‘Hyperautomation’ is here to save customer services, claims SAS

Finger rating with sad neutral happy face icons by pressing red button on virtual interface. Customer satisfaction service quality online evaluation and survey. Negative feedback concept.

A third of customers would ditch telcos if they don’t get a decent response to a complaint in five minutes, and analytics firm SAS reckons ‘hyperautomation’ is the solution.

The SAS Hyperautomation report asked 1,513 people in the UK and Ireland about their expectations and experiences of customer services, with one of the takeaways being an apparent strict cut off time of five minutes for telcos to provide a ‘satisfactory response’ to whatever the complaint might be, or they’d switch to another broadband, TV or mobile phone provider.

Elsewhere the report revealed that 64% said that competitive prices are very important when choosing a service provider, though 59% favoured convenience,  and 51% speed of service. However 56% only want experiences to be faster if this also guarantees no mistakes are made, or a better service is delivered.

The study also says that 48% said they trust providers who used automated services like chat bots (which we can deduce means that 52% don’t), while 85% stated they still want some form of human element involved in customer services.

What this little buffet of stat-snacks tells us, according to SAS, is that achieving what customers want from telcos – speed and quality in customer service – requires what it alarmingly calls ‘hyper-efficiency’. This is only achievable, it insists, through automation combined with ‘intelligent decision-making’ (as opposed to stupid decision making presumably), which is what it’s decided to call ‘hyperautomation’.

“The results show that telco providers need to make consumers feel like they are being understood by delivering quality experiences and outcomes quickly and efficiently,” said David Shannon, Head of Hyperautomation, SAS UK & Ireland. “Their current view towards automated customer service technology reflects the fact that online services primarily consist of basic robotic process automation and rule based chatbots, rather than the fast, intelligent online experience that is possible with hyperautomation.

“Now is the chance for organisations to meet multiple business goals at once, increasing innovation, improving productivity and mitigating costs, all delivering a superior experience to customers. As we face the prospect of rising cost inflation, it’s imperative that businesses take steps to deliver what customers now demand, which is a fast, frictionless, and effective online service at a competitive price. Without this, organisations will be overtaken by the competition and fail to foster long-term loyalty to the brand.”

The inference is that deploying more automation in customer service departments makes them better – and maybe it does, and maybe it doesn’t. It depends what you are comparing it too – Increasing the amount of staff manning the phones would probably help as well.

It could be argued that rather than an attempt to create and ever greater customer service experience, these sorts of tools are rolled out by firms primarily because they are cheaper than employing hundreds of people in a call centre somewhere in the UK at all – the same driving factor that means what human customer service operatives are employed are often offshored.


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