How to leverage anthropomorphism for chatbot service interfaces: The interplay of communication style and personification
Computers in Human Behavior
Although chatbots are oftentimes used in customer service encounters, interactions are oftentimes perceived as not satisfactory. One key aspect for designing chatbots is the use of anthropomorphic design elements. In this experimental study, we examine the two anthropomorphic chatbot design elements of personification, which includes a human-like appearance, and social orientation of communication style, which means a more sensitive and extensive communication. We tested the influence of the two design elements on social presence, satisfaction, trust and empathy towards a chatbot. First, the results show a significant influence of both anthropomorphic design elements on social presence. Second, our findings illustrate that social presence influences trusting beliefs, empathy, and satisfaction. Third, social presence acts as a mediator for both anthropomorphic design elements for satisfaction with a chatbot. Our implications provide a better understanding of anthropomorphic chatbot design elements when designing chatbots for short-term interactions, and we offer actionable implications for practice that enable more effective chatbot implementations.
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