Understanding the impact of customer confusion on the customer experience with a chatbot

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Self-service technologies (SSTs) like chatbots have become unthinkable in today’s society. 80% Of businesses utilize chatbots to engage with their customers, as they have proven to be efficient, cost effective, and convenient. Nevertheless, chatbots can also induce confusion in customers, which is known to affect customer experience (CX) outcomes like satisfaction and loyalty greatly. Businesses often do not know during a CX what kind of thoughts and sensations their chatbot trigger during customer confusion and how this affects business outcomes. This thesis utilizes an Wizard of Oz type of participant study to research the mediating effect of sensation and thoughts on the relationship between customer confusion and CX outcomes satisfaction and loyalty. Participants (n = 200) engage with a chatbot during a shopping experience in which confusion is induced. During this, sensation is assessed by measuring gaze behavior with eye tracking and thoughts on the service are estimated by a questionnaire. PLS-SEM analyses results indicate a mediating effect of positive thoughts on the relationship between customer confusion and satisfaction and loyalty, but not of increased gaze behavior. The relationship between customer confusion and gaze behavior was partially significant, meaning that increased gaze behavior is an indicator of customer confusion. In addition, confusion was significantly related to negative thoughts on the automated service. These confirmative as well as new findings indicate that businesses can benefit from evaluating their chatbots by assessing customers thoughts on the CX to increase customer loyalty and satisfaction.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen