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Has Your DWP Call Been Answered By A ‘Human-Like’ Voice?

March 1, 2022

With many thanks to Benefits And Work.

The DWP has told claimants not to be concerned if a “human-like” voice speaks to them when they call. 

An article in the DWP’s Touchbase online newsletter this month explains:

“Conversational Platform (CP) is one of a suite of new strategic solutions being introduced by DWP to provide an improved modern telephony service in line with changing customer needs.”

It is not clear what ‘the changing customer needs’ are, but enormously long waits are being reported by claimants calling the DWP and a software solution is clearly cheaper than one involving actual human beings.

The article goes on to say that:

“CP will transform the customer journey by providing an automated conversational experience, replacing existing Interactive Voice Response (i.e. press 1 for X, 2 for Y) with a voice led solution (‘What are you calling about today?’).

“As customer experience is critical in supporting the development of CP, from the end of March 2022 data will be collected regarding the reason for the call. Customers should not be concerned if they hear a “human like” voice when they contact us.”

Conversational platforms can be anything from an FAQ chatbot to something like Siri or Alexa which uses machine learning to improve its responses over time.

The main advantages to the DWP are that phone calls can be answered much more quickly at considerably lower cost than employing people to staff phone lines.

Where the query is a simple one, an automated response may be sufficient.

But for anything even remotely complex the fear must be that automated systems allow the DWP to claim that all calls are being answered quickly whilst, in reality, claimants are left without any meaningful response.

Benefits and Work would be pleased to hear your experience of calling the DWP.  How long did it take to get an answer and did you speak to a real person or did an artificial intelligence bot deal with your query?

3 Comments leave one →
  1. March 1, 2022 5:08 pm

    Reblogged this on Tory Britain! .

  2. April 6, 2022 12:23 am

    I had to contact the PIP helpline with questions from one of my advocacy partners and as usual the information required was complex – otherwise, why would they need an advocate to assist with communication?

    I do know that virtually all of my advocacy partners would not have been able to resolve anything or to obtain the information they required by using this new system. In fact, most of them would have given up very early in the call.

    This new way of working may be convenient and cost-effective for the DWP but it is a huge regression as far as engagement with applicants and prospective appellants are concerned.

    Having experienced this system, I can forecast a large reduction in numbers that call for information and clarification regarding their PIP claims. However, perhaps, apart from saving money, this was the ultimate objective of the DWP!

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