UK Consumers Want Tailored Contact Center Services

Research reveals that UK consumers don't value a wholesale approach to customer service in the contact center, instead wanting different types and levels of technology involvement depending on the nature of interactions and their seriousness. The conclusions come from a report commissioned by Avaya and Sabio, a contact center specialist.

The results show that businesses are missing an opportunity to gain competitive advantage through their strategic approach to customer service. Consumers want more stringent technology and automation for more sensitive interactions, but not for all of them. For example, 81 percent said they are comfortable using IVR systems when dealing with financial matters, while 55 percent of respondents would be happy using voice biometric technology when checking their account balances. Only a minority (35 percent) see biometrics as an option for more general and less sensitive tasks such as renewing car insurance.

Similarly, while consumers' enthusiasm for self-service and new media remains strong, they still appreciate personal interactions with agents to get the appropriate support and assistance when dealing with more complex services and products. With 60 percent of organizations now asking for security details when there is no need, it's not surprising that one in two consumers becomes frustrated with call center agents when there are security or identity problems. Once connected, if the transaction involves payments only 5 percent of consumers think speaking to an agent in a UK call center is secure, and this reduces to just 2 percent for overseas call centers.

"There is still a very strong role for voice in the contact center as it offers unrivalled versatility in solving complex queries and a key gateway for those who are not online, nearly 20 percent of the UK population,” said Simon Culmer, managing director, UK, Avaya, in a statement.  “That said, technical solutions to address concerns about fraud and data security are also critical. In essence, UK businesses need to listen to their customers, assess their corporate requirements and look at the demands being placed on them through their customer service channels, and from there determine the right strategy and solutions to meet their customer service needs."