Thursday, 09 May 2019 09:01

Australians want to talk to people, not bots: claim

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New research commissioned by CRM and RPA vendor Pegasystems suggests Australians want to talk to people, rather than bots, for all but the simplest customer service tasks.

YouGov surveyed 1020 Australians on behalf of Pegasystems, and found 73% of them preferred to interact with humans rather than bots for customer service.

Respondents put human customer service in equal first place as the most important component of personalised customer service.

Australians also preferred to deal with people for important matters such as making complaints, applying for mortgages or buying insurance.

Automation was only preferred for simple tasks such as ordering take-away food or booking a taxi. As one might expect, that's due to the long on-hold times often experienced in these activities, and the need for accuracy. It's no fun when your take-away order isn't complete, or if a taxi shows up at the wrong address.

Indeed, getting a fast response was the other most critical aspect of personalised customer experience, and the most annoying aspect was waiting a long time to speak to customer service reps and repeating oneself to multiple service reps.

Interestingly, email was ranked as the top communications channel by 77% of respondents.

Despite the dirty linen aired by the banking royal commission, 62% of respondents regarded banks as trustworthy organisations in terms of safeguarding personal information.

Government wasn't far behind on 57%, but then there was a wide gap to the next tier of industries including insurers (33%), online communications providers (31%) and telco providers (27%).

"With the recent events of bad customer experience still fresh in Australian consumers' minds, brands need to demonstrate the true power of automation to improve the customer journey," said Pegasystems vice-president and APAC managing director Luke McCormack.

"We're working with organisations across key sectors to intelligently manage their customer interactions in real-time across every single touchpoint, to drive valuable connections, and benefit consumer relationships. The result is a superior customer experience, every time, no matter where you are on the customer journey or with what channel you happen to engage."

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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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