New research warns of emerging "AI Gap" between brands and consumers
LivePerson's State of Customer Conversations 2024 report reveals clear divide between business leaders and their customers on topics of AI adoption, enthusiasm, and education
With only 50% of consumers feeling positive about using AI to interact with brands,
survey data uncovers how to improve digital engagement to bridge the gap
Among the report's key findings is that a significant divide — or "AI Gap" — is emerging between business leaders and consumers regarding adoption, enthusiasm, and education around AI. While organizations of all kinds are doubling down on AI and automation, the average consumer lacks clarity regarding how AI can be used to make their lives easier and more convenient.
Data from the report shows that business leaders have a lot of work to do to close the AI Gap — and ensure their investments in artificial intelligence pay off with customers:
- While 91% of business leaders feel positive about using AI to engage with customers, only 50% of consumers say the same.
- The AI hype is fading — 62% of consumers felt positive about engaging with AI last year, before the generative AI boom and backlash took off.
- When given the choice between interacting with a human or an AI chatbot to take care of common tasks, business leaders overestimate the percentage of consumers who say they'd choose bots for each task by an average of 19%.
- Business leaders are much more familiar with and educated about AI, with 92% saying they're learning to work with AI to do their jobs better, versus just 36% of consumers.
This split between business leaders and their customers is emerging at the same time that brands have reached a tipping point for AI-powered customer engagement, with just over half of business leaders reporting they're now prioritizing messaging with AI over traditional customer service channels like phone (55%), email (51%), and ticketing systems (54%).
"We're at a pivotal moment: brands are all-in when it comes to AI, but their customers have yet to experience the true benefits of this much-hyped technology," said
While the AI Gap poses challenges for businesses today, consumers report they do anticipate benefits from AI over the long term, with 2 out of every 3 saying they expect how they work with businesses to improve over the next five years thanks to AI.
In addition to the divide between business leaders and their customers, the conversational AI trends report also found AI gaps between different age groups, with especially wide differences of opinion emerging between Gen Z and senior citizens.
- 64% of 18-24 year olds say they're more comfortable using AI to engage with businesses compared to last year, but only 36% of people aged 65+ agree.
- When asked if their loyalty to a company increases if they can communicate with AI for faster service, 80% of Gen Z said yes — as opposed to only 34% of seniors.
- 84% of Gen Z prefer to buy from companies whose AI limits bias, compared to just 57% of seniors. They are also much more interested in AI that predicts what they want (64% vs. 40%) and recommends gifts for others (68% vs. 36%).
- Every age group thinks AI will help improve how they engage with businesses over time, but Gen Z sees it coming quicker (72% say this will happen within the next year, while seniors think it will take 5 years or longer).
"With consumer expectations running longer than those of business leaders, brands that put together engaging, helpful AI-powered experiences 'ahead of schedule' will have a leg up over their competitors," said
According to the survey data, the general consumer population is more likely to purchase from a company if its AI experiences have the following traits:
- 73%: supervised and managed by human agents that they can transfer to as needed
- 68%: limits bias to create more equal experiences for everyone
- 62%: takes direction to complete purchases
- 53%: predicts what kinds of products and services they want
About the State of Customer Conversations 2024 report
The consumer audience was based across the US,
The goal of this research was to understand the attitudes of consumers toward customer engagement, digital experiences, chatbots, and AI, as well as the attitudes and plans of customer experience leaders across the enterprise. The results are summarized in the report.
LivePerson (NASDAQ: LPSN) is the global leader in enterprise conversations. Hundreds of the world's leading brands — including HSBC, Chipotle, and
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