers can improve your business visibility and increase the likelihood that a shopper will visit your location.”
- As Google also points out, “When you reply to reviews, it shows that you value your customers and their feedback.” This is especially critical if you’ve received a negative review, with transparency and customer service rated among customers’ highest priorities. Learn more about why a review reply strategy matters and how it helps instill trust in consumers.
- Positive ratings and online reviews encourage other users to trust (and shop at) your business — and even negative ratings or reviews can be leveraged to build up trust and goodwill. Learn more about why you should embrace negative reviews (and how your team should respond).
What Are Alternative Ways to Get More Reviews of Your Business?
Based on the above data, we know that chatbots can get results and create positive experiences for consumers. However, we’ve also seen that other methods of engaging with consumers and gathering reviews are likely to be more effective, if the percentages of businesses using those methods are any indicator. Otherwise, it’s difficult to account for the fact that 41% of consumers have been prompted for feedback via email, yet only 8% have received the same sorts of prompts from a chatbot. So where does that leave your business?
Chatbots are a great feature for your website, and can help you convert new customers — but when it comes to gathering feedback, there’s a variety of other review collection methods that you can bolster and supplement your chatbot strategy with, such as sending out custom emails or SMS text messages. Shout About Us streamlines the process for you, helping your team generate authentic reviews — so that you can focus on generating leads.
We use proven-effective methods, building your team email, SMS, and in-store campaigns. Using API or secure file transfer, you can seamlessly integrate with your CRM or POS to make sure that your review requests are sent out automatically — and deliver results. From text messages that have a 98% open rate, to in-store kiosks and QR code features, we provide the research and the resources to get your reviews flowing faster.
Our Review Generation and Review Reply Service is Designed for Agencies, Franchises, and Brands
Learn more about how you can get more reviews for your business — then experience the difference firsthand. Book a demo of our review generation service today, or contact us to explore the additional reputation management services we provide for agencies, franchises, and brands, including our review response service, review removal service, and cross-platform review monitoring.
Emily Homrok is a freelance copywriter with more than seven years of writing experience. She joined the Shout About Us team as a content strategist in 2020.