Automated service systems can cause customer frustration: Ovum

by CXOtoday Staff    Nov 08, 2010

frustated customerBusinesses are out of touch with the frustration customers experience from automated customer service systems and are jeopardizing their loyalty as a result, according to Ovum, the analyst and consulting company.

The telecoms analyst states that businesses need to utilise automated and voice recognition services for phones to stay competitive due to increasing call volumes. However, according to its findings, when evaluating their systems, most businesses focus on how they help them to save money and not the customer experience, making them unaware of the high level of frustration they can cause.

“There is significant customer frustration when it comes to automated self-service and voice recognition systems. In fact in a recent Ovum survey, one third of respondents said they found it the most challenging aspect of customer service,” stated Daniel Hong, Ovum analyst and author of the report.

The company states that, businesses need to optimise their use of automated and voice recognition services to stay competitive, but there is a fine line between providing cost-effective customer service and actually turning customers off your company. Just a two to three percent increase in automation rates can cause customer frustration and potentially increase customer turnover.

According to Hong, the most successful automated services are those that are measured on the task completion rate (TCR) as this gives businesses an insight into both efficiency and effectiveness and a better understanding of the customer experience.

“Businesses are under extreme pressure to improve customer retention, reduce costs and do more with less and automated customer service plays a key role. However, getting the system right is paramount to customer loyalty and unless they have an insight into what their customers are experiencing they will not be able to address and reduce frustration,” remarked Hong.