“Your conversational partner is a chatbot” An Experimental Study on the Influence of Chatbot Disclosure and Service Outcome on Trust and Customer Retention in the Fashion Industry

Main Article Content

Noemi Funke https://orcid.org/0009-0003-1003-0043
Katja Stadler
Heidi Vakkuri
Anna Wagner
Marc Lunkenheimer
Alexander Kracklauer https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0707-7954

Keywords

Chatbot, Customer retention, Identity disclosure, Service outcome, Trust

Abstract

Should companies disclose their chatbots’ nonhuman identity or not? Previous studies have found both negative and positive consumer reactions to chatbot disclosure. This experimental study explores how trust and customer retention change when the nonhuman identity of the chatbot is revealed and when different service outcomes apply in the context of the German fashion industry. The results of this experiment provide evidence that disclosing chatbot identity influences neither trust nor customer retention, but service outcome has an effect on both. Companies should therefore focus on developing a functional customer service as chatbot failure has tremendous consequences for the volume of reliable customers and profits. The main limitation of this study is that the respondents were only shown screenshots, leaving the impact of a real interaction with chatbots undiscovered.

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