Firms urged to invest in automated help desks

In a highly competitive market where customer loyalty is a premium, companies are urged to invest in automated voice services that address customers' needs.

The recommendation stems from a recent report showing that customers are frustrated by automated customer service systems. This is because companies that have put these systems in place were thinking of reducing costs rather than serving their customers. And instead of winning customers, these systems can cause customers to shift loyalties.

The report, done by research and consultancy firm Ovum, noted that businesses have lost touch with their customers, neglecting their "frustrations" over automated self-service systems instead of providing customer service.

Daniel Hong, Ovum analyst and author of the report, said: "There is significant customer frustration when it comes to automated self-service and voice recognition systems. In fact in a recent Ovum survey, one third of respondents said they found it the most challenging aspect of customer service".

Hong noted that companies opt for automated customer service systems as call volumes increase. Unfortunately, these systems do not measure customer satisfaction. Rather, these measure cost-savings to the company. In the end, instead of providing a service, customers become frustrated.