Given the recent Comcast scandal in the US, it’s hardly surprising that there’s been a public backlash in relation to current call centre processes.
However, figures from a poll by CorvisaCloud suggest that, in the US, it’s not agent persistence or sales techniques that upset people the most, it’s the simple art of showing an interest.
In its annual Customer Service Study, CorvisaCloud surveyed 1,200 consumers across the pond to find that 80% of respondents were ‘vexed’ by calls that involved ‘robotic’ call centre agents, with reading from scripts rated the biggest bugbear.
In addition, hold times continue to drive customers crazy – 32% of customers stated they hang up after waiting five minutes on a call, while repeating information was also stated as an area for improvement for 18% of respondents.
On the plus side, 60% of people say there has been an overall improvement in customer service among brands since 2013, despite 10% reporting an increase in the frequency with which they are having to contact customer service departments on a monthly basis.
“This year’s survey proves that companies are recognizing the importance of listening to customers and implementing strategies that address customer needs, but it also uncovered that ‘good enough’ still isn’t cutting it,” said Matt Lautz, president and CIO, CorvisaCloud.
“In order to effectively compete, businesses of all sizes need to invest in the right people and technology to make sure they’re wow-ing customers instead of just covering the basics.”
Despite recent research suggesting otherwise, phone is still the favoured customer support method for the masses if CorvisaCloud’s study is anything to go by, with 55% of its respondents preferring to speak to agents over the phone as opposed to other mediums such as email/web forms (22%) and chat (12%).
Unsurprisingly given Comcast’s recent run in the news, cable companies were rated as the worst customer service offenders by 47% of respondents.
Comcast has attempted to address its recent problems by hiring an SVP of customer experience to oversee how its agents deal with support queries. The move fits with the growing consensus among industry experts that call centres need to be realigned in businesses as ‘relationship hubs’ and do away with script reading agents altogether.
About Chris Ward
Chris is Editor of MyCustomer. He is a practiced editor, having worked as a copywriter for creative agency, Stranger Collective from 2009 to 2011 and subsequently as a journalist covering technology, marketing and customer service from 2011-2014 as editor of Business Cloud News. He joined MyCustomer in 2014.