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Article
Publication date: 20 October 2021

Rania Badr Mostafa and Tamara Kasamani

Artificial intelligence chatbots are shifting the nature of online services by revolutionizing the interactions of service providers with consumers. Thus, this study aims…

Abstract

Purpose

Artificial intelligence chatbots are shifting the nature of online services by revolutionizing the interactions of service providers with consumers. Thus, this study aims to explore the antecedents (e.g. compatibility, perceived ease of use, performance expectancy and social influence) and consequences (e.g. chatbot usage intention and customer engagement) of chatbot initial trust.

Design/methodology/approach

A sample of 184 responses was collected in Lebanon using a questionnaire and analyzed using structural equation modeling (SEM) by AMOS 24.

Findings

The results revealed that except for performance expectancy, all the other three factors (compatibility, perceived ease of use and social influence) significantly boost customers’ initial trust toward chatbots. Further, initial trust in chatbots enhances the intention to use chatbots and encourages customer engagement.

Research limitations/implications

The study provides insights into some variables influencing initial chatbot trust. Future studies could extend the model by adding other variables (e.g. customer experience and attitude), in addition to exploring the dark side of artificial intelligence chatbots.

Practical implications

This study suggests key insights for marketing managers on how to build chatbot initial trust, which, in turn, will lead to an increase in customers’ interactions with the brand.

Originality/value

The current study marks substantial contributions to the artificial intelligence marketing literature by proposing and testing a novel conceptual model that examines for the first time the factors that impact chatbot initial trust and the key outcomes of the latter.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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Article
Publication date: 4 August 2021

Jano Jiménez-Barreto, Natalia Rubio and Sebastian Molinillo

Drawing on the self-determination theory, the assemblage theory and customer experience literature, this paper aims to develop a framework to understand motivational…

Abstract

Purpose

Drawing on the self-determination theory, the assemblage theory and customer experience literature, this paper aims to develop a framework to understand motivational customer experiences with chatbots.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper uses a multimethod approach to examine the interaction between individuals and airlines’ chatbots. Three components of self-determined interaction with the chatbot (competence, autonomy and relatedness) and five components of the customer–chatbot experience (sensory, intellectual, affective, behavioral and social) are analyzed qualitatively and quantitatively.

Findings

The findings confirm the direct influence of self-determined interaction on customer experience and the direct effects of these two constructs on participants’ attitudes toward and satisfaction with the chatbot. The model also supports the mediating roles of customer experience and attitude toward the chatbot.

Practical implications

This paper offers managers a broad understanding of individuals’ interactions with chatbots through three elements: motivation to use chatbots, experiential responses and individuals’ valuation of whether the interactions have amplified (or limited) the outcomes obtained from the experience.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to the hospitality and tourism literature with a hybrid approach that reflects on current theoretical developments regarding human- and interaction-centric interpretations of customer experience with chatbots.

Details

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, vol. 33 no. 11
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-6119

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Article
Publication date: 17 August 2021

Sut Ieng Lei, Haili Shen and Shun Ye

Chatbot users’ communication experience with disembodied conversational agents was compared with instant messaging (IM) users’ communication experience with human…

Abstract

Purpose

Chatbot users’ communication experience with disembodied conversational agents was compared with instant messaging (IM) users’ communication experience with human conversational agents. The purpose of this paper is to identify what affects users’ intention to reuse and whether they perceive any difference between the two.

Design/methodology/approach

A conceptual model was developed based on computer-mediated communication (CMC) and interpersonal communication theories. Data were collected online from four different continents (North America, Europe, Asia and Australia). Partial least squares structural equation modeling was applied to examine the research model.

Findings

The findings mainly reveal that media richness and social presence positively influence trust and reuse intention through task attraction and social attraction; IM users reported significantly higher scores in terms of communication experience, perceived attractiveness of the conversational agent, and trust than chatbot users; users’ trust in the conversational agents is mainly determined by perceived task attraction.

Research limitations/implications

Customers’ evaluation of the communication environment is positively related to their perceived competence of the conversational agent which ultimately affect their intention to reuse chatbot/IM. The findings reveal determinants of chatbot/IM adoption which have rarely been mentioned by previous work.

Practical implications

Practitioners should note that consumers in general still prefer to interact with human conversational agents. Practitioners should contemplate how to combine chatbot and human resources effectively to deliver the best customer service.

Originality/value

This study goes beyond the Computer as Social Actor paradigm and Technology Acceptance Model to understand chatbot and IM adoption. It is among one of the first studies that compare chatbot and IM use experience in the tourism and hospitality literature.

Details

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, vol. 33 no. 11
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-6119

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 26 July 2021

Pavel Kostelník and František Dařena

Current possibilities of accessing business data by regular users usually involve complicated user interfaces or require technical expertise. This results in situations…

Abstract

Purpose

Current possibilities of accessing business data by regular users usually involve complicated user interfaces or require technical expertise. This results in situations when business owners are separated from their data. The aim of this research is to apply an innovative approach leveraging conversational interfaces to tackle this problem.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors examine the current possibilities of accessing business data by business, users with an emphasis on conversational interfaces employing a chatbot as an alternative to traditional approaches. The authors propose a new concept relying on a guided conversation, and through experiments with a real chatbot and database, the authors demonstrate the benefits of the proposed approach.

