How Much Time Does Your CX Team Spend Reading T&Cs On Each Customer Call?


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We all agree to the terms and conditions (T&Cs) for services and products we use without ever reading them. The truth is that there are not enough hours in the day for any of us to really read everything and if you wanted to query one clause on page 57 then what would you say anyway?

Research by Deloitte found that young people agree to anything in T&Cs without reading them 97% of the time. Even when you add in the “older and wiser” consumers this average only changes to 91%. One study even inserted the clause ‘you will give up your first born child to our company’ to see if anyone ever read the conditions. Everyone clicked OK anyway.

The T&Cs for Microsoft Teams is over 18,000 words. That would take around two and a half hours to read. If you play Candy Crush on your phone and you want to read the T&Cs before agreeing to use the app then you will need to block out a couple more hours.

Many service providers use their T&Cs to ensure they are not liable when the service fails. They don’t ever hide this intention, it’s all stated clearly in the T&Cs, but most customers just want to use the app or website so they click ‘I agree’ to anything.

But how does this work when you can’t read the form outlining the T&Cs?

Customer service interactions are a good example and this is especially applicable to regulated industries like banking, insurance, or telecoms. If a customer calls for help, and the agent needs to ensure they agree to the T&Cs before accessing the account, then there is no other way to get around it – the agent needs to read a script or playback a recorded version.

The customer needs to sit ‘listening’ to this monotonous broadcast and then confirm they are still awake at the end with a statement of agreement.

This isn’t a good experience for the customer – they just want to get some help. It’s also not good for the bank or telco – they just want to help the customer and move on to the next one.
Because there is no visual interface, the customer has to sit and listen to the T&Cs, wasting one or two minutes before the call can even start.

For the customer this is annoying, but the rules are there to protect them. Most customers realize this and will accept the disruption of a 90-second explanation of the terms they can expect from this service. They don’t really have a choice anyway.

What does this mean for the brand though?

What if each agent handles around 50 customer calls in a day and your contact center has 800 agents? If the T&Cs take just 90 seconds then that is 1,000 hours per day where agents can’t engage with the customer because they need to run through the T&Cs first.

A thousand hours! Each agent is spending around 75 minutes a day on T&Cs.

What if this experience could be visualized, just like the way we experience T&Cs on a website or app? The customer phone can display the T&Cs, rather than the agent needing to read the information verbatim. The customer just clicks on ‘agree’ and their agreement is time-stamped and logged.

In this situation, the customer would call their bank and be told by the agent ‘you should be able to see our T&Cs on your screen now, could you please check and confirm you agree before we proceed?’ Once the customer clicks on the agree button it is possible to start the support process.

How long would this take?

It might be as quick as a few seconds, but let’s say 20 seconds as an average because some customers will click immediately and some will browse the T&Cs first. Think what that means for our theoretical 800-person contact center. That’s almost an 80% reduction in the time spent on T&Cs immediately. The same team can now be more productive because they can interact with more customers, rather than wasting time on scripts.

The same team can do more without any additional budget – and the agents will appreciate this visual approach just as much as the customers. It’s a transformation in service, but it is also simple and easy to understand.

It’s a simple example of how adding a visual element to customer interactions can be so much more powerful than just relying entirely on voice calls.

Feel free to leave a comment here or get in touch directly via my LinkedIn.

Dianne McCoubrey
I'm based in Ontario, Canada and focused on CX and BPO technology. My current position is the Vice President of Global Business Development for Grypp Corp Ltd. Grypp is a digital experience solutions company focused on providing visual customer engagement technology to contact centers, globally. i have a background in technology sales, particularly in transformative retail technologies.


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