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Call centres: the billion pound guardians

Posted on Sep 29 2009
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Each lost customer costs a business £248 per cent, meaning that businesses are wasting £15.3 billion per year, says research commissioned by customer interaction technology specialist Genesys.

The study of more than 500 UK consumers carried out by analysts Datamonitor and Ovum, also showed that 73 per cent of UK consumers have ended a supplier relationship because of a negative service experience.  On a positive note, the vast majority (83 per cent) welcome proactive contact from suppliers if it improves their customer experience.

Common gripes noted by the research include having to repeat information, feeling trapped by automated self-service systems, speaking to agents with no knowledge of prior customer experiences and waiting too long for resolution.  Satisfied customers look for traits such as competency, convenience, proactive engagement and personalisation when dealing with suppliers.

The biggest service losers are identified as financial services and utilities, where a quarter of customers defect each year.

Speaking at the Call Centre Expo, Genesys’ senior marketing manager for UK and Ireland, Lucille Jackson said that customers are still frustrated by an inability to switch channels mid-transaction.  “If I start using voice self-service and get stuck, it shouldn’t take ten minutes to reach the part of the system that allows me to speak to a live agent.  The problem stems from the continuation of a long-term strategic plan when technologies are implemented separately.  For example, if email is increasing, a system is installed dedicated to email which works independently from other customer facing technologies,” Jackson concluded.

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