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18 & 19 MARCH 2020


ContactBabel: UK Customer Experience Survey

 As part of the research for ContactBabel’s new report “The UK CX Decision-Makers’ Guide”, a survey of 1,000 UK consumers was carried out to understand UK customers’ attitudes and preferences for their customer experience. The full report is available free of charge from

What’s important to customer experience?

Survey respondents were asked to state the top three most important factors impacting on customer experience when contacting an organisation. Results were segmented by age group to see if any patterns emerged.


Millennials consider 24/7 availability to be the most important factor, even placing it above having their issue solved first time. This desire for immediacy of response is strengthened by the finding that the second most important CX factor is having a short wait time for a response.

The older generation cared most about the employees being UK-based (with 59% of respondents placing this in the top 3) against only 33% of Millennials. First contact resolution was also of far greater importance to the 65+ age group, with 58% placing it in their top 3. The older generation also values having their issue handled by a single employee.

Live or automation?

A question was put to 1,000 UK consumers: would they prefer to speak to an agent or use automation, if the effort, outcome and time spent were exactly the same?

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Surprisingly - in that the question emphasised that the outcome and customer effort/time spent would be identical in each case - the results show that the customer base is not yet at a stage where automation is seen as being on equal terms with human contact.

Both age groups prefer communicating with employees rather than using automation - 68% in the case of the 65+ age group and 49% for Millennials.

However, Millennials are more willing to try automation, with 29% actively choosing automation over speaking to an employee and 15% not expressing a preference. For the older generations, only 9% prefer automation, although 22% state that they have no preference.

US and UK customer preferences

ContactBabel also has the “US CX Decision-Makers’ Guide” available now, which allows direct comparison between the UK and US consumers and contact centre industries.

In both the UK and the US, 24/7 availability is the most popular top 3 CX factor for Millennials. US respondents rate “polite and friendly employees” as being of far more importance than do UK respondents, who are more likely than US counterparts to value short call times. Millennials in either country are much less likely than older generations to care if employees are internationally-based.

Although both sets of Millennials prefer to communicate with employees, they are both more willing than the older generations to at least try to use automation.

The “UK CX Decision-Makers’ Guide” is available free of charge from Based on large-scale surveys with UK businesses and consumers, it covers the CX strategy, performance, operations and technology aspects of UK organisations, as well as consumer attitudes and preferences for channels and service.