A new study shows that 55% of call centres from UK banks, insurance and airline companies failed to deliver voice quality customers would find satisfactory.
The research, which covered 22 major UK call centres, also highlighted that:
- 46% of UK-based and 67% of Offshore call centre agents had sub-standard voice quality levels
- None of the Call Centres equalled the level of voice quality typically experienced in a national phone call
- 64% of call centres had impairments such as lost words, clipped speech, distorted voice or excessive background noise
- Faults typically associated with VoIP were present in over 33% of call centres
The 'mystery shopper' research was carried out by voice quality measurement specialist Mosworks to provide insight into the growing backlash against call centres amongst UK Consumers. According to MORI, 14% of UK customers polled intended to change suppliers as a result of their experience with offshore call centres while Dimension Data claims a record 13% of consumers abandoned calls, up from 5% in 2003.
"Our research shows that many call centre agents are difficult to hear - that's a fundamental business problem." said Iain Wood, Director of Marketing, Mosworks. "Companies are not aware that voice quality can actually be measured in terms of customer experience. Voice quality needs to be managed or companies risk unnecessary churn, brand and sales issues as a result of customers experiencing poor communications with call centres."
The research, the first of its kind, was conducted in part using International Telecommunications Union (ITU-T) recommended Mean Opinion Score (MOS) technology that provides an accurate prediction of customer experience. Companies such as Abbey National Bank, Barclays Bank, Norwich Union, The RAC and Virgin Atlantic were tested.
On The Line: A Study of Voice Quality in UK and Offshore Call Centres which gives 10 Key Recommendations for managing voice quality can be downloaded at www.mosworks.co.uk