How communications by AI-enabled voice assistants impact the customer journey

Dhruv Grewal, Abhijit Guha, Elisa Schweiger, Stephan Ludwig, Martin Wetzels

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose: Artificial intelligence–enabled voice assistants (VAs), such as Amazon's Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple's Siri, are available in smartphones, smart speakers, and other digital devices and channels. Use of these VAs is growing rapidly and are expected to significantly impact purchase intentions. This article focuses on how the communications enabled and provided by these VAs influence VA evaluations and usage intentions, contingent on the stage of the customer journey. Design/methodology/approach: This paper builds from work on VAs, work on artificial intelligence (AI) and work on communications, to offer a comprehensive and up-to-date understanding of how VA evaluations and usage intentions may be impacted by the communications from VAs, contingent on the stage of the customer journey. Findings: This paper proposes a model for VA enabled communications impact VA evaluations. It builds from work on VAs, AI, communications, and customer journey management. In the proposed model, VA evaluations are not only impacted by source, message and recipient characteristics (per prior communication models), but also by (1) VA/AI specific features, like perceptions of humanness and perceptions of artificiality, and (2) stage of the customer journey. Practical implications: This paper provides guidance to firms, as regards how VA communications may influence VA evaluations and usage intentions. As an initial conjecture, (1) increasing perceptions of humanness, (2) decreasing perceptions of artificiality (3) a better fit between communications style (e.g. abstract vs concrete), and request type (e.g. transactional vs informational) (4) a better fit between VA communications (e.g. information vs banter), and consumer perceptions of the VA (servant vs partner) and (5) a better fit between VA communications and the stage of the customer journey may positively influence VA evaluations and VA usage intentions. Originality/value: This paper provides a fresh look at the impact of VA communications, clarifying how such communications impact VA evaluations and usage intentions at various stages of the customer journey.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Service Management
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022

Keywords

  • Artificial intelligence
  • Communications
  • Customer journey
  • Voice assistants

Cite this