Survey Chatbots: The future of Qualitative Research

Survey Chatbots: The future of Qualitative Research

While chatbots are becoming more popular on websites and social media contact applications, 60 % of customers prefer to wait in a queue to speak to a human agent over communicating with a chatbot, which brings us to the all-important issue, are Survey Chatbots coming of age or are they aging out of all utility?

The concept of using chatbots for surveys is also an interesting one; it can be useful to use a computer that participants can communicate with in real-time, assessing their intentions and feelings of a website, brand, or service as they use it. But have we grown them to the point that the potential they offer can be taken full advantage of?

The interactive aspect currently provides both participants and the insight practitioners who use the data with an engaging opportunity. Although surveys are very interactive, a chatbot's user interface allows for more of a survey of the give-and - take, conversational type that allows participants to engage in the casual atmosphere a little more. And the chatbot itself will formulate and customize the next question based on the answer given beforehand, based on the algorithm you use. With this sort of non-traditional style survey, response rates would increase as it allows a partnership between the respondent and the chatbot to develop and, by extension, the investigators / brand conducting the survey.

Chatbots are not just website features anymore, they can also be integrated into messaging apps such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Snapchat, and more to reach a broader audience that, unless they know who's calling, normally does not read emails outside of work or answer their phone. For insight practitioners, this greater convergence is of immense value, since we now have direct access to generations on their own terms.

Survey chatbots are usually used to collect data for user metric analysis and lead generation, but there are survey chatbots that have been developed for more specific research purposes (or are currently in development) that can be incorporated into other communication-based software tools for easy dissemination and participation.

But while chatbot capabilities have evolved, how much do consumers trust chatbots is another important question to consider? And if the trust isn't there, then they won't be used by customers at all. We are able to chat with a bot for basic inquiries, according to a study conducted by User like, but we like to know for certain that it is a bout with whom we interact; when they start behaving like humans, it is seen as misleading and the confidence in them decreases significantly.

Although somewhat picky, this sentiment is genuinely rooted in the need for openness and equal footing. It seems realistic that with experiments in improving chatbot algorithms and the language they use, it might get to a point where we're not sure whether we're talking to a person or an algorithm, this layer of unpredictability is something that customers find deceitful on the part of the business.

What lays in the future?

If the surveys are simultaneously tailored and sufficiently generalized, this more immersive and immediate way of delivering surveys in real time has the potential to produce some brilliant insights. But this ability is completely related to opening up the chatbots to customer data in a secure way, analysing human responses and learning how to personalize and humanize yourself more to predict responses, responding to questions and responses as we as humans would, and therefore becoming more useful in the data collection phase of the survey.

We also have to take into account whether they are going to be used as standard research tools, so it will be worth the time and effort we spend on them. At the moment, it is mostly the younger, more tech-savvy generations that communicate with chatbots, while email and telephone are still being used by the older generations. Depending on who the target audience is, chatbot research tools might not be useful at all no matter how developed they become.

Some claim that they are irritating little pop-ups that just interfere and detract from the intent of the visit, with contrasting views on the merits and future of chatbots, and others seeing the potential they carry as real-time data collectors for insight professionals to take into account their analyses, we find ourselves with a few paths to take:

1.       This is where we take the plunge and allow survey chatbots to create more personalized experiences with respondents based on their responses to their next questions. This is going to be a difficult trip, as we need to make sure that this information is not distorted, skewed, and compromised like the Twitter bot Tay from Microsoft. Microsoft's Tay, the most serious example of chatbot corruption, was a Twitter bot that learned to be totally compromised by them in less than 24 hours while chatting with other users.

2.       This is where we find other ways to attempt to configure chatbot experiences without opening up the algorithm to participant intervention. This may be due to extensive in-house growth, with more datasets to extend the range of responses that the bot deems acceptable given the survey parameters. Although at the moment we have a semblance of control over survey chatbots, if we want to enable further customization and personalization in their responses, then we need to be sure that as it learns, it will not be corrupted by research prejudices.

3.       It's where we learn that chatbots have been running their course, they're as helpful as they're ever going to be, and while they're nice tools to use while we have the networks to support them, other interactive survey tools will come along and replace them soon enough.