University of Twente Student Theses


Interaction effects between anthropomorphic chatbot characteristics on the customer experience : appearance, language style, and emoji-use

Jenneboer, L. (2022) Interaction effects between anthropomorphic chatbot characteristics on the customer experience : appearance, language style, and emoji-use.

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Abstract:Technology constantly challenges companies by online competition to attract and retain customers. Nowadays, customers do not want to lose any time and want to reach a company anytime and anywhere, regardless of time, location, and channel. More and more companies have implemented chatbots on their websites to support their visitors all day. Previous studies showed that (chatbots with) the human-like characteristics (1) appearance, (2) language style, and (3) emoji-use individually influence the customer experience. Since many organizations support their customer service with chatbots, examining how the customer experience can be improved is essential. This study aimed to investigate to what extent the three characteristics interact in affecting the usability, information quality, social presence, and trust in the chatbot. In addition, this research answers to what extent these human-like characteristics influence the customer experience. A (2x2x2) experimental research design was conducted, in which each participant was randomly assigned to one of eight versions of the chatbot. During the experiment, the participants had to interact with the chatbot based on a pre-determined scenario. After the interaction with the chatbot, the participants filled in a questionnaire (N=208). The study results showed a significant effect of human-like language style on customer experience. Moreover, both language style and emoji-use individually significantly affect perceived social presence. A congruency effect was found between a human-like appearance and a human-like language style on usability and information quality. Besides, this study found an interaction effect between human-like appearance and human-like language style on the perceived social presence. Previous studies showed that individuals prefer chatbots that look and behave like humans. However, not all anthropomorphic chatbots within this study had a positive effect on usability, information quality, social presence, trust, and the customer experience. Ultimately, it seems that users can positively use chatbots if they are efficient and problem-solving. Based on these findings, companies with chatbots should focus on efficiency and effectiveness and that the chatbot answers the question correctly.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:70 social sciences in general
Programme:Communication Studies MSc (60713)
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