Working Together with Conversational Agents: The Relationship of Perceived Cooperation with Service Performance Evaluations

Abstract

Conversational agents are gradually being deployed by organizations in service settings to communicate with and solve problems together with consumers. The current study investigates how consumers’ perceptions of cooperation with conversational agents in a service context are associated with their perceptions about agents’ anthropomorphism, social presence, the quality of the information provided by an agent, and the agent service performance. An online experiment was conducted in which participants performed a serviceoriented task with the assistance of conversational agents developed specifically for the study and evaluated the performance and attributes of the agents. The results suggest a direct positive link between perceiving a conversational agent as cooperative and perceiving it to be more anthropomorphic, with higher levels of social presence and providing better information quality. Moreover, the results also show that the link between perceiving an agent as cooperative and the agent’s service performance is mediated by perceptions of the agent’s anthropomorphic cues and the quality of the information provided by the agent.

Publication
Chatbot Research and Design