A recent study found that 91% of businesses feel positive about using AI to engage customers, but only half of consumers feel the same.

Amid all the hoopla over artificial intelligence and what it can mean for commerce, businesses are all in for AI, according to a recent survey of 504 executives. 91% of those executives said they “feel positive” about using AI to engage customers.

Too bad consumers don’t feel the same. The study also surveyed 1,505 consumers, and only half said they had a positive feeling about using AI to engage with a business.

The study, “State of Customer Conversations 2024: Bridging the AI Gap,” was commissioned by LivePerson and conducted in November by research firm PureSpectrum. LivePerson is a provider of AI-enhanced chatbots and other customer service products.

“We’re at a pivotal moment where brands need to start bridging the gap between today’s costly, call-driven contact center and the digital-first, AI-empowered contact center of the future,” Nirali Amin, LivePerson’s senior vice president of global solutions and success, says in the report.

“This difference of opinion between businesses and their customers is an important part of the emerging ‘AI gap’ that stems from the average consumer’s unfamiliarity and lack of clarity about how AI can be used to create better outcomes,” the report says.


Businesses need to ‘lean in’ to conversations with customers

The report adds, “Businesses need to lean into their conversations and uncover the biggest needs and wants of their customers. AI-empowered conversational intelligence tools help businesses mine their conversation data — the actual words and intents customers are sharing across communication channels — for actionable insights.

“Once businesses understand what customers are asking them, they can use these insights to set the flywheel in motion. Beyond customer service interactions, these insights can influence decision-making across the business, from product and marketing to finance and legal, helping businesses identify opportunities and solve problems at the source.”

Liz Ferriter, global lead of channel partnerships for Google’s Business Messages, says in the report: “88% of internet users say they prefer to connect with brands via messaging over other contact channels. We expect significant session growth in the message channel in 2024.”


The study found these percentages of consumers giving the following reasons why they’d be more likely to purchase from a company:

  • 82% – A company lets them send a text message for information.
  • 73% – The company’s AI is supervised and managed by human agents that customers can contact directly.
  • 68% – AI can help complete purchases.
  • 53% – AI can predict what kinds of products and services a customer wants.

When the survey asked business executives, “What problems do you think AI-powered assistant can help solve for you as a company?” it received the following percentages of replies:

  • 67% – Providing faster information/answers.
  • 53% – Providing more accurate information/answers.
  • 41% – Providing more personalized information/answers.
  • 62% – Reducing long wait times.
  • 42% – Creating a more consistent customer experience.
  • 28% – Reducing operational costs.

The report notes that businesses and consumers in the surveys agreed that companies should not “pretend your AI is human.”

95% of consumers and 97% of business executives said they “believe it’s important for a business to disclose whether a human agent or AI is behind the conversation,” the surveys found.


Paul Demery is a Digital Commerce 360 contributing editor covering B2B digital commerce technology and strategy. [email protected].

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