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Industry Research : Helpshift Survey Finds 44 Percent of Americans Would Rather Scrub a Toilet Than Call Customer Support

#contactcenterworld, @helpshift

New data released from Helpshift looked at what Americans most dread about the customer support experience, how it could be improved, and which industries have the most room for improvement (spoiler alert: it’s telecoms).

The survey also asked Americans which AI technologies they like and which they find creepy or annoying.

Google Duplex voted ‘uncanny’

A full two-thirds (66 percent) of Americans feel that voice-based digital assistants are more unsettling than text-based ones, so it follows that Americans find chatbots and digital assistants likeable, while more advanced AI technologies—including Google Duplex—cross the line into "uncanny valley."

AI technology Americans most like:

- Home assistants, like Amazon’s Alexa or Google Home — 66 percent

- Digital phone assistants like Apple’s Siri or Android’s Cortana — 65 percent

- Email and messenger chatbots — 62 percent

AI technology Americans find creepiest:

- Human-like androids, as in Westworld — 70 percent

- Future AI assistants, like Samantha from Spike Jonze’s movie Her — 68 percent

- Google Duplex — 59 percent

Americans would rather scrub a toilet than call customer support

As for customer support in the U.S., a majority of Americans (57 percent) feel that it has not improved in the past few years, and 74 percent agree that contacting customer support is a frustrating experience.

It’s so frustrating, in fact, that many (44 percent) would rather spend 30 minutes cleaning a bathroom than waiting on hold for customer service; 26 percent would rather spend 30 minutes at the dentist; 25 percent would rather sit in traffic or visit their in-laws; and 24 percent would rather do their taxes.

When contacting customer support, Americans most dread:

- Long wait and hold times — 60 percent

- Being transferred and having to repeat the problem over and over — 59 percent

- Never-ending automated "self-service" menus — 50 percent

- Difficulties communicating with agents in offshore contact centers — 49 percent

- Poor levels of service — 41 percent

Telecommunications (51 percent) was again voted to have the worst customer service of any industry, by a wide margin. This was followed by airlines (20 percent) and insurance companies (20 percent).

Robots to the rescue

The survey also revealed the perceived pros and cons of chatbots. Americans’ top pet peeve about them is that they feel chatbots prevent them from reaching an actual human (51 percent), and a majority (77 percent) get annoyed if they have to type more than four responses to a chatbot.

On the other hand:

- If forced to leave a brand’s website or app to reach customer support, almost half of Americans (47 percent) would take their business elsewhere.

- Three-quarters (76 percent) say chat-based messaging would be their preferred method of contacting customer support if they knew they would get an immediate response.

- Ninety-two percent feel it is important to be able to return to a conversation with a customer service agent at a later point and pick up where they left off.

"Americans want customer service that is fast, intuitive and convenient," said Linda Crawford, CEO of Helpshift. "In order to deliver on those expectations at scale, brands need to achieve a fully conversational experience that relies on the right mix of platform capabilities like bots, threaded messaging with scrollable history, and AI-powered call center operations. It's about leveraging and prioritizing the technology available on the market today that creates the most efficient and personalized experience for the consumer."



Survey methodology

The survey was conducted online by Propeller Insights on behalf of Helpshift in May 2018 among more than 1,000 U.S. adults 18+. The results were weighted to the U.S. census for age, gender, region and income.

#contactcenterworld, @helpshift

Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent

About Helpshift:
Company LogoHelpshift bridges the disconnect between conventional customer service channels—like email and phone support—and a growing consumer base that does more on mobile phones and has a strong preference for messaging as the primary mode of communication. Through Helpshift’s AI-powered support platform, companies can resolve issues more efficiently, boosting customer satisfaction in the process.
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Today's Tip of the Day - Ask How Can I Help..

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Published: Wednesday, June 6, 2018

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2021 Buyers Guide Telecoms

Cloud IT Services GmbH

Dialfire offers you a complete call center solution that is simple and intuitive to use and adapts to your needs. It's completely cloud-based, saving you the hassle of setting up a phone system and installing software. In addition to predictive dialing and call blending of inbound calls, you can create personalized campaigns through an intuitive and easy-to-use interface. Features include automated workflows and full control over the agent screen.

You can see the full list of features here:


Cloudonix’s smart voice calls enable frictionless experiences that drive better customer care and faster sales by merging voice and data into a complete service context. Cloudonix add Cloud capabilities to your existing on premise Call Center enabling your agents to work from anywhere in the world. Security, Privacy and more – rapidly deployed and cost effective without replacing your existing systems or retraining your team.

Connectica Solutions, LLC

PBX On The Cloud
We provide complete Cloud-based PBX/Phone Systems, including predictive and progressive dialers, phone lines in more than 75 countries and low cost international rates.
We specialize in the US and Latin American market.
PH: +1 (346) 444-3555

DiRAD Technologies

AI Powered Contact Center Provider, AI Chat & Voicebot, Enterprise Telephony
Take advantage of the latest customer service innovations with Contact Center, Virtual Assistant, and Interactive Voice solutions for accessible, 24×7 services across multiple channels.
PH: 8448442989

Layer One Technologies

Layer One Technologies provides information and communication technology (ICT) services to businesses in the greater Charlotte area. Whatever your cabling needs, we have you covered.
PH: (980) 288-4800


VOIP services
Stay in contact quickly and easily with your international offices through Megacall.

Megacall will fulfill all your telecommunication requirements and on top of that go the extra mile and surprise you with new possibilities for your business, speed to action your requests and keeping within your budget.

📞 Virtual Switchboard
🔌 SIP trunk
🔢 Virtual number
📠 Call Center Solutions
PH: +34 952 667 511


Our SNAPsolution – UC and Collaboration tools – can be quickly deployed so you can realize your ROI just as quick. netsapiens offers a comprehensive suite of unified communications (UC) & Contact Center (CC) feature-sets to service providers. Custom-built to provide our partners with unprecedented levels of flexibility, customization, and ease of use.

netsapiens allows you to control your margins in order to improve your ROI. As a provider of a facilities-based solution, you are able to personally choose your origination, termination, hardware costs, etc. to fit your budget. We also allow you to strategically price your product for a maximum return on your investment by charging on a conc...
(read more)
PH: 7608463385

Nuxiba Technologies

Build a strong business presence and improve customer relationships!

Offer custom-tailored solutions throughout your sales cycles and customer interactions and assess service levels and control corporate goal achievement through reports and statistics.

Obtain detailed reports based on relevant activity in your contact center, access our quality module to assess calls and performance, apply surveys, develop scripts, record conversations, and more!

Schedule a live demo or request a quote today!


Long Distance and Toll Free Specialists for Contact Centers
Televergence is a facilities based US Nationwide High volume/High Capacity Inbound and Outbound VoIP Carrier for Contact Centers. We specialize in termination (outbound) and origination (toll free and local DID) for the contact center. We have a technical staff that is up to date on the majority of platforms in use today, including asterisk and Vicci dial, as well as many of the currently in use software platforms.
Contact Centers generally see cost reduction and containment when using Televergence as their contact center telecom carrier. Televergence is the only active US VoIP carrier certified by the Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), which enables our services to qualify for meeting corporations Supplier Diversity Needs.
PH: 213-943-2023

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Join Calabrio May 5th at 10am GMT in our first annual CX quiz that tests—and rewards—your expertise in arguably the most important aim of contact centres. 1 hour + 16 questions + multiple discussions = An unforgettable experience. You and your fellow... Read More...

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