Automated Call Centres Trigger Hang-Ups by Majority of Callers

30 January 2002

Marketers dependent on the telephone to build their business are alienating thousands of customers daily, reports a recent survey by NOP World. The nationally representative face-to-face survey sampled 2017 adults aged 15-plus in Great Britain between 4-9 October 2001.

The majority of people in the UK have hung up when answered by a call centre because the service is so bad, losing millions of potential orders every month. During the last six months over half (53%) of customers terminated their call when confronted with an automated touch tone menu, while on at least one occasion two-thirds (64%) had given up trying because it took too long to get through.

Seventy-seven per cent of callers said that they had been put on hold for over a minute when calling, while almost half (48%) said that the person they spoke to couldn’t help with their query. Satisfaction levels are correspondingly low, with fewer than four in ten customers (38%) satisfied with the service they receive over the phone; while a similar number (37%) report that they have received bad service.

Says director of NOP CallCheck David Lee: “Several companies provide very good service but the problem lies in the explosive growth of call centres. Call centres have been set up to deal with huge volumes of calls and too much focus has been placed on the technology required rather than the needs of customers.

“We measure service delivery levels through our CallCheck monitor in 400 call centres every month and we see a similar pattern. For example, 15% of customers now have to wait two minutes or more to speak to an operator but hardly any of these get an apology when they get through even though in many cases the company has the technology to know how long the customer has been waiting.”

News source: Daily Research News Online