Findings

The authors found out that the key to the success of our approach is a decomposition of complex database queries and their incremental construction in conversations. This also enables natural discovery of the domain model through constantly provided feedback. Based on the experiments with a real chatbot, the authors demonstrate that defining conversation flows and maintaining the conversation context is a crucial aspect contributing to the overall accuracy, together with keeping the conversation within the defined limits in its certain parts.

Originality/value

The authors present a novel approach using natural language interfaces for accessing data by business users. In contrast to existing approaches, the authors emphasize incremental construction of queries, predefined conversation flows and constraining the conversations, when necessary.

Details

Data Technologies and Applications, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2514-9288

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Article
Publication date: 3 June 2021

Yang Cheng and Hua Jiang

This study aims to explore the role of artificial intelligence (AI)-powered chatbot marketing efforts (CMEs) in the establishment of relationships between brands and their…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to explore the role of artificial intelligence (AI)-powered chatbot marketing efforts (CMEs) in the establishment of relationships between brands and their customers, extending the link between relationship marketing and online consumer behavioral intentions.

Design/methodology/approach

Data are collected from 1,072 customers in the USA, who used chatbot marketing activities from any of 30 brands leading their industries in messaging innovation. Structural equation modeling is used for data analysis.

Findings

Results show that interaction, information, accessibility, entertainment and customization are important CMEs components. CMEs have significant direct effects on the quality of communication with chatbot agents and indirectly affect customer–brand relationships (CBR) and customer response. In addition, the findings demonstrate that CBR mediates the association between communication quality and customer response.

Originality/value

Implications of this study can enable practitioners to understand the effects of AI on user experiences and provide a guide for the development of CMEs strategies and relationship building.

Details

Journal of Product & Brand Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1061-0421

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 19 May 2021

Abdulazeez Abdulquadri, Emmanuel Mogaji, Tai Anh Kieu and Nguyen Phong Nguyen

Recognising the high numbers of unbanked and financially excluded adults in Nigeria, this study aims to position chatbot as a digital transformation tool to radically…

Abstract

Purpose

Recognising the high numbers of unbanked and financially excluded adults in Nigeria, this study aims to position chatbot as a digital transformation tool to radically change business model, improve customer experience and enhance financial inclusion in emerging markets.

Design/methodology/approach

The Search-Access-Test (S-A-T) model was adopted to understand how Nigerian banks are adopting chatbots.

Findings

A majority of Nigerian banks now have chatbots that enhance customer engagement and financial inclusion. WhatsApp was the most frequently used platform. Chatbots were often branded and presented with female gender identification. The chatbots were less responsive beyond their predefined path. While Nigeria is a multilingual country with English being the original language, none of the chatbots used any of the Nigerian’s local languages.

Practical implications

Brands need to re-evaluate their chatbots with regard to responsiveness, predefined questions, verification and privacy. There are also possibilities of branding the chatbot and developing content creation strategies for proper engagement. Beyond English, the integration of African languages into chatbot is essential for digital transformation. Digital literacy and skills, particularly in the field of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, should be supported to equip future developers and create more jobs.

Originality/value

While many theoretically based models for investigating the adoption of digital technologies have often placed focus on users’ ability to engage, this study takes an alternative perspective; by using the S-A-T model, it lays the responsibilities on the banks and chatbot developer to ensure that their chatbots are secure, responsive and able to meet the needs of the customers.

Details

Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy, vol. 15 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6204

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Article
Publication date: 17 June 2021

Nika Mozafari, Welf H. Weiger and Maik Hammerschmidt

Chatbots are increasingly prevalent in the service frontline. Due to advancements in artificial intelligence, chatbots are often indistinguishable from humans. Regarding…

Abstract

Purpose

Chatbots are increasingly prevalent in the service frontline. Due to advancements in artificial intelligence, chatbots are often indistinguishable from humans. Regarding the question whether firms should disclose their chatbots' nonhuman identity or not, previous studies find negative consumer reactions to chatbot disclosure. By considering the role of trust and service-related context factors, this study explores how negative effects of chatbot disclosure for customer retention can be prevented.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper presents two experimental studies that examine the effect of disclosing the nonhuman identity of chatbots on customer retention. While the first study examines the effect of chatbot disclosure for different levels of service criticality, the second study considers different service outcomes. The authors employ analysis of covariance and mediation analysis to test their hypotheses.

Findings

Chatbot disclosure has a negative indirect effect on customer retention through mitigated trust for services with high criticality. In cases where a chatbot fails to handle the customer's service issue, disclosing the chatbot identity not only lacks negative impact but even elicits a positive effect on retention.

