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90% of UK shoppers find customer centres ineffective

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The majority (90%) of UK customers say that customer centres are “ineffective at dealing with issues,” says a new study.

A third (33%) of the surveyed UK shoppers say that they’ll give up on a retailer if customer service is poor as more than 50% of the same cohort have been frustrated with their shopping treatment, reports a study by Whistl. 

The analysis goes on to say that shoppers are happy to wait on a call for an average of two and a half minutes. But, 34% of the questioned UK shoppers report that if the waiting time is more than 10 minutes, they would hang up and never call back.

Consumers say they’re more likely to stay on hold if they’re told their place in the queue on the average hold time as 74% of surveyed UK shoppers find repetitive hold music as “highly annoying.”

When it comes to prefered communication methods, 65% of over 65-year-olds report that they would choose the phone conversations over any other form of contact. Whereas, 18-24-year-olds say that they favour email (47%) to social media (30%) and only 10% say they would communicate via letter.

Dealing with international customer service is also a significant area of clienteles complaints with language frustrations (16%), rigid script reading (13%) and lack of geographical knowledge (10%) are among the top customer frustrations.

The study culminates by saying that live chats should be among the retailers’ arsenal. Some 36% of UK customers say that being able to ask questions in the middle of an online purchase would increase their purchasing decision. Shoppers prefer the service because they can multitask while businesses can make the most out of their operations by communication to several clients at the same time.

Melanie Darvall, director of marketing and communications at Whistl, says: “Our research has shown that playing lip service to dealing with customer issues swiftly and easily leaves a bad impression with consumers. It will ultimately hit your ability to operate. So, it’s common sense to ensure they have a good experience when dealing with your company.”

“It’s important to have the tools available to meet the needs of the demographics of your customer base and to engender a ‘can-do’ culture within customer service departments, whether it’s face-to-face, over the phone, via social media or on live chat. It was surprising to see just how varied the overall levels of satisfaction are when it comes to the support companies have to offer.”

Image credit: Fotolia

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