Do millennials prefer talking to bots over humans?

The direction of technology for the next 15 years is going to be determined by the current generation of millennials. As the first generation to truly grow up with the Internet, there is an ingrained understanding of how technology will help solve problems that were previously considered unsolvable. The concept of learning through human interaction or a manual is long gone, with millennials preferring to interact with a non-human bot that instantly answers their questions while providing a familiar user-interface. According to Gartner Research, “By 2020, consumers will handle 85% of their engagement with businesses without ever interacting with another human being.”

No previous generation has had so much information available at a moment’s notice through a smartphone or laptop, most of it being free and open source. Any time spent sending an email, calling someone on the phone, or looking up manuals and finding the right solution is considered a waste. Chatbots, therefore, are a viable solution for instant access to solutions for a variety of questions and topics. They can be uploaded with FAQs and trained using AI to learn and adapt to different people and their language patterns. Calling a customer-support hotline, having to listen to elevator music while rehearsing the question multiple times, and dealing with a phone operator who inevitably puts you on hold is an experience of the past.

Millennials are also more interested in using and adapting to new technologies more than any previous generation. Chatbots are being equipped to handle complex interactions with customers, especially as the fields of artificial intelligence and natural language processing grow. NLP chatbots are more likely to engage with customers in a quicker, healthier way than a static website with several buttons, increasing user engagement and retention. Simply put, the more steps required in finding a solution, the less likely a millennial is to continue using that resource.

The applications don’t stop with finding solutions; chatbots are being used in digital marketing for lead generation and for transactional purposes, from ordering a pizza to paying bills. The future of interactions between people and technology is changing at breakneck speeds and the implementation of artificial intelligence in every IoT device is around the corner. It’s time companies put less time and money into slow and cumbersome human support and embrace chatbots.

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Written by Adithya, a millennial