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Appears in Collections:Marketing and Retail Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Introducing the socialbot: a novel touchpoint along the young adult customer journey
Author(s): Wilson-Nash, Carolyn
Goode, Amy
Currie, Alice
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Keywords: Socialbots
Customer journey
Customer experience
Social networking sites
Artificial intelligence
Issue Date: 25-May-2020
Citation: Wilson-Nash C, Goode A & Currie A (2020) Introducing the socialbot: a novel touchpoint along the young adult customer journey. European Journal of Marketing.
Abstract: Purpose The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the special issue theme by exploring customer response to automated relationship management tactics on social media channels. Design/methodology/approach A total of 17 in-depth interviews of young adults, ranging from the age of 19 to 26, were conducted. From this, customer journey maps were compiled incorporating socialbots as a valuable touch point along the service delivery cycle. Findings The research frames the socialbot as a valued customer service agent to young adults with some favouring this over telephone and email communication methods. Younger consumers respond positively to the quick resolution offered by the socialbot mechanism with most acknowledging that the bot is only able to manage simplified requests. Human-to-human customer relationship management is preferential when the query reaches critical mass. Research limitations/implications Socialbots on Facebook Messenger provided the research context for this study; therefore, other platforms and owned website bots should be considered in future studies. Practical implications This research identifies the younger generation as a key target market for the development of customer service-related bots. Originality/value To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first study to examine the socialbot as an automated touch point in the customer journey and contributes knowledge to the growing body of literature focussed on artificial intelligence in customer service. Moreover, it provides valuable qualitative insights into how socialbots influence the customer experience and related outcome measures.
DOI Link: 10.1108/ejm-07-2019-0555
Rights: Publisher policy allows this work to be made available in this repository. Published in European Journal of Marketing by Emerald. The original publication is available at: This article is deposited under the Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial International Licence 4.0 (CC BY-NC 4.0). Any reuse is allowed in accordance with the terms outlined by the licence ( To reuse the AAM for commercial purposes, permission should be sought by contacting
Notes: Output Status: Forthcoming
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