Consumer reliance on the Internet as a principal source of obtaining company information and making purchases is set to rocket over the next five years.
This is one of the main findings in a new report by management consultants Deloitte Consulting, which also reveals that more than 20% of UK consumers expect to use the Internet to make purchases over the next five years.
The report, entitled Understanding Your Customer's Customer, finds that Internet use by UK customers to obtain information about companies and their services will jump from around 4% of the population to 52% over the next five years.
David Owen, Deloittes' European customer relationship management leader, said, "Although the Internet can be expected to take away some customers from both call centres and the post in five years' time for lower level interactions, the use of call centres for more high level interaction is expected to increase over the next five years."
Owen added that 24% of UK customers would over the next five years use call centres to share confidential information.