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Survey: Customers frustrated by self-service technology

By Retail Technology | Monday July 7 2014

Human interaction is still key to getting customer service right, according to recent research into the use of self-service machines in the UK

A vast majority of UK consumers (93%) have felt frustrated when using self-service machines, according to research performed by Yougov on behalf of cash management company Glory Global Solutions.

Younger people aged 18-24 seem to be most comfortable with self-service technology, with almost half of those respondents saying they rarely or never feel frustrated by it.

Open to self-service

However, despite these frustrations, most people are open to the idea of using self-service machines when they are available in a supermarket, post office or bank. 

Women are significantly more likely to opt for self-service than men, with 82% of women using machines when available compared to 77% of men. Over 55s are much less likely to use self-service machines than younger adults, with a third of those repsondents saying they never use them, compared to less than 1 in 10 of those aged 18-24.

Human interaction

When asked about the reasons against using self-service technology, human interaction was pinpointed as a crucial element of customer service. The most commonly cited reason for not using self-service, chosen by 37% of respondents, was that people prefer speaking to a staff member to complete a transaction.

This is particularly true of banking, where 31% of self-service users say they never use the technology in-branch. Almost a third, (30%) of people say having a staff member on hand would make them more inclined to use self-service for more complex transactions in their bank

Secondary to these concerns, the next most common reason to avoid self-service is because lack of speed, as chosen by a quarter of respondents. Just 17% said they were worried it won’t work.

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