Modern Workplace2021.01.21 4 min. read

Poles embrace digital customer service channels

In the last 12 months, 86% of Poles have used remote channels to communicate with companies, shops or organisations – according to the survey “How Poles use digital channels”. Moreover, over 80% of respondents like this form of contact. In addition, a study commissioned by EY and Billennium, a Polish company providing IT solutions and services for business, shows a significant increase in the use of the video channel in customer service during the pandemic.

Over the last few months, many aspects of our lives have changed, including the way we communicate with companies and institutions. In times of a pandemic, when it is recommended to limit direct contacts, more than half (56%) of respondents had difficulties in dealing with their daily errands, e.g. due to the closure of the facility. The most common problem category was healthcare (44% of responses). Government offices came second  (23%), while shopping and queues in stores came third (10%). Other services, including banking, hairdressing and veterinary services, were indicated less frequently (7%).

Last year in Poland, as many as 86% of respondents used remote communication channels. Almost half of the respondents (49%) declare that they use this type of contact more often during the pandemic. The most popular remote communication channels were customer service portals (electronic banking, insurer’s or mobile operator’s portal – 59%), helpline (54%), telephone contact with an advisor (42%) or the service provider’s mobile application (32%).

We value direct contact…  

For 75% of respondents, the possibility of direct contact with a representative of a company, shop or institution is very important or somewhat important. Only a small percentage, i.e. 4%, do not pay attention to it at all. Poles are ready to change from the offline channel to online when performing banking operations (63%), handling official matters (51%), and purchasing electronic equipment and household appliances (45%). About one third of respondents could take out a loan (37%), buy food products (35%) or invest their savings (33%) without physical contact. Significantly fewer respondents accept remote education (24%), medical consultations (23%) or buying a car remotely (15%).

Digital transformation and transferring business to online channels does not only require proper technological adaptation on the part of the organisation. We cannot forget about those who will be using these solutions directly. If we do not convince customers, as well as employees, to use them, the digitisation efforts of managers may be doomed to fail. This is why it is so important, when implementing technologies and new solutions, to listen to the needs and concerns of customers in order to build mutual trust between the parties – similarly to direct contacts, says Marcin Bartoszewski, Consulting Innovation Leader at EY Polska.

… But video customer service is gaining ground

Of the respondents who use video channels for communication (37% of all respondents), 53% started using them at the start of the pandemic. Most often, consumers used video when shopping online (41%), education (34%) and in contacts with banks (32%). Interestingly, as many as 83% of respondents declare that they will continue to use this form of communication after the pandemic. It most likely affects the level of satisfaction of people who have tried it. Nearly 70% of respondents admitted that they would recommend a video channel as a form of contact with a service company, organisation or store.

The advent of the coronavirus has accelerated the adoption of the video channel to customer service. The importance of the so-called mirror world, which is a digital reflection of the real world, is now more and more appreciated in the service and retail sectors. We see it, among others in a decidedly increased interest in our solution – Inperly, which is a platform for multi-channel communication, enabling direct contact between the company and the customer, even in the event of closure of stationary outlets, says Grzegorz Ławnik, Product Owner Inperly at Billennium.

Security – the last barrier in the development of remote customer service

An important aspect in the use of remote customer service channels is security. Only one in three respondents (35%) declares that digital identity verification on the Internet is safe, and more than half of the respondents are undecided and have no opinion on this subject (56%). Many respondents are also concerned that their data may leak after online identification.

Remote customer service is as effective as its traditional counterpart, if it offers direct contact with consultants and the ability to conclude contracts in accordance with regulations. As you can see, the majority of respondents are not convinced that digital identity verification is safe. Therefore, financial institutions and companies providing IT solutions must place great emphasis on providing transparent information about data protection measures, which are turning out to be crucial in the development of remote customer service, adds Grzegorz Ławnik, Product Owner Inperly at Billennium.

About the survey

The survey was carried out by Cube Research using CAWI interviews (online survey), supported by CATI interviews (telephone survey), commissioned by EY and Billennium. It involved a representative group of 530 respondents (maintaining a reference distribution in terms of sex, age, education and place of residence). Additionally, a special subgroup of people who use the video channel to contact companies and institutions was surveyed.

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