New research reveals many UK companies are failing to step up to online customer service technology

Recent study by IBM and Forrester shows that 83% of UK businesses continue to use telephone centres as their primary source of customer contact


Just 33% of UK companies currently offer online live help to customers, according to a recent survey undertaken by IBM and Forrester.

The study, which documented the responses of 395 UK and US companies, discovered that while customers increasingly expect to interact with businesses online, the vast majority of UK companies continue to rely on outdated media, such as call centres.

Of the UK companies surveyed, most have so far failed to adapt to the digital usage of customers, with only 43% currently offering mobile or tablet optimised sites and 30% admitting they have no immediate plans to provide customers with company information via social media.

James Lovell, European smarter commerce consultant at IBM fears digitally ignorant companies may get left behind: “Consumers clearly want to use online channels to not only research products, but also interact with and find out more information about a company. Without this ease of access, consumers could quickly move on to more socially savvy competitors.

“Embracing digital channels can also be more cost efficient for businesses. Setting up online help forums and giving customers more ways to self-service online can save on contact centre costs and allow for more flexible customer service.”

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