Social Security Experience Panels: communicating by phone

This report considers client’s views on contacting Social Security Scotland by phone.

Automated Menus and Messages

Respondents were asked what they wanted to happen when they called Social Security Scotland. Options included speaking to an operator right away to help the caller decide who they should talk to, or to go through an automated menu.

Respondents were split on their views, however most would prefer to be able to choose what happened (43 per cent) or to speak to an agent straight away (42 per cent). Just over one in ten respondents wanted an automated menu (15 per cent).

Table 11: What respondents want to happen when they call the agency (n=148)[11]

I would like to choose (for example, press # to go through to an agent) 43
Speak to an agent straight away 42
An automated menu 15
Total 100

Where an automated menu was used, respondents pointed out it should not have too many options or take too long to get through to an agent:

'Do not have endless menus that lead to a dead end. I want to talk to a person quickly.'

When clients call the agency, there may be an automated message which tells them essential information before an agent answers their call. We asked respondents how long this message should take.

Over eight in ten respondents (84 per cent) wanted it to last less than ninety seconds, with almost half (47 per cent) wanting it to last less than thirty seconds.

Table 12: How long should automated messages last (n=140)

Less than 30 seconds 47
Less than 1 minute 37
Less than 1 minute, 30 seconds 9
Less than 2 minutes 5
Less than 3 minutes 2
Total 100


Email: James.Miller@gov.Scot

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