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Customers turned off by call centres
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aaron
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2004 10:03 am    Post subject: Customers turned off by call centres Reply with quote

Waiting on hold is the worst aspect of dealing with call centres for the majority of customers, a new report has said. In total, 97% of respondents found using such services annoying, according to the Citizens Advice findings. Just over half of those asked said waiting on hold for too long was their pet hate.

Complex automated options annoyed 38% of people, while lack of face-to-face contact with the person on the other end of the line irritated a further 18%. Telephone services operated by utility companies were found to be the worst offenders. Nearly four out of 10 people said they were dissatisfied by phone calls made to telephone, gas, water and power firms.

The new findings are released to mark Advice Week which runs until September 12.

They are included in the Hanging On The Telephone report based on analysis of reports from 1,900 Citizens Advice bureaux in England, Wales and Northern Ireland plus Mori interviews with 2,253 adults across Great Britain.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2004 10:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

They forgot to add that when you do get through to someone they usually don't have a clue about the product/service and how to help you and the worst bit is if you have to call back for some reason you can't speak to the same person and have to start from scratch with the new one because they never leave proper notes on your account.
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DavidVP80
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 08, 2004 11:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is a good article in this month's issue of Call Center Magazine that tackles this topic to some degree. A survey was conducted among call center managers and call center callers to gauge, among other things, the Call Centers perceived level of satisfaction among their callers and the actual level of satisfaction experienced.

The article boils down to this...most call centers don't know that their callers are dissatisfied. One of the survey questions asked the call center mangers to rank how satisfied they believed callers to their centers were with the service/information they received. This data was compared to a survey of call center callers who were asked to rank their level of satisfaction. The results were very telling. The Call Center managers gave themselves approximately a 60% Very Satisfied rating while actual callers gave a rating of only 22%. Further, on the opposite end of the spectrum, Call Centers said only 2% of their callers were dissatisfied while callers said approximately 32% were dissatisfied.

That being said, when choosing a call center to partner with (and they are your partner probably more so than of your other vendors) it is important that you find one who who measures their success in terms that make sense to your business and clients. Sounds obvious, I know...but you would be surprised how many people put little or no thought into this.

I have had the benefit of being on every side of the call center at one point or another. Caller, client and owner. I can tell you that we approach our call center business as prospective clients and try to work closely with both our existing and new clients to ensure we represent them better than they would represent themselves. This goal is not always easy...nor always attainable. A lot depends on the volume and quality of information our client's provide us...which not always something we can control. But a lot also depends on logistical and hiring practices that we can control. We make sure we excel at the things we can control and we do the absolute best we can with the things we can't. You'd be surprised how hard we have to work to get even the most rudimentary type customer service information from some of our clients.

I've bent your ear(s) long enough.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 08, 2004 11:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A warm welcome to Aardvark Business, David... if you get chance, please post a quick introduction on our new members' thread.

Wave

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2004 12:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Aaron. I look forward to hanging out for a while.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2004 5:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The customer can save themselves so much times by just going to interent and doing much of the same things now a days I can't tell you the last time I've called customer service for anything.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2004 4:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are some things you simply have to telephone for. We use a well known delivery firm to despatch products around the world. When you telephone you go through several options and enter your account number. Eventually you get to a real person (as opposed to those fake ones) Laughing The first thing they do is ask for your account number. Question Question Question

Bring back people answering telephones.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2004 4:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

agreed. Auto response lines are only good if you want very specific information like address, hours of operation, known issues under technical care etc. However when I get a live person it would be nice if they were trained about the company, the product/service and other related issues. It would also be nice if they had some real customer service training ie attitude, how to handle angry complaints, rights and laws of their country for the consumer etc
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2004 12:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike-sfsgo wrote:
Bring back people answering telephones.


Good luck convincing companies to do that. Trend is less and less and you see more functions moved online. or through voice guided VRUs
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2004 2:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

juke wrote:
Mike-sfsgo wrote:
Bring back people answering telephones.


Good luck convincing companies to do that. Trend is less and less and you see more functions moved online. or through voice guided VRUs

I think you are absolutely right, but I wonder if some company starts offering, something like premium service. Actually, we have this in many businesses already. For example, website hosting; cheap hosting, service is non-existent. You pay a lot of money, you can get a good support. Premium service for bank account(this does not depend on how much money you have but depends on how much you pay for the service), what do you think?
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2004 3:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The level of customer service a call center is allowed to provide is indeed dictated by the company doing the outsourcing (or insourcing, as it were). Our call center has some clients who refuse to go the VRU route despite the fact that they would save a ton of money doing so. A lot of factors figure into why a company picks the level of customer service they do. Some of it has to do with nothing more than the cost involved. Others look at customer service as part of their culture. Nintendo is an excellent example of this. Their cost per call is ridiculous...but they put a higher value on customer retention than does say your local utility. They want to be part of their customer's total experience and they scrape and fight for every customer they can keep.

A lot of markets have done a good job of conditioning their customers to expect poor service. Again I point to the utilities. Cable companies are another good example. High wait times are the norm not the exception and everyone who calls knows this...and sometimes this effects the decision of a consumer to call the call center. Which is not always a bad thing from these comapnies' point of view. Especially, when you consider each call can cost them as little as a couple of bucks to upwards of $10 or more. Multiply that times the thousands of calls they get everyday and the numbers escalate rapidly.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2004 9:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think many website owners are beginning to feel the pinch of this. Emails unanswered, shopping baskets abondened, premium rate phone calls to an Indian (no offense to any Indians here) who doesn't know anything about local issues.

I'm sure we've all experienced something like this. Wouldn't it be great if you could talk to someone face to face, whilst browsing the website who could actually show you things and really help you out?
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2004 2:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Wouldn't it be great if you could talk to someone face to face, whilst browsing the website who could actually show you things and really help you out?


I think many smaller organisations compete in fields were you can choose how you want to do business. If you want a voice of experience then it is often the case that you can find this service.

It is the larger organisations that move towards cost cutting methods like automated telephone systems. I read an article that indicated the costs of operating automated telephone systems within banking, reduced costs to 40% per transaction/enquiry. If they could fully automate every aspect of their business this would be reduced to approximately 15%.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2004 2:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
It is the larger organisations that move towards cost cutting methods like automated telephone systems. I read an article that indicated the costs of operating automated telephone systems within banking, reduced costs to 40% per transaction/enquiry. If they could fully automate every aspect of their business this would be reduced to approximately 15%.


With banks earning billions each year in profits and paying out interest rates several percent below inflation I can't see many people sympathising with this view point Wink
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2004 3:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

adigaskell wrote:
Quote:
It is the larger organisations that move towards cost cutting methods like automated telephone systems. I read an article that indicated the costs of operating automated telephone systems within banking, reduced costs to 40% per transaction/enquiry. If they could fully automate every aspect of their business this would be reduced to approximately 15%.


With banks earning billions each year in profits and paying out interest rates several percent below inflation I can't see many people sympathising with this view point Wink


You can if you are shareholder...
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