Leveraging the computers are social actors theory, in this study, we explore traits of artificial intelligence-based chatbots that make them perceived as trustworthy, drive consumers to forgive the firm for service failure, and reduce their propensity to spread negative word-of-mouth against the firm. Across two scenario-based studies with UK consumers: one in a utilitarian product category (n = 586) and another in a hedonic product category (n = 508), and a qualitative study, our findings suggest that the perceived safety of chatbots enhances consumers' perceived ability and empathy, and anthropomorphism enhances the benevolence and integrity of chatbots, i.e., three traits of chatbots affect components of trustworthiness differently. Further, these traits have a positive influence on customer forgiveness and a negative influence on negative word-of-mouth.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Management Information Systems
- Information Systems
- Computer Networks and Communications
- Information Systems and Management
- Library and Information Sciences
- Artificial Intelligence