What Consumers are Saying About AI and Customer Service


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These days, everybody in business is talking about AI. We’re inundated with research and data about the percentages of people who report this or that about it, especially as it has begun to be employed in customer service use cases. But what do consumers SAY about AI, and how do they think it will affect them?

To uncover some details, my team fielded a short survey about AI, including two open-ended questions where they were invited to tell us “How will AI make your life better in the future?” and “How will AI make your life worse in the future?” We got 594 responders. People had a lot to say. Typically, about 20-25% of people start taking surveys and drop off for whatever reason. But in this case, 96% provided answers. I’ve grouped a selection of these into broad categories to give you a collective sense of what we heard. At the end of this post, I’ll provide some takeaways.


Our 594 respondents shared lots of positive comments. Some were already using AI and liked its performance. Others expected it to accelerate the speed of getting through to customer service and getting answers to simple questions. They had some interesting hopes about how AI can make getting help easier by simplifying log-in or auto-filling forms. Quite a few also pointed to potential benefits for seniors struggling with simple and complex technology challenges.

Some are Already Having Positive Experiences with AI

Many people noted their past familiarity with AI through assistants like Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant. Some also referenced specific tools like photo editors. These people generally gave AI more positive scores in our survey data than those without such experience.

“I absolutely abuse the ability to have Siri set timers, reminders, and turn on my flashlight when my hands are full. I get distracted by the flow of everyday activities and chores, so being able to load the dryer and say, “Hey, set a timer for 45 minutes,” while starting in on dishes and then not having to think about it is really helpful and gives me a little peace of mind. (Unfortunately, Siri has yet to have snooze settings on the timers that consist of her saying, “Oi, human, your clothes aren’t going to fold themselves!”
“My Alexa does my shopping.”
“I have Alexa and Siri. They do make life simpler.”
“My Googler is always listening. Hey Google, order laundry detergent. It helps me a lot. It helps my kids do their homework.”
“I look better in photos with an AI filter (only positive experience I have had with AI so far.)
“It already helps me write letters to parents of my students.”
“Give me back ability to walk after neurogenic disease.”

Many Expect AI will Speed Interactions

We received many comments from people who believed that AI will help them get answers to their questions faster. Since one of the biggest complaints about reaching out for customer service is long wait times, this is a potentially compelling story that will help drive AI adoption:

“AI will do routine tasks for me and provide me with more free time both in my personal life and on the job, too.”
“I think Phone call questions might be answered quicker.”
“AI will speed up perfunctory interactions.”
“I’m looking fwd to it making customer service easier. Faster service.”
“Faster response time. That’s the big advantage.”
“already means lower wait times and faster service.”

Hopes that AI Will Make Mundane Tasks Easier

We received a number of comments that specifically called out how AI might make tasks like logging in or inputting information into forms easier. Even some of those reluctant to use AI assistants said they’d like AI to reduce or eliminate drudge tasks. For example, face-based login is increasingly common in customer interactions with banks, insurance companies, and telecom companies.

“I would love it if my phone was better at identifying the input field or set of fields to auto-enter my address, a credit card, or default to a number pad when the field requires numerical data.”
“I like logging in with my face.”
“It can read your face and verify your identity.”
“With my bank I just look at the screen and it logs me in. I love that.”
“If it does those mundane things, I love that.”
“Fill in my address etc. That’s good”

Dealing with Hard-to-Understand Agents

About 5% of our respondents said AI voice assistance and chatbots would make it easier for them to understand information versus speaking to people with challenging accents or when using bad overseas (VOIP) connections.

“I know they are trying but [overseas operators] can be hard to understand.”
“The lines are usually terrible and there is a delay. AI wouldn’t have.”
“Less reliance on overseas agents (those who don’t speak my language fluently.)”

AI May Help Elderly Customers Face Simple Challenges

Several older respondents said AI would help them with tasks they may find difficult as they age. This was not something we expected, and we took note because it appears to be an interesting message to reach out with to those older customers who may be reluctant to try AI tools like assistants.

“AI would be helpful as I get older to help with finding information online.”
“When a person starts to get Alzheimer’s, it will be very beneficial.”
“It would be patient. I am not good with computers because I didn’t grow [up with them.]”
“With sight things. And finding. I find it difficult to find links and information on web pages. AI might help?”
“Would help in finding online. But has to be accurate.”
“Hopefully [it will] help seniors better live.”
“I gave my Mom Alexa so it can help her keep track of grocery lists. It helps her not to forget.”


In the negative column, our respondents had a range of concerns, from fear of new technology and compromised data to worries about job loss and accuracy failures. About 5% of respondents also volunteered that they have had bad experiences with AI assistants, though I expect some of these may relate to non-AI chatbots.

Don’t Like the Idea of AI Replacing Human Interactions

We saw a number of responses expressing generalized fear about the impact of AI technology and the loss of human interaction. Others pointed to too great a dependence on technology. These comments were more common from older respondents.

“For simple things I think they are ok, but I think you lose some closeness of the company with Ai.”
“The possibility of AI having harmful effects is real. Not enough is known.”
“As we become more dependent on AI we will become less tolerant of live people and less practiced at true social interaction. We are biologically programmed to be social beings and with more and more interaction with AI and less with live people, our mental and physical health will suffer.”
“you will lose out on the human touch and understanding of questions you may have and problems that you may face.”
“I don’t want to be controlled by artificial intelligence. These new smart phones are making people more stupid, losing skills they should know. If this keeps up AI will control everything and everyone.”

Fear of Malware and Privacy Breaches

As with many forms of digital technology, many respondents expressed fears that hacks and data breaches would increase with greater usage of AI. This is an intriguing area because, on the surface, it would seem that AI could offer greater privacy and security than live agents, especially if they are working for home, which is increasingly common. However, the scale and severity of recent data breaches may be contributing to this fear.

“Privacy and hacking and identity theft and fraud. Clever criminals will find a way to subvert good intentions. Anonymity is frightening online.”
“I’m not completely sure that it will make my life better. There could always be an AI breakdown or malfunction. Not 100% on board with AI I’m afraid. It will need a Lot of testing!”
“People will not rely on other humans as much to the detriment of social interactions. Jobs will be eliminated. I will not be able to find a person with empathy or regard my feelings. AIs would create fear in our lives.”
“Increasing amount of personal data to security risks, dealing with super-annoying AI assts that are not yet smart enough.”
“Worried unless there is a hack/virus that gets into the AI system, similar to when you get a virus in your computer. I hope that there will be security built into this technology that is similar to security suites of products that I use for my computers, tablets and phones.”

Some Bad Early Experiences

We received about twenty comments that mentioned bad experiences with AI assistants. Typically, they focused on a limited range of available answers and the need to escalate to live agents. While AI assistants are constantly getting better, early bad experiences make people slower to adopt AI tools over time.

“Well, I can tell you I have had to use or try to use the virtual assistant or the chat assistant and they are more frustrating than trying to understand someone with a very thick accent. It’s a total waste of time.”
“Chat bots suck. They know like three things. Anything else is sorry I can’t help.”
“Ugh! ‘Is your question about your bill?’ When my question has nothing to do with my bill. ‘I didn’t understand, can you repeat your question with different words?’ Ugh!”
“I am not stupid. I call when I have a question that I can’t get an answer to on the website. My questions don’t fit into one of their five choices.”

Fear of Job Loss

A sizable portion of our respondents are concerned that AI will lead to job loss and increased unemployment. Some were worried about their jobs, while others pointed to unemployment as bad for society.

“Not sure, it worries me a bit. Jobs will/are being lost!”
“AI are iffy. Do not want people losing jobs because of companies using more AI”
“I think AI will continue to make things worse. They take jobs away from real people!”
“Millions will lose jobs.”
“People with desk jobs will lose them. Not people like me.”
“People need to be paid so they can feed their families, pay their rent and other bills, and do what they need.”
“Less jobs will make economy worse. I guess we will see!”
“We need to put America back to work. Not computers.”

Concerns about Accuracy

Perhaps in part because of many recent press reports, we saw many comments concerned about the accuracy of information that AI assistants would provide. As the industry gets better at ensuring data and information accuracy, this may change. But the publicly surrounding incidents with Google, Chat GPT/Bing, and Air Canada, to name just three, doesn’t help make people more receptive.

“They’re struggling to make sure that AI is providing the correct information, and not just information that seems correct on the surface.”
“You hear about what they say is not true.”
“I don’t know that I could trust this new AI stuff.”


Research like this is qualitative versus quantitative, but it may provide a view into how people feel about AI and how it will be used in how they interact with most. Clearly, there are some positive touchpoints that can help companies drive greater adoptions. Who among us, after all, doesn’t want to save a little time logging in and filling out forms? I was also intrigued by the idea of AI being an asset for seniors as they age. Some things get harder as we age, and focusing AI on those challenges can be beneficial.

On the flip side, many seem concerned about AI used to eliminate jobs or access to live customer support. Every technological change drives some disruption. However, we must also recognize that AI can be used for much more than just replacing a live operator. By aligning our strategies with making the mundane tasks of customer service and experience less time-consuming and unpleasant, we can make AI a plus for even consumers reluctant to use something like a chatbot. This is a critical lesson since we are all in the business of pleasing customers.

Ori Faran, Ph.D.
After serving as an engineer and professional services manager at Cosmocom and Enghouse Interactive, Dr. Ori Faran in 2012 founded Callvu to help companies build easy-to-use digital experiences that automate customer service through seamless self-serve and agent-led interactions. He continues to serve Callvu as CEO. (For a time he ran the company under the name 'FICX,' but he brought back the original name.) In 2023 Dr. Faran earned a Ph.D. in Management and Business Administration from the Swiss Management Center, formerly known as SMC University.


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