Call Centre Bugbears

Last Tuesday saw the first episode of the BBC Three documentary, The Call Centre air. The hour-long fly-on-the-wall documentary generated more than 20,000 tweets during the show, and the heated conversation around personal experiences of call centres continued long after the show.

Last week’s episode highlighted the CEO, Nev’s alternative staff training and motivation plans, provoking conversations about call centre’s attitudes towards customer service.

Recent Natterbox research found that 39 per cent of people are only prepared to wait up to five minutes for their call to be answered, which only four per cent of those surveyed would wait longer than 30 minutes.

The top five telephone gripes of those surveyed were:

1.Being on hold for too long – 80%
2.Not being able to speak to an operator – 63%
3.Having to repeat customer details – 59%
4.Too many press one, press two options – 51%
5.Pre-recorded messages on how valued you are – 48%

It’s particularly interesting to see that almost as many people find the pre-recorded messages (which providers believe reassure customers and encourage them to stay on the line) irritating, as those that don’t.

Internet providers were also revealed as having the worst call centres, with 31 per cent of respondents naming them as the worst for customer service. However, banks emerged relatively unscathed with the majority (34 per cent) saying they provided the best telephone experience.

We anticipate another highly talked about episode this evening and can only hope that Nev provides us with more nuggets of wisdom on how to run the perfect call centre!

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David Dungay

Editor - Comms Business Magazine
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