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2021 Survey Unveils Just How Frustrated Customers Can be at Call Centre Customer Service
2021 has been a tough year so far, especially for those working in customer service.
11:01 05 August 2021
Analysis from Awaken Intelligence has revealed just why callers are annoyed with customer service centres this year.
Face-to-face services are still reduced, despite the country slowing reopening and call centres are being pushed to their limits. Awaken’s recent survey has delved into the reasons why customers are not satisfied, despite many businesses focussing their resources and effort in their remote customer service teams.
Which Industry Wins Best Customer Service?
Each industry has its reputation for customer satisfaction levels and many simply can not shake this view from the eyes of the public. This year, finance and banking took the top spot for the best customer service provided.
While many of us rarely actually require the customer service of our financial providers, the pandemic has seen a shift in needs. From being furloughed and needing a loan or mortgage holiday to cash in on the cover that credit cards provide for cancelled holidays, finance and banking have seen a huge demand for their services.
With such a sensitive subject, these queries need to be handled with due diligence and empathy. After all, money issues can cause huge mental and physical health impacts.
The public has responded well to how the industry has faced the pandemic overall with almost a quarter of respondents agreeing.
Who Has The Worst Customer Service?
It may not come as a surprise to many reading this. Utility providers were voted as the worst customer service providers in 2021. Gas, electricity, water, broadband and other services have always been infamous for long wait times and ‘going around in circles’ when trying to rectify an issue.
Previous to COVID-19, many members of the public simply didn’t have time to call their service providers and it wasn’t uncommon for people to brush away issues in exchange for removing hassle. Now with more people at home, customers have more time to pick up the phone and it appears they aren’t happy with the results.
However, the travel industry came in at a very close second when it came to the worst customer service providers. While this could be a reflection of poor customer service, it can be speculated that it is a simply poor circumstance. Record numbers of holidays have been cancelled since March 2020.
Not only has this led to increasing numbers of callers wanting to claim their money back, but at such an expensive purchase, callers will often be more emotional at the thought of losing their money.
Why Are Callers Upset With Customer Service in 2021?
The top reason why callers are still having issues with their customer service providers is not being able to speak to a real person.
Technology can be both a blessing and a curse. With the ability to use automated services, call agents can reduce their workload. However, the public commonly prefers to speak to an agent over all other options.
Even if agents are available, there are often many options they have to jump through to reach this point and it isn’t always clear how to achieve this.
The second biggest annoyance from callers is the long wait times. Several factors lead to call times being longer than desired. Even businesses with large resources have struggled with increasing numbers of callers trying to find resolutions to pandemic-related issues.
One of these factors was voted as the third biggest annoyance and that is agents taking too long to resolve an issue. This can be attributed to a lack of training or call agents having to adapt to working remotely and not having senior staff present to be able to aid easily.
Other irritations included:
- Call agents not having the ability due resolve a query due to a lack of knowledge
- The use of scripts or impersonal responses during a call
- Having to be transferred between numerous departments to resolve an issue
- Lacking first call resolution
- A language barrier between them and the call agents
- Repeatedly having to call regarding the same issue/query
- Unresponsive agents via chat or social media
It Isn’t Just Phone Calls
In a modern world, there are several different avenues customers can take to contact customer services. Emailing was voted as the most popular choice, followed by phone calls, instant messaging and social media.
However, this doesn’t mean any of these methods should be disregarded. The youngest age group, 18-34, prefer to use instant messaging. 34-44 years olds prefer email and 45+-year-olds prefer a phone call.
This is why all contact methods should be considered by customer service providers and each one needs to be monitored by management closely to satisfy every demographic.
How Has The Pandemic Impacted Opinions?
Perhaps most importantly, the survey asked respondents how they feel customer service has been impacted since lockdown started.
48% of respondents believe customer service has gotten worse. 37% stated it was the same and only 17% believe customer service has improved.
Thousands of businesses across the country have fallen victim to the pandemic and have been forced to close or come close to this. Retaining customers has never been so crucial. Avoiding common customer complaints and providing exceptional customer service is one of the most effective ways to achieve this.
Businesses shouldn’t disregard the importance of customer service and listen to complaints made by not just their customers, but the customers of all businesses to avoid cancelled contacts or lost purchases.