Most Australians prefer not to deal with humans when it comes to transactions and customer service interactions with businesses, according to research by Nuance Communications.

In a survey conducted by Galaxy Research it was found that the majority of Australians (76%) see self-service as more convenient than dealing with a human customer service representative, and that 63% would choose self-service given the opportunity.

“Australians are seeking convenience and control over their customer service experience and new technologies in self-service are now offering that,” says Peter Chidiac, managing director, Nuance Communications, Australia and New Zealand.

One factor driving the dissatisfaction with human interactions is lengthy wait times and poorly designed contact centres, such as those that require repeated verification of identity.

But that’s not to say this is the end of human-provided customer service, says Chidiac: “There will always be customer service tasks that require the involvement of a human but we’re seeing a big shift in consumer acceptance towards self-service.

“Effective self-service can lead to opportunities for businesses to deliver a competitive advantage while providing great convenience to customers in line with their mobile lifestyles and expectations.”

The study’s key findings include:

  • 76% of Australians find self service to be more convenient than being served by a person,
  • 63% prefer self-service to speaking with a customer service representative given the opportunity,
  • 88% of Gen Ys find self service useful, compared to 73% of baby boomers,
  • 77% find it frustrating to repeatedly verify their identity during a customer service call, and
  • 60% see benefits in being able to communicate with companies via mobile.


About the study: Conducted by Galaxy Omnibus in September 2011, 1052 respondents aged 18+ were interviewed via computer assisted telephone interviews (CATI), with the data being weighted according to the latest ABS population estimates.


Homepage image courtesy of Vitor Lima