BabyBoomers Love Chatbots — 24% more than Millennials

A startling research study may forever change the way we think about age and technology.

State of Chatbots 2018, a joint research project between MyClever, Drift, Salesforce, and SurveyMonkey Audience, found that Baby Boomers are 24% more likely than Millennials to predict that they’d see greater benefit from chatbots in five of the ten uses cases studied.

These findings alter the notion that modern technology is only affecting younger generations.

Baby Boomers see big benefit of chatbots via better service

61% of Baby Boomers see one of the primary benefits of chatbots is their ability to provide instant responses to questions, with only 51% of Millennials in agreement.

The same belief that Baby Boomers see chatbots as more beneficial to servicing the needs of customers was true in four of the five service related questions asked.

For brands, this is great news.

Chatbots could have a serious impact on all customer service needs and open up the doors for progressive new ways to service customers’ needs — even proactively.

A deployment example is to activate the chatbot automatically when a customer is showing signs of “rage clicking.” This is the erratic clicking of the mouse on a screen when something is not happening as the consumer wishes.

Modern chatbots can be triggered by this action, in real time, and propose a likely solution. This type of deployment not only provides 24-hour service, but because it is proactive, it increases the value of the experience.

Baby Boomers believe chatbots are able answers to complex questions

In addition to simply servicing customers, Baby Boomers see the benefit of chatbots when it comes to answering complex questions. 38% of Baby Boomers feel chatbots are good at answering complex questions. Meanwhile, 33% of Millennials agree with this sentiment.

Complex questions are a part of many experiences, including the sales experience.

Guillaume Cabane, former VP of Growth at Segment, used a chatbot to help with their lead qualification and lead generation efforts. The bot was combined with other technologies, allowing it to be deployed only to specific customer segments and paired with the appropriate talk tracks.

After three weeks of deployment, the chatbots became the number one source of leads for Segment and, year-to-date, is the largest single factor of Segments growth. Specifically, engagements have increased by 5X and conversions 2X. The best result, as Guillaume would say, is that “100% of his sales reps now love him.”

All buyers and customers are using chatbots

Baby Boomers see significant value from chatbots. This may be because they have used one recently and had a positive customer experience.

The study found that 15% of all consumers had engaged with a company via chatbot in the past 12 months. It should be noted that only 60% of them said they had engaged with a brands email in that same time frame. So, while the number may seem small, 25% of many brands’ audiences are already engaging via these bots.

Chatbots are only the tip of the iceberg of how consumers and businesses will engage in the future. As more consumers engage via chatbot, it will only be a matter of time before they expect voice assistance, such as Alexa.

CapGemni predicts that in three years, 40% of consumers will use voice assistants instead of a company’s website or mobile app.

According to a study released in 2018, consumers are demanding faster and better experiences. Chatbots are a natural solution.

Chatbots are for more than just service

Chatbots are seeing great results and in many places, far beyond the obvious use of customer service.

In a recent conversation with Jay Baer, he mentioned that he has begun utilizing chatbots as a way of engaging with his audience and distributing content.

His initial findings were that his chatbot is seeing 10X the open rate with content and 5X the engagement with that same content distributed over email.

Don’t assume chatbots are just for responding. They can also be used for proactive content distribution.

As we continue to move into an increasingly technological society, we must not let our old ideas of consumer behavior stand in our way. Studies, like this one, clearly show all demographics are finding value with chatbots in many different ways.

Moving forward, all brands — regardless of their target market or demographic — should look to identify places where chatbots can be used and begin to deploy them immediately.

Director of Market Strategy @Salesforce, Author of The Context Marketing Revolution (HBR 20), and contributor to Forbes, AdAge. Covering the Future of Marketing

Director of Market Strategy @Salesforce, Author of The Context Marketing Revolution (HBR 20), and contributor to Forbes, AdAge. Covering the Future of Marketing