According to Macro 4 research, 60% of UK domestic water and energy customers prefer not to call customer service if they can use online tools to solve their problems
Crawley, UK, March 22, 2022 – Most consumers are ready to swap customer service calls for digital self-service in the wake of their experience during the pandemic, according to new survey results released by Macro 4. The research, which examines the attitudes of UK consumers versus domestic energy and water suppliers, suggests that 61% of customers have felt more comfortable engaging digitally with businesses since the pandemic, on websites, apps and other online channels. And 60% would now prefer not to call a live customer service representative at all if they can solve their problems themselves using online resources.
Jim Allum, director, commercial and technical of Macro 4, a division of UNICOM® Global
When asked what aspects of service are important in a home energy or water supplier, 72% of more than 1,000 respondents said they now want utilities to provide online resources that make it easier to resolve their questions themselves rather than having to use the telephone. 93 percent said it mattered that they are able to contact their provider in any way they like, such as by phone, email, social media, SMS or messaging apps. And 93% stressed the importance of getting a quick response whether you call or contact digitally.
Macros 4, a division of UNICOM® Global that helps businesses accelerate digital transformation, has commissioned two separate surveys of over 1,000 domestic taxpayers in the UK. The findings are published in a report, ‘Giving UK utility customers a voice‘.
Jim Allum, Director, Commercial and Technical at Macro 4, said: “During the COVID-19 restrictions, we have all gotten used to doing more things digitally. And for many people it would including the use of online self-service as at the time most contact centers experienced significant delays due to increased call volume. Interestingly, the habit remained. Most people are now happy to use self-service instead of talking to a customer service representative over the phone, especially for simple questions. A good thing about helping customers do more for themselves is that it frees up struggling contact center agents to handle more complex inquiries over the phone, chat or email, and this is where companies can add real value. And it should also mean shorter wait times for those people who need to talk on the phone. »
Questions about bills and charges often trigger calls to the contact center and this was one of the specific complaints identified by the research. 31% of energy customers and 26% of water customers in the survey sample want invoices from their current suppliers to be easier to understand. And 73% regularly check their energy and water bills for errors.
Allum said, “Self-service can play an important role in providing reassurance and clarity about bills and how they are calculated. For example, if customers are given self-service access to detailed historical information, as well as basic analytic tools to compare their billing and usage rates over time, they can independently rule out anomalies.
Further underscoring consumers’ growing preference for digital assets and interaction, nearly two-thirds of customers surveyed in the survey believe it is more convenient to view all household bills online than on paper.
Allum added: “Abandonment of paper altogether is not yet an option, however, since nearly a third of the people we asked still want paper bills. This research highlights the importance of creating flexibility in communication systems so that service can be tailored to meet the needs of different customers. It’s about delivering a consistently great experience across every communication channel. »
Macro 4’s report ‘Giving UK utility customers a voice’ can be downloaded at https://bit.ly/Utilitysurvey.
 « Very important » and « Somewhat important » options combined
 Survey of 1,193 bill payers (18+) between 19.01.2022 and 21.01.2022
 Survey of 1,312 bill payers (18+) between 08.02.2022 and 10.02.2022
Macro 4 commissioned two online surveys to 1,193 (between 01.19.2022 and 01.21.2022) and 1,312 (between 02.08.2022 and 02.10.2022) bill payers (over the age of 18) across the UK via a research firm throughout the census. Censuswide adheres to and employs members of the Market Research Society which is based on ESOMAR principles.
About Macros 4 www.macro4.com
Macro 4, a division of UNICOM Global, develops software solutions that accelerate digital transformation. Macro 4’s cross-platform enterprise information management solutions make it easy to introduce new digital channels, personalize customer communications, and deliver actionable insights from enterprise content. Macro 4 solutions for application lifecycle management, session management and performance optimization are used by many of the world’s largest enterprises to modernize their mainframe application and development processes.
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