EOS Chatbot Survey 2021: Two-thirds of German companies already using chatbots in customer service

  • Two out of three European companies in the B2C segment use chatbots in their communication with customers
  • Almost one in two customer inquiries are already being resolved completely by the bot
  • The pressure is mounting: 61 percent are convinced that in the long term, every large company will need to offer a chatbot

Kloten/Hamburg November 17, 2021 – During the pandemic, enabling fast and direct contact to customer service was a challenge due to short-time working or lack of human resources. As a result, chatbots gained in importance yet again, as a recent survey in 14 European countries by financial services provider and investor EOS shows. According to the survey, chatbots are already being used in two out of three companies in the B2C segment. The survey also revealed that chatbots account for 30 percent of digital communication with customers, and that almost every second inquiry addressed to a chatbot is fully resolved by it. EOS is also using these digital helpers. Chatbots are already in use and communicating with defaulting payers at the company’s national subsidiaries in Croatia, France and Belgium.

“Since the rollout of our chatbot Tom, the number of calls to the service center has gone down,” says Wesley van de Walle, project manager at EOS Contentia in Belgium. “On average, Tom has more than 300 conversations a month with defaulting payers on simple matters. Since its last software update, the bot has also been connected directly to our debt collection system and can now process personal data. Following an authentication process, users can request information on their level of debt, due date of the next payment, or costs incurred. It offers genuine added value,” says van de Walle.

Chatbots especially popular in Poland and Switzerland 

The survey found differences among European countries in the use of the technology: Whereas in Poland and Switzerland chatbots are highly popular, with usage rates of more than 70 percent, companies in France (54 percent) and Russia (46 percent) are still somewhat more reticent when it comes to chatbots. At present, the digital helpers are being used mainly for the initial contact (97 percent), followed by customer service (51 percent) and product advice (39 percent).

What challenges are still holding chatbots back

The companies polled identified data privacy constraints (70 percent), followed by the necessary revision of their data structures (59 percent), as the greatest impediments to the use of chatbots. Investment costs, on the other hand, were rarely an obstacle: Only 27 percent of the companies regarded the costs of introducing a chatbot as ‘high’, and only three percent decided not to use the technology for cost reasons.

Increasingly smart chatbots: A technology with a future

The EOS Chatbot Survey 2021 found that at present, companies are mainly using bots with mid-range intelligence (57 percent) to preselect topics and handle sub-tasks. And it’s not just EOS experts who think that this intelligence level needs to continue to improve in the next few years; 88 percent of survey respondents are planning to further develop their company’s bots. Respondents from all countries agree that the importance of chatbots, and their acceptance by customers, will continue to increase in the next two years. 61 percent of respondents are also convinced that in the medium term, every large company should be offering a chatbot.

About the representative EOS Chatbot Survey 2021

The representative EOS Survey was conducted in 14 European countries in the period April to June 2021. In partnership with market research company Kantar, computer-assisted phone interviews were conducted with 200 B2C companies in each country. The total 2,800 decision-makers from Germany, Denmark, Belgium, Switzerland, Spain, France, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania and Russia answered questions e.g. on the use of chatbots, their acceptance by users, and the potential opportunities for the future.

You can download the survey report with infographics at: Chatbot survey 2021.

About EOS Group

The EOS Group is a leading technology-driven financial investor and an expert in the processing of outstanding receivables. The company's core business is the purchase of unsecured and secured debt portfolios. With over 45 years of experience, EOS offers some 20,000 customers in 26 countries around the world smart services for all their receivables management needs. Its key target sectors are banking, real estate, telecommunications, utilities and e-commerce. EOS employs more than 6,800 people and is part of the Otto Group.

For more information on EOS Group, please go to: www.eos-solutions.com

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