“In A.I. we trust?” The effects of parasocial interaction and technopian versus luddite ideological views on chatbot-based customer relationship management in the emerging “feeling economy”

Seounmi Youn, S. Venus Jin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

Despite the hype surrounding Artificial Intelligence (AI), the potential of AI in customer relationship management (CRM) remains underexplored in academia. A between-subjects experiment examined the effects of the type of relationship (virtual assistantship versus virtual friendship) consumers build with AI-enabled chatbots on brand personality perception, parasocial interaction (PSI), and CRM. The main effects of the relationship type on brand personality perception appeared for competent brand personality, but not for sincere brand personality. The consumer-chatbot relationship type had effects on CRM-related outcomes (behavioral intention, satisfaction, and trust) through competent brand personality. Consumers who interacted with a friend chatbot experienced stronger PSI with the chatbot, and the relationship type had an influence on brand personality perception through PSI. This mediating effect of PSI was observed for both brand personalities - competence and sincerity. The moderating role of ideological views (technopians versus luddites) in explaining the effect of the relationship type on brand personality perception was detected for sincere brand personality. AI designers and marketers need to develop AI user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) along with marketing strategies that not only can appeal to technopians ready to adopt innovative AI customer representatives but also can ultimately help alleviate luddites’ AI anxiety in the emerging “feeling economy” envisioned by Rust and Huang.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number106721
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
Volume119
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2021

Keywords

  • AI Chatbot user experience (UI) and user experience (UX)
  • Brand personality
  • Customer relationship management (CRM)
  • Feeling economy
  • Parasocial interaction (PSI)
  • Technopians versus luddites

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Psychology(all)

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