A survey undertaken by Transversal, a provider of web self-service and knowledge management solutions, has revealed that consumer opinions of particular brands have decreased after contacting a call centre. Over half of the respondents (53 per cent) said their opinion had decreased with financial services companies, in particular, cited as the major culprits. However, First Direct bank was singled out for praise, by the 17 per cent of people whose opinion of a company had been enhanced by the call centre experience.
Contacting a call centre by phone was still the favoured medium for 83 per cent of respondents, with the remainder opting for e-mail. This indicates that very few organisations have established an effective way to deal with e-mail enquiries, despite the ease of communication it can offer to them and their customers.
When asked about ways to improve call centres 57 per cent said: Employ agents who know more and are able to handle my call quickly, followed by 35 per cent saying: Reduce the number of automated menus. Despite many companies outsourcing their call centre operations abroad, no one admitted relocating to India.
Gerard Buckley, CEO of Transversal, commented: Customers are still banging on the same old drum and its clear from this survey that organisations still have some way to go to satisfy them. Greater speed, knowledge and consistency of response are still seen as the key requirements for customers.
The irony is, the technology exists that will make sure customers get the answers they need whether theyre online or calling a call centre. The latest online customer service technologies can even provide call centre agents with intelligent answers to customer questions, any time agents are stuck for the answer.