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The Effect of Social Presence and Chatbot Errors on Trust

Faculty of Business and Economics (HEC), The University of Lausanne in Lausanne, Quartier de Chambronne, Internef 261, 1015 Lausanne, Switzerland
Faculty of Sciences, Technical University of Cluj Napoca, CUNBM, 76 Victoriei Street, 430122 Baia Mare, Romania
Faculty of Civil Engineering, Technical University of Cluj-Napoca,72 Observatorului Street, 400641 Cluj-Napoca, Romania
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(1), 256;
Received: 6 November 2019 / Revised: 20 December 2019 / Accepted: 24 December 2019 / Published: 27 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Digital Markets and the Consumer)
This article explores the potential of Artificial Intelligence (AI) chatbots for creating positive change by supporting customers in the digital realm. Our study, which focuses on the customer and his/her declarative psychological responses to an interaction with a virtual assistant, will fill a gap in the digital marketing research, where little attention has been paid to the impact of Error and Gender, as well as the extent to which Social Presence and Perceived Competence mediate the relationships between Anthropomorphic design cues and Trust. We provide consistent evidence of the significant negative effect of erroneous conversational interfaces on several constructs considered in our conceptual model, such as: perceived competence, trust, as well as positive consumer responses. We also provide support to previous research findings and confirm that people employ a biased thinking across gender and this categorization also influences their acceptance of chatbots taking social roles. The results of an empirical study demonstrated that highly anthropomorphized female chatbots that engage in social behaviors are significantly shaping positive consumer responses, even in the error condition. Moreover, female virtual assistants are much more commonly forgiven when committing errors compared to male chatbots. View Full-Text
Keywords: digital marketing; customer; chatbot; brand digital marketing; customer; chatbot; brand
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MDPI and ACS Style

Toader, D.-C.; Boca, G.; Toader, R.; Măcelaru, M.; Toader, C.; Ighian, D.; Rădulescu, A.T. The Effect of Social Presence and Chatbot Errors on Trust. Sustainability 2020, 12, 256.

AMA Style

Toader D-C, Boca G, Toader R, Măcelaru M, Toader C, Ighian D, Rădulescu AT. The Effect of Social Presence and Chatbot Errors on Trust. Sustainability. 2020; 12(1):256.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Toader, Diana-Cezara, Grațiela Boca, Rita Toader, Mara Măcelaru, Cezar Toader, Diana Ighian, and Adrian T. Rădulescu 2020. "The Effect of Social Presence and Chatbot Errors on Trust" Sustainability 12, no. 1: 256.

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