28 September 2023

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) commissioned some external research to find out the contact preferences and digital appetite of its customers. The results have been published for you to view.

The research covered :

  • preferences for methods when contacting HMRC
  • reasons for not using HMRC digital services and potential levers for encouraging take up
  • what customers want from a digital interaction with HMRC
  • awareness of HMRC’s contact channels, including its digital services
  • the proportion and composition of individual customers who cannot interact digitally, or need help to do so.

Some key learnings from the research:

  • online channels are preferred for simple tasks
  • offline channels are preferred for more complex tasks, this is due to customers wanting assurance tasks have been completed correctly
  • customers feel they would be more likely to engage with HMRC online if services were easier to use and understand, and if HMRC could provide prompt and personalised reassurances online
  • the majority (86%) of respondents are open to engaging digitally with HMRC
  • almost a fifth of customers are not aware of HMRC’s digital avenues
  • unsurprisingly, the less digitally capable were much less likely to use digital or self-serve channels and older customers are more likely to have lower levels of digital capability
  • There is still a high demand for offline, non-digital channels of communication.

It is clear HMRC is wanting to push towards a more digital approach to communications, however it is clear that we are still a long way from this. With offline channels being sought where situations are complex, it is in HMRC’s best interest to resolve less complex queries digitally or through a self-service option as this leaves them with more resource to direct at the complex areas. However, more work needs to be done to raise awareness of the channels available if they are to gain more traction with HMRC’s customers.

Information provided in this news article may be subject to change. Please make note of the date of publication to ensure that you are viewing up to date information.