Thought leadership

New research published by ContactBabel, the contact centre industry analysts, reveals that the average cost of a telephony IVR self-service session is 65p, compared to £3.87 for a live agent call, £3.70 for an agent-handled email and £3.00 for a web chat session.

The rapid growth in smartphones means a visual representation of IVR menus can be provided, and as a caller can navigate a visual IVR menu between 4 and 5 times quicker than a traditional audio IVR menu, the customer experience is improved without sacrificing any functionality or options.

Other headline findings from the report include:

  • UK businesses could save £3bn each year through automating their customer identification and security processes

  • Virtual web-service agents can deflect 25% of calls, and 50% of emails

  • Self-service is no longer about purely being able to cut businesses’ costs: contextualising and personalising the self-service experience allows businesses to offer quicker and more tailored information and provides opportunities for cross selling and upselling as well.


"The Inner Circle Guide to Self-Service" is a major new study of how UK contact centre operations can develop their self-service strategy, whether through speech recognition, DTMF IVR, social, mobile or web channels. It is available now, free of charge, from

The report's author, Steve Morrell, commented:

“While the future of customer contact will involve the extremes of highly-personalised live service on the one hand, and the increasing use of automated systems on the other, we’re seeing that businesses and solution providers are looking to build strong links between automated and live service options to support seamless transitions as required.

“Self-service can truly be ‘win-win’ for customers as well as businesses. In the past, most self-service has been about cutting businesses’ costs, but the joined-up thinking now being shown and the increasing acceptance that it’s now an omnichannel world is creating a coherent strategy that has the customer experience as well as cost management in mind.”

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