Customers fear security risks from robot chat

Cloudy PCI Pal has released a report which found 81 percent of UK businesses felt that increased use of technology to handle customer service enquiries, such as chatbots or self-service websites, was a security risk.

Consumer fears coincide with a move to replace contact centre professionals with automation. The report claims that it is not so much that consumers hate talking to robots and feel that any company using them is insulting them, but that they are worried about security.

About 21 percent of UK contact centre professionals believe that less staff will be employed due to greater use of automated solutions or chatbots.

The survey found however that personal service remains king for UK-based consumers, with a collective 59 percent preferring some form of person-to-person contact if they have an enquiry about a product, prior to purchase.

Specifically, 23 percent said they like the convenience of talking to a real person via live chat, 18 percent prefer to talk to someone over the phone, while a further 18 percent would go into a branch or store to talk to someone.

Geoff Forsyth, CISO at PCI Pal, said: “It is clear that consumers still value personalised service, even with all the technology and customer service channels available to them and so organisations need to make sure they are striking the right balance of people versus technology within the contact centre environment.

“While around a third (32 percent ) of contact centre agents believe there will be a greater reliance on digital or automated customer service technology in the future, senior management have an opposing view.

“In fact, 34 percent  of senior management felt there will be an increased focus on person-to-person contact, mindful that a truly personal service will always be valued by customers.”

More than 22 percent of respondents said they are not confident about one or more aspects of the data security within their organisation’s contact centre.In the UK, 41 percent agreed that limited or infrequent training was an issue, while 38 percent suggested that legacy technology is restrictive.

Forsyth said: “Consumers appear to want to have the option of talking to a dedicated customer service representative when support or guidance is needed, the majority of both UK (48 percent ) and US (59 percent ) consumers stated that they prefer to pay for goods or services using an online link, with most suggesting that they feel it is more secure than other methods.”