Barclays and BT to launch talking website
Sunday 21 November 1999
After the successful recent pilot scheme with Barclays Online, BT is expected to sign a series of deals for IECC within the next few weeks. It allows anyone using a website to have questions answered immediately with the click of a mouse - but by a real human being - in three formats.
"Web Chat" uses written dialogue with a customer service agent. "Web Talk" lets a customer talk direct to a call centre operator. Finally, "Web Push" lets an agent "push" the required information to the customer whether it be a picture or text - so someone shopping online for clothes could view an item in a different colour on screen.
More companies look set to join Barclays. Initially, these will be other financial institutions but it will not be long before this ground-breaking initiative, so far available only in the US, is taken up by other sectors.
Ian Seedhouse, development manager at BT Syncordia Solutions, which came up with IECC, said: "There is a need to interact e-mail with a call centre. This is backed up by research, and it will not be long before all companies realise how essential this is - or before the consumer demands it."
Research carried out by Yankelovich Partners in 1998 found that 63 per cent of online users would be more inclined to spend with human interaction - at present 67 per cent of people click out of shopping websites without buying.
Companies may see e-commerce as the way forward and assume that people are going to use websites. In reality, most people still do not trust the web and are reluctant to pass credit-card details over the net.
That's some guestlist! Stunning images show huge dynastic wedding between Ultra-Orthodox Jewish families which attracted 25,000 guests
'He was always smiling': Lee Rigby named as Woolwich victim
Heathrow airport reopens runways after British Airways plane 'on fire over London' makes emergency landing
Two bailed after arrest over Twitter comments about Woolwich murder
Exclusive: Woolwich killings suspect Michael Adebolajo was inspired by cleric banned from UK after urging followers to behead enemies of Islam
- 1 Pope Francis: Being an atheist is alright as long as you do good
- 2 'He was always smiling': Lee Rigby named as Woolwich victim
- 3 'Something passed underneath us, quite close': Airbus A320 has close encounter with UFO
- 4 Lord of the Sings: Sir Christopher Lee, 91, to release heavy metal album
- 5 Two bailed after arrest over Twitter comments about Woolwich murder
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Nook is donating eReaders to volunteers at high-need schools and participating in exclusive events throughout the campaign.
Get the latest on The Evening Standard's campaign to get London's children reading.
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.