Forrester On Automated Customer Service

I was reading a report that Nuance commissioned a few years ago with Forrester Consulting about using automation for customer service. It’s worth a read (and publicly available here) if you work in the customer service space and get questions from your clients about automation versus agents. Here are a few things that caught my eye:

  • Consumers who use cell phones to call into customer service are relatively more interested in using automated telephone systems for customer service interactions. (Hint: You could probably reverse that logic also to say that they are most receptive to outbound IVR also.)
  • Consumers rate automated customer service higher than live agents for certain straightforward interactions (including Rx refills).
  • Once they engage with automation, 74% of consumers typically stick with the process.
  • 12% liked automation because of privacy and not having to divulge information to a person. (Something we’ve seen at Silverlink in multiple healthcare scenarios.)
  • 81% of people surveyed were interested in proactive notifications around healthcare via automation (e-mail, voice, SMS).
  • People prefer being steered to answers versus just being able to respond and have the system understand them. (i.e., give me a list of options)

Very interesting. It maps well to a lot of our best practices and how we consult with our clients in designing healthcare engagement strategies. (Of course, you have to make sure you use create engaging, personalized messaging in these channels to optimize success. Van Antwerp household is the same as Dear Resident to me…and if I have 5 drugs and 3 conditions, a generalized call to action won’t get much response.)

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