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2009-03-05: An online survey of consumers reveals that they don’t get good service from call centres..

àreté business services decided to undertake an online survey of UK consumers in order to understand their opinions of the calls centres with which they deal and the high level findings of this survey, to which over 60 people responded, are revealed today.

Consumers say they don’t get good service from call centres, with a staggering majority finding they need to make repeat calls to get things done. The issues highlighted that most annoyed people were around inordinate queuing and holding, unnecessary and unhelpful IVR and call routing mechanisms, and standardisation/ scripting of calls.

People are generally against the idea of off shoring, either in principle or because of service, language or staff treatment issues, with half of respondents saying they might or definitely would take their business away from a company if it sent its call centre operations to a cheaper offshore location.

Consumers believe that the target-driven approach to call centre management is stupid and they would prefer staff to take as long as it takes to deal with their call and do everything right first time.

“It’s madness that call centres have become so internally focussed they’ve forgotten the customers they exist to serve,” says Alison J Widdup, Managing Director of àreté business services ltd. “Companies need to learn to look at themselves from the customer’s perspective and design their services against customer needs and wants– it’s not just excellent customer service, it’s cost-effective too!”

Mark Bradley, author of ‘Inconvenience Stores: One Year in UK Customer Service’ and lead assessor for the Unisys/ Management Today Service Excellence Awards agrees. “Contact centre employees, in my experience, are constrained by a way of thinking that would be more in tune with the industrial revolution than in the service industries of the UK today. Organisations must recognise that their processes must be driven by both customers and employees if they want to differentiate in 2005 and beyond. Very few come up to scratch.”

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