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Mobile consumers prefer humans not machines: Research

There are numerous communication channels open for the customers today, but when all the other media fail, or for the most complicated problems, consumers prefer to talk to a human voice at the end.

Mobile phone consumers come across several problems while using their cell phones for which they need to interact with the concerned company to resolve the problem. Often it takes inordinately long time for their calls to connect and the option to talk to a human representative comes in last in the interactive voice response (IVR) menu.

The self service websites and mobile phone contacts are growing prolifically, but the consumers still want to speak to a real voice when they call a call centre of any company. With the increase in the complexity of the problem, the consumers’ desire to speak to a human increases.

These are the findings of a survey conducted by BT and Avaya. The customer’s tendency to speak to a human voice often puts extra pressure on the staff members handling the customer’s calls, resulting in lack of performance on their part, says the study.

According to the research, known as The Autonomous Customer, about 90 per cent of mobile phone owners want to use the services of call centre to get their problems addressed. More than half of the respondents in the survey believed the subject for which they were making calls to the customer care executive were gradually becoming more complicated.

At a time when consumers can contact the mobile phone companies through so many channels, they have a habit of constantly changing the communication channel. At the same time, when all the other channels fail, and the problems keep getting difficult, it is the old fashioned phone call which solves the problem for them, that too when there is a human at the other end.

Andrew Small, global head of customer relationship management, BT Global Services, said: “For many consumers, calling the contact centre is the favoured way to resolve the most complicated queries. The vast majority of people have used the Internet to do their own research first, so by the time they pick up the phone, the organisation they’re calling is either close to a sale or close to a fail.”

Management of the customer queries by the mobile phone call centres or customer care centres leaves much to be desired, as many customers believe the customer care executives try to push for early resolution to their problems even when it hasn’t been addressed yet.

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