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EMAC 2021 Annual Conference

Chatbots in Stressful Customer Service Situations – The Impact of Stress on the Intention to Use Conversational Chatbots

Published: May 25, 2021


Tobias Heußler, Wiesbaden Business School


Chatbots enhance the efficiency of several customer touchpoints in terms of the customer ex-perience and associated costs. However, what happens in stressful situations? Do customers still use chatbots in such cases? Research on the usage of chatbots has focused on technologi-cal aspects. By contrast, this paper contributes to a research stream that analyzes the ac-ceptance of chatbots. This research reflects stress as an influencing factor in the technology acceptance model (TAM) and examines the moderating role of stress on usefulness and their relationship on the intention to use chatbots. In an experimental design a first group of sub-jects talked to a call center agent. A second group was pretended to talk to a chatbot. Actual-ly, this group also talked to an agent, whose voice was manipulated by a voice changer. The empirical results demonstrate that the impact of stress needs to be considered when employing chatbots for daily interactions with customers.