Consumers want human interaction for customer service, says Whistl study

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UK consumer confidence in modern customer service centers is low, with 90% describing them as “ineffective at dealing with issues”, according to a new survey by delivery management company Whistl.

Poor customer service proved to be one of the main causes of consumer irritation with brands, as more than 50% claimed they have been extremely unhappy over their customer service treatment. Over a third of consumers say they give up on a brand if their customer service is poor.

The study found consumers are more likely to stay on hold if they are told their place in a queue or the average hold time. Pinpointing who a company’s customer demographic is also proved crucial when it comes to approach to customer service, with 62% of over 65s choosing the phone over any other form of contact, while 18-24-year-olds favored email (47%) over social media (30%). Traditional mail has fallen out of favor in dealing with customer services issues with only 10% saying they’d prefer to communicate via letter.

Dealing with international customer service teams was also a major area of consumer complaint with language frustrations (16%), rigid script reading (13%) and lack of geographical knowledge (10%) among the top issues.

Of those surveyed, 36% said that being able to ask questions in the middle of an online purchase via live chat would increase their likelihood to buy. Consumers said they prefer the method because they can multi-task while businesses can make the most of their operators being able to chat to several consumers at once.

Melanie Darvall, director of marketing and communications at Whistl, said, “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 demographic 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.

“Companies need to continually work to meet their customer needs throughout the journey, from the moment of engagement and purchasing, through to returns and managing any issues.”

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About Author

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Kirstie joined the team in early 2017 and brings writing, communications and client experience with her. Now an assistant editor, she produces content for our magazines and websites. Away from the office, you will find her blogging on her lifestyle website or searching the internet for photos of sausage dogs.

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