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Can AI chatbots help retain customers? Impact of AI service quality on customer loyalty

Qian Chen (Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan, China)
Yaobin Lu (Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China)
Yeming Gong (Emlyon Business School, Ecully, France)
Jie Xiong (ESSCA School of Management, Angers, France)

Internet Research

ISSN: 1066-2243

Article publication date: 17 January 2023

184

Abstract

Purpose

This study investigates whether and how the service quality of artificial intelligence (AI) chatbots affects customer loyalty to an organization.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on the sequential chain model of service quality loyalty, this study first classifies AI chatbot service quality into nine attributes and then develops a research model to explore the internal mechanism of how AI chatbot service quality affects customer loyalty. The analysis of survey data from 459 respondents provided insights into the interrelationships among AI chatbot service quality attributes, perceived value, cognitive and affective trust, satisfaction and customer loyalty.

Findings

The results show that AI chatbot service quality positively affects customer loyalty through perceived value, cognitive trust, affective trust and satisfaction.

Originality/value

This study captures the attributes of the service quality of AI chatbots and reveals the significant influence of service quality on customer loyalty. This study develops research on service quality in the information system (IS) field and extends the sequential chain model of quality loyalty to the context of AI services. The findings not only help an organization find a way to improve customers' perceived value, trust, satisfaction and loyalty but also provide guidance in the development, adoption, and post-adoption stages of AI chatbots.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors thank the constructive comments and suggestions from editors and reviewers. This work was supported by a grant from the NSFC (number 72001085, 71810107003 and 72271107), NSSFC (number 18ZDA109), the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (number 2662021JGQD006 and 2662021JGPYH01). Yeming GONG is supported by the AIM Institute and BIC Center.

Citation

Chen, Q., Lu, Y., Gong, Y. and Xiong, J. (2023), "Can AI chatbots help retain customers? Impact of AI service quality on customer loyalty", Internet Research, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/INTR-09-2021-0686

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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