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TalkTalk has put flesh on its plans to improve its shaky reputation for customer care, after announcing a drive to put more onus on online support earlier this year.

In March, TalkTalk announced it was beefing up chat-based customer support on its site, which hinged on adopting a fresh, slicker platform for its service.

The shift in strategy was in response to surveys that revealed consumers who are in need of assistance “increasingly prefer to self-serve online”. Although it surely won’t have hurt that there are cost-savings to he had for TalkTalk too.

In tandem with the online push, though, it seems moves are also afoot to improve phone-based support, with the adoption of biometric voice security that should eliminate the need to navigate menus and dance around operatives’ questions to determine whether you’re the account holder.

As well as saving time and sparing users frustration, voice biometric tags, which could be live by the end of the year, should also shore up security levels according to Alastair Douglas, Group Business Assurance Director at TalkTalk.

siri detail

Douglas said: “A module for voice commands we’re introducing this year is voice biometric tagging, which is more secure than any password.

"The same company that does Siri has built an app that asks you to say a stock phrase such as ‘my voice is my password’, which it will use to verify you. It sounds futuristic, but this could be live by the end of the year.”

Douglas added: “It’s great because you take out a chunk of the call. No-one wants to be on the phone for any length of time and any sort of improvement in the time it takes to identify who you are and get you to the right person could dramatically cut that down.”

How far and fast TalkTalk can repair the reputation it’s garnered over the years has yet to be seen.

However, for his part, Douglas’ claims that customer contacts through its new online framework are running at an 85% satisfaction rate.

We’ve no way to verify that result, naturally. But voting in the consumer surveys for the uSwitch Awards over the last few years testify to a marked improvement for TalkTalk’s customer support, after a long run of weak showings.

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