I don't mind either way - I particularly like testing my banter skills with the bot. I only get annoyed when I have a question the bot can't answer and there is no clear path to chatting to human who can help.
I mean, I don't _hate talking to people_, but I enjoy seeing how others build bots and leverage all the different capabilities. The more unique, the better!
The bot should have purpose, tho. And response times are critical - would expect it to have responses at the ready 24/7. At least for a "FAQ" type of interaction.
@ohdubz yes! I think they are best utilized as a customer service aid that can be there when the real live agents can't be or to help get customers to the right people. Being quick and available is key.
A couple of things from a UX POV:
1. Most chatbots are just decision trees, which means I need to answer multiple questions to get the context of my issue across. I can explain much quicker and easier to a human.
2. Imitating human interactions is a confusing / dishonest / annoying and disappointing.
- Why aren't responses instant and instead I have to wait until the bot is "typing"
- Why do I need to waste time on formalities with a bot
- Why is answering fixed questions in a chat format easier than me filling in a form?
- After trying to sell friendliness and "intelligence", down the line I find out that it doesn't really GET what I'm asking, so I just wasted a good chunk of time playing the "real conversation" game with a dumb algorithm.
At the same time they make total sense from a business POV.
Chat bots are cool for alexa like conversations. Where you want something to happen and given an input you get a relevant output. Like if I want to ask a question i.e "how many site visitors did I get today" and the response was my analytics in chat form then that is enjoyable IMO.
I would say that I do not hate it; however, I would prefer to have managed live chat services where a real human interacts with me, not a machine. You can try something similar to what Chat Metrics(https://www.chatmetrics.com/) offers as they provide a team of real human agents who proactively engage with their website visitors to understand their requirements.