Press release: Belgian businesses can win customer loyalty with cutting edge customer support technology

DC15-265 (25 June 2015)

‘Autonomous Customers’ are happy to self-serve, but expect instant and excellent service through multiple channels when needed

INFOGRAPHIC: How new devices make all the difference to your contact centre

  • Belgian consumers are now interested in being offered advanced customer support technology such as video and social media
  • More than half (58 per cent) of Belgian consumers say they would be more loyal to organisations if they were easier to deal with
  • Three quarters (72 per cent) buy more from organisations that are easy to deal with

Belgian consumers want organisations to offer advanced ways to communicate with customers such as video and social media. This is according to a new global report commissioned by BT and Avaya: ‘Autonomous Customer 2015: On hold for Intelligent Customer Service.’ In its fifth year, the independent report is produced by Davies Hickman Partners.

The study, covering 5,500 people over 10 countries, looks at the attitudes of ‘Autonomous Customers’ – those who research and investigate buying decisions online, and prefer to interact with organisations on their own terms. The research reveals that Belgian consumers are keen to use new technologies to improve interactions with organisations. For example, 62 per cent say they want to start a conversation in web-chat and then switch to the phone, while over 40 per cent are interested in using video to communicate with organisations. Similarly, almost half of Belgian consumers (48 per cent) would like the opportunity to use social media more often for customer service.

The report reveals the opportunities for Belgian organisations to secure customer loyalty by embracing new technology channels in their customer services strategies. Almost three quarters (72 per cent) of respondents said they buy more from organisations that make it easier to interact with them, while 58 per cent said they would be more loyal to organisations if they were easier to deal with.

“Organisations have to align themselves with rapidly changing consumer expectations,” says Dr Nicola Millard, Head of Customer Insight & Futures. “Transactional websites and mobile apps - along with social media - put organisations in the position of having to support customers 24/7. The digital world lives ‘in the moment’ and puts consumers in control. Customer service has to follow suit.”

“Autonomous customers invest time and effort to make a purchase decision. When they hit an issue they can’t resolve, they want an answer from the organisation there and then,” says Garry Veale, president, Europe, Avaya.

The majority of Belgian consumers (69 per cent) say they change the way they contact organisations for support depending on the situation, but just one in six think its easy to switch between channels at present. This has resulted in half of consumers claiming that customer services issues are “exhausting.”

Globally, customers want to be able to move seamlessly from channel to channel when it suits them. Most in demand is the ability to communicate with customer support while online (71 per cent), typically through web-chat. Also popular is the ability to switch from social media to the telephone (63 per cent) and the ability to move from webchat to telephone (62 per cent). Yet the research shows that organisations are not yet meeting consumer expectations for a seamless experience.

There are rich rewards for organisations that strike the right customer service balance, as autonomous customers buy more from organisations that are easy to deal with; leading to repeat spend and brand loyalty.

A free, downloaded copy of Autonomous Customer 2015: On hold for Intelligent Customer Service is available from:

About the research

This research was commissioned by BT Global Services and Avaya and carried out by Davies Hickman Partners. For the third iteration of the study, a total of over 5,500 consumers were surveyed in Belgium, China, Germany, Indonesia, India, Singapore, Spain, UAE, UK and USA.

About BT

BT’s purpose is to use the power of communications to make a better world. It is one of the world’s leading providers of communications services and solutions, serving customers in more than 170 countries. Its principal activities include the provision of networked IT services globally; local, national and international telecommunications services to its customers for use at home, at work and on the move; broadband and internet products and services and converged fixed/mobile products and services. BT consists principally of five customer-facing lines of business: BT Global Services, BT Business, BT Consumer, BT Wholesale and Openreach.

British Telecommunications plc (BT) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group plc and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group. BT Group plc is listed on stock exchanges in London and New York.

For more information, visit

About Avaya

Avaya is a leading provider of solutions that enable customer and team engagement across multiple channels and devices for better customer experience, increased productivity and enhanced financial performance. Its world-class contact center and unified communications technologies and services are available in a wide variety of flexible on-premises and cloud deployment options that seamlessly integrate with non-Avaya applications. The Avaya Engagement Environment enables third parties to create and customize business applications for competitive advantage. Avaya’s fabric-based networking solutions help simplify and accelerate the deployment of business critical applications and services. For more information please visit

For further information

Dennis Doodeman
Sr. PR & Corporate Relations Manager, Benelux & Nordics
Tel: +31 (0)88 212 51 94