Transversal Web Self-Service Index shows 224% growth since 2004

Cambridge, UK, 31 January 2007: The web is becoming a primary customer service channel for businesses as more consumers shop and access information online, according to Transversal ( Transversal’s Web Self-Service Index™ has highlighted a sharp increase in the number of consumers asking questions through web self-service systems to obtain customer service information. In the quest to avoid calling or emailing contact centres, the amount of customers turning to this channel for faster responses to questions has risen 224 per cent from 2004 to 2006.

The positive trend continued between 2005 and 2006 with the amount of questions asked using web self-service increasing 107 per cent. Transversal’s annual Web Self-Service Index monitors consumer behaviour by analysing usage and volume through client sites, looking both at the overall rate of adoption and the amount of customers and questions handled by individual client applications. It provides a view of the market, supported by specific information on key vertical sectors such as financial services, retail, travel and consumer electronics.

Comparing the first and second halves of 2006, questions asked through Transversal’s client web self-service applications were up by over a third, with a 39 per cent rise. The largest seasonal peaks came in retail and consumer electronics in the run up to Christmas. For example, retailer Freemans saw a 29 per cent growth in questions asked through its system, with the majority of this in the six weeks leading up to 25th December. Travel is predicted to be the major peak in the first half of 2007, as holidaymakers increasingly research and buy online. Figures from Continental Research recently found that 17 million Britons will buy part of their main holiday online, with 21 million using the Internet for research .

These figures highlight the growing customer acceptance of automated, online customer service systems, allowing businesses to benefit from service advantages, cost savings and better management of seasonal customer service peaks.

In the banking sector, Transversal customer, Barclays Bank, experienced a 75 per cent increase in customers using web self-service from 2005 to 2006. It successfully handled nearly a million online customer sessions and answered more than two million customer service and sales questions on its website.

Holiday Extras, the UK market leader for airport parking and airport hotel reservations, is answering 92 per cent of online customer queries automatically through web self-service, removing the need to call or email a contact centre for the majority of holidaymakers. Since deploying web self-service, calls to Holiday Extras’ contact centre have dropped by 9 per cent whilst online sales have been increasing simultaneously by 9 per cent.

“As use of the Internet has increased so has consumer desire to get more intuitive, accurate and fast responses to their questions online,” commented Davin Yap, CEO, Transversal. “Transversal’s Web Self-Service Index is able to show this dramatic growth as the web becomes a fundamental channel for customer service. As this increases month by month organisations need to ensure their online customer service provides real differentiation from their competitors if they are to succeed.”

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Dee Roche, Head of Marketing +44 (0)1223 723 388
Rainier PR
Chris Measures/Rupert Walker +44 (0)20 7494 6570

About Transversal
Transversal is a Cambridge-based developer of intelligent eService software that enables organisations to achieve key sales, customer service and efficiency goals. Transversal's flagship service, Metafaq, enables organisations to increase online sales and reduce the volume of call and email queries to contact centres by automatically answering customers' questions online. Transversal customers will typically see immediate and dramatic email reductions, by around 60%, and improvements in email response times, from days to minutes. Intrafaq, Transversal's knowledge management solution for contact centres, delivers information to agents in a unique way from a dynamic natural language knowledgebase. Simply by typing a question, in their own words, agents can access answers to customer questions; providing fast, accurate and consistent responses. Organisations benefit from increased first call resolution and efficiency by improving the knowledge and quality of service provided by customer service and help-desk agents. Transversal's Memory Engine™ is the result of research and development by top researchers in Information Theory and Machine Learning from Caltech and Cambridge universities. Transversal co-founder, Prof. David MacKay, is a world-renowned expert in Artificial Intelligence. He pioneered Bayesian Neural Networks in the late 1980s and remains at the forefront of the field. Current customers include Sony, Direct Line, Mint, Tesco Personal Finance, Thomsons, The AA, Barclays, Holiday Extras, Nissan, Fujifilm, Standard Life, Freemans, Grattans and Kaleidoscope.

Published on: 12:00AM on 31st January 2007