Chatbots Can Make as Many Sales as Humans

But there's an ethical catch to it, new study finds

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Chatbots can match the performance of proficient human salespeople—or outperform inexperienced ones fourfold—but only when customers are unaware they are conversing with artificial intelligence.

That was the conclusion of a recent study published in academic journal Marketing Science in which researchers analyzed field data from outbound sales calls between bots or sales reps and 6,200 randomized customers of an anonymous Asia-based financial services company. They found that the customers tended to grow curt when informed upfront of the bot’s presence, and that such disclosures led to an 80% drop in sales.

“They

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