Less than one in 12 feel valued as customers
At a time when companies and their call centres should be working harder to make their customers happy and persuade them to continue spending their hard-earned cash, many seem to be getting it very wrong, according to new research published by Jacada.
The research from customer service solutions provider Jacada found that only one in 12 of those questioned “feel valued” by the companies they are doing business with, after dealing with their call centre.
Jacada says that, at a time when companies should be investing in ensuring a positive beginning-to-end experience for their customers with their organisations, it transpired that the majority of those questioned (76%) have contacted customer service because of problems that could be perceived by consumers to have been avoidable if the company had taken more care with their products and services (ie billing errors, technical issues, and problems with deliveries or missed service calls).
When consumers attempt to deal with issues, the negative perception of their service/product providers’ attitude towards them is reinforced, with many of those questioned reporting giving up without having their problems solved – 63% when using online facilities and 48% after phone contact. And over a third of those questioned had to re-contact customer services to get their issues dealt with completely when they do persevere.
Consequently over a quarter of those questioned for the survey have actually postponed making contact with a supplier to address a problem, presumably because they couldn’t face dealing with the hassles and delays associated with the call centre. And that 34% of those questioned reported that they now expect to get poor service when they finally get do get through to a customer service agent.
Another area where the research showed that companies are getting it wrong and ignoring their customers’ preferences is the push towards web-based self-service (many companies even going so far as making it next to impossible to find a number to call for one-to-one human contact). The results from the Jacada survey show that most (67%) consumers still want to speak to a real person when they are trying to deal with serious or urgent issues..
“Even more worrying”, commented Guy Tweedale, senior VP of European operations at Jacada, “is that things seem to be getting worse, not better. According to our research, 39% of the people surveyed reported feeling that customer service has actually deteriorated since the recession took hold. We are hoping that these shocking results will act as a wake-up call for British businesses, as companies simply cannot afford to alienate their customers in this way.”