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Survey: 90% of UAE consumers favour human interaction over AI for customer support

Mon 05 Feb 2024    
| 2 min read

WhatsApp trumps email, social media and calls as top communication method with customer

Dubai: Zbooni has unveiled the findings of its 2024 MENA cCommerce Report. Polling a representative sample of 1,000 people across the UAE through independent researcher YouGov, Zbooni found that nine out of ten people prefer genuine human customer support from businesses over chatbots or generative AI. When considering preferred communications channels, WhatsApp was the overwhelming winner for regional consumers.

Top findings from Zbooni’s public survey of UAE residents included:

  • 87% of consumers want businesses to use a real person over a chatbot or AI.
  • 85% of people want all businesses to offer WhatsApp for customer support.
  • 88% think WhatsApp is the easiest way to get quick, accurate responses from a business.
  • 84% of consumers agree that WhatsApp is more helpful than email when chatting to businesses.

Zbooni co-founder and CEO Ramy Assaf said, “People still prefer genuine human interaction over bots or AI. While there’s a place for automation, especially for handling simple, repetitive tasks, humans still respond with more empathy, warmth and personalization.

More specifically, customers want to use WhatsApp. Chatting over WhatsApp gets to the heart of the matter quickly and isn’t as offensive as sitting on hold music, or as formal as email. With such strong demand from customers, it’s clear that UAE businesses should look at ways to use WhatsApp to improve customer experiences, drive sales and retention.”

Zbooni’s poll also revealed that in the past year, nearly two-thirds of UAE consumers (65%) have used WhatsApp to contact businesses about products and services. This compares to 55% using a call centre, 48% using email, and under 30% using social media inboxes. Similar trends were observed for customers preferring WhatsApp as their desired marketing and sales channel and for after-sales support.

Zbooni’s findings reflect an overall world trend where customers respect businesses that put their needs first. Seven in ten MENA customers and 76% of global consumers expect personalized shopping experiences and as a result eight out of ten businesses that try to provide individualized customer experience see an uptick in revenue.

Assaf added, Many businesses still haven’t embraced the idea of bringing WhatsApp into their operations. They may fear the implications of having to reply quickly or of using such an intimate channel with their customers. But the people have spoken and in such a competitive environment, businesses must listen to customer demands.”

As MENA’s pioneer in cCommerce (connected commerce), Zbooni enables companies of all scales to convert customer conversations into sales, including via WhatsApp and social channels.

To find out more and read the full report head to:

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