Originality/value

The authors provide evidence that customers will react differently to chatbot disclosure depending on the service frontline setting. They show that chatbot disclosure does not only have undesirable consequences as previous studies suspect but can lead to positive reactions as well. By doing so, the authors draw a more balanced picture on the consequences of chatbot disclosure.

Details

Journal of Service Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-5818

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 7 May 2021

Ja-Shen Chen, Tran-Thien-Y Le and Devina Florence

The rapid evolution in artificial intelligence (AI) has redefined the customer experience and created huge opportunities for companies to interact with customers using…

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1451

Abstract

Purpose

The rapid evolution in artificial intelligence (AI) has redefined the customer experience and created huge opportunities for companies to interact with customers using chatbots. This study explores the role of AI chatbots in influencing the online customer experience and customer satisfaction in e-retailing.

Design/methodology/approach

A research model based on the technology acceptance model and information system success model is proposed to describe the interrelationships among chatbot adoption, online customer experience and customer satisfaction. Personality is a moderator in the model. The authors used a quantitative approach to collect 425 useable online questionnaires and Statistical Product and Service Solutions (SPSS) and SmartPLS to analyze the measurement model and proposed hypotheses.

Findings

The usability of the chatbot had a positive influence on extrinsic values of customer experience, whereas the responsiveness of the chatbot had a positive impact on intrinsic values of customer experience. Furthermore, online customer experience had a positive relationship with customer satisfaction, and personality influenced the relationship between the usability of the chatbot and extrinsic values of customer experience.

Originality/value

This research extends understanding of the online customer experience with chatbots in e-retailing and provides empirical evidence by showing that extrinsic and intrinsic values of online customer experience are enhanced by chatbot adoption.

Details

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, vol. 49 no. 11
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-0552

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 18 June 2021

Wan-Hsiu Sunny Tsai, Yu Liu and Ching-Hua Chuan

This study presents one of the earliest empirical investigations on how brand chatbots' anthropomorphic design and social presence communication strategies may improve…

Abstract

Purpose

This study presents one of the earliest empirical investigations on how brand chatbots' anthropomorphic design and social presence communication strategies may improve consumer evaluation outcomes via the mediators of parasocial interaction and perceived dialogue.

Design/methodology/approach

This study employs a 2 (high vs. low social presence communication) by 2 (anthropomorphic vs. non-anthropomorphic bot profile) between-subject experimental design to evaluate how chatbots' high social presence communication and anthropomorphic profile design may enhance perceptions of parasocial interactions and dialogue with the chatbot, which in turn drive user engagement, interaction satisfaction and attitude toward the represented brand.

Findings

The influences of chatbots' high social presence communication on consumer engagement outcomes are mediated by perceived parasocial interaction and dialogue. Additionally, chatbots' anthropomorphic profile design can boost the positive effects of social presence communication via the psychological mediators.

Originality/value

This study advances the interactive marketing literature by focusing on an emerging interactive technology, chatbots. Additionally, distinct from prior chatbot studies that focused on the utilitarian use of chatbots for online customer support, this study not only examines which factors of chatbot communication and profile design may drive chatbot effectiveness but also examines the mechanism underlying the messaging and design effects on consumer engagement. The findings highlight the mediating role of interpersonal factors of parasocial interaction and perceived dialogue.

Details

Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing, vol. 15 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7122

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 12 July 2021

Xusen Cheng, Ying Bao, Alex Zarifis, Wankun Gong and Jian Mou

Artificial intelligence (AI)-based chatbots have brought unprecedented business potential. This study aims to explore consumers' trust and response to a text-based chatbot

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1398

Abstract

Purpose

Artificial intelligence (AI)-based chatbots have brought unprecedented business potential. This study aims to explore consumers' trust and response to a text-based chatbot in e-commerce, involving the moderating effects of task complexity and chatbot identity disclosure.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey method with 299 useable responses was conducted in this research. This study adopted the ordinary least squares regression to test the hypotheses.

Findings

First, the consumers' perception of both the empathy and friendliness of the chatbot positively impacts their trust in it. Second, task complexity negatively moderates the relationship between friendliness and consumers' trust. Third, disclosure of the text-based chatbot negatively moderates the relationship between empathy and consumers' trust, while it positively moderates the relationship between friendliness and consumers' trust. Fourth, consumers' trust in the chatbot increases their reliance on the chatbot and decreases their resistance to the chatbot in future interactions.

Research limitations/implications

Adopting the stimulus–organism–response (SOR) framework, this study provides important insights on consumers' perception and response to the text-based chatbot. The findings of this research also make suggestions that can increase consumers' positive responses to text-based chatbots.

Originality/value

Extant studies have investigated the effects of automated bots' attributes on consumers' perceptions. However, the boundary conditions of these effects are largely ignored. This research is one of the first attempts to provide a deep understanding of consumers' responses to a chatbot.

Details

Internet Research, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1066-2243

Keywords

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