Dominik Gutt, Assistant Professor of Technology and Operations Management, Rotterdam School of Management (RSM), Erasmus University
The Rise of Robo-Reviews - The Effects of Chatbot-Mediated Review Elicitation on Online Reviews”
Abstract: Chatbots have been introduced as a new way to receive product reviews. However, little is known how the chatbot-mediated solicitation influences review characteristics such as the valence or the helpfulness. We conduct four studies to narrow this literature gap. Our results show that (1) chatbot-mediated review elicitation leads to a positivity bias in ratings, particularly strong for low-quality products; (2) chatbot-mediated reviews negatively impact a range of review dimensions (e.g., helpfulness) mainly due to decreased review length, (3) the positivity bias varies depending on the level of anthropomorphism in the chatbot and the nature of the survey deployer (seller vs. platform), and can be explained by audience tuning due to social presence. Our research is among the first to uncover a link between chatbot use, review valence, and other valuable review characteristics. Our results bear meaningful insights for practitioners and regulators seeking to understand the effects of introducing robotic technology into user-generated content collection.