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Companies finally figure out that Aussies don’t like being left on hold

  • June 25 2020
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Companies finally figure out that Aussies don’t like being left on hold

By Grace Ormsby
June 25 2020

Waiting on hold could be a thing of the past, thanks to COVID-19, with Australians no longer willing to spend hours on the phone to communicate with financial institutions and service providers.

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Companies finally figure out that Aussies don’t like being left on hold

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  • June 25 2020
  • Share

Waiting on hold could be a thing of the past, thanks to COVID-19, with Australians no longer willing to spend hours on the phone to communicate with financial institutions and service providers.

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In a new report from LivePerson, it was revealed that there was a 352 per cent spike in conversations around superannuation in March – in a part attributable to the Australian government’s announcement about the early release of super on 22 March.

It also flagged a near doubling of insurance conversations – 94 per cent growth – from 16 February to 22 March, due to people seeking clarification on policy details and payment options.

For LivePerson, the transformation in the way that brands and consumers are interacting could see call centres become the next casualty of COVID-19.

Weighing in on the findings, LivePerson’s Asia-Pacific general manager, Andrew Cannington, said the pandemic has sped up the transition to new methods of communication.

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“This period has been really tough for brands and their customer contact staff, but it’s resulting in innovation,” he commented.

“Communicating with brands via your favourite channels is no longer the future, it is the new normal.”

He argued that for many organisations, this difficult period will be a turning point in how they approach their service and support channels.

“While the shift to messaging has been underway for some time, what the closure of call centres and the need for physical distancing has done is make many organisations think more deeply about how they operate and what their customers want,” Mr Cannington continued.

“The result has been an immediate and marked shift to messaging.”

“Brands are realising that their staff can work from home when needed, that technology can help them better do their jobs and that customers prefer engaging with them using messaging instead of a telephone call.”

All up, numbers crunched by LivePerson show a near six-fold (5.6x) increase in Australians who are using massaging channels such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and SMS to communicate with brands since May 2019.

The volume of messaging has also increased, sitting 77 per cent higher than it was at the beginning of 2020.

According to Mr Cannington, “Another potential ramification of this shift from voice to messaging-based customer service could be the creation of thousands of local jobs, as companies consider making their temporary moves away from offshore call centres to locally based messaging agents permanent.”


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About the author

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Grace is a journalist on Momentum Media's nestegg. She enjoys being able to provide easy to digest information and practical tips for Australians with regard to their wealth, as well as having a platform on which to engage leading experts and commentators and leverage their insight.

About the author

Grace is a journalist on Momentum Media's nestegg. She enjoys being able to provide easy to digest information and practical tips for Australians with regard to their wealth, as well as having a platform on which to engage leading experts and commentators and leverage their insight.

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