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Phone companies’ call centres are ‘the worst by far’

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20/03/2007

Call centres operated