Press release: 12.488-079/21

1% of Austrian enterprises use AI-based chatbots in customer contact so far

Vienna, 2021-04-14 – 10% of Austrian enterprises with ten or more employees offer chat services in which persons answer customer queries, according to Statistics Austria. In contrast, only 1% of enterprises use chat services based on artificial intelligence (AI), where enquiries are answered by virtual agents.

"Intelligent chatbots in customer contact have so far been the exception in Austria. Only every hundredth enterprise with ten or more employees uses AI-based chat services in customer contact. The EU average is 2%. Finnish and Maltese enterprises lead the EU with shares of 6% and 5%, respectively", says Statistics Austria Director General Tobias Thomas.

Service enterprises offer chat services particularly frequently

Every tenth Austrian enterprise with ten or more employees provides chat services as part of Customer Touchpoint Management. The size of the company does not play a significant role here, but the economic sector of the enterprise does: 10% of the small (10 to 49 employees) and medium-sized enterprises (50 to 249 employees) and 12% of the large enterprises (250 and more employees) offer chat services while this is the case for 4% of companies in the producing sector but 12% of companies in the servicing sector.

2% of all enterprises (also) use virtual agents, e.g. automated chatbots for their chat services. The use of artificial intelligence technologies in chat services is only found in 1% of enterprises. Artificial intelligence uses self-learning technologies to imitate intelligent behaviour and to make autonomous decisions. This indicator shows a difference according to enterprise size: 1% of small, 2% of medium-sized and 3% of large enterprises rely on AI as part of a chat service.

Further results on chat services or other aspects of artificial intelligence (big data analysis, robotics) can be found in the recently published publication "ICT usage in enterprises – Use of information and communication technologies in enterprises in 2020", which you can access on our website (only available in German).


Information on methods, definitions: These data derive from the weighted results of the survey on the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) in enterprises in 2020. Based on an EU regulation (Regulation (EC) No. 808/2004) that oblige Austria and all other EU Member States to provide data, as well as on a Commission Regulation (Regulation (EU) No. 2019/1910) which contains all the indicators to be queried, the survey was carried out by Statistics Austria with a Europe-wide uniform program of questions, standardized definitions and a uniform methodology as a sample survey. 
Around 2 750 enterprises with ten or more persons employed and around 160 000 enterprises in all EU member states (from the sectors of manufacturing; energy, water supply, sewage and waste disposal and the removal of environmental pollution; construction; trade, maintenance and repair of motor vehicles; transport and storage; accommodation and gastronomy; information and communication; property and housing, provision of other economic services; repair of data processing and telecommunications equipment) took part in the survey in the first half of 2020. 
Unless otherwise stated, the reporting period was the time of the survey. In addition to the main indicators on Internet use and e-commerce to be collected annually, the question program also included indicators on ICT-relevant key issues that change every year (in accordance with the communication "Digital Single Market Strategy" of the European Commission and the benchmarking framework "Monitoring the Digital Economy & Society 2016-2021").

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For further inquiries please contact Directorate Social Statistics, Statistics Austria:  
Gerald HAßL, Tel. +43 1 711 28-8035 resp. and 
Mag. Nina DJAHANGIRI, Tel. +43 1 711 28-7522 resp.

Media owner, producer and publisher: 
STATISTICS AUSTRIA, Federal Institution under Public Law 
1110 Vienna, Austria, Guglgasse 13, Tel.: +43 1 711 28-7777