Once past the welcome message, callers on average hang up after just 65 seconds of listening to canned music.<< Archive
The drop in patience comes as the number of calls to call centres is growing at a rate of 20% every year.
"Customers are getting used to the idea of an 'always available' society," says Cara Diemont of IT firm Dimension Data, which commissioned the survey.
However, call centres also saw a sharp increase of customers simply abandoning calls, she says, from just over 5% in 2003 to a record 13.3% during last year.
When automated phone message systems are taken out of the equation, where customers have to pick their way through multiple options and messages, the number of abandoned calls is even higher - a sixth of all callers give up rather than wait.
One possible reason for the lack in patience, Ms Diemont says, is the fact that more customers are calling 'on the move' using their mobile phones.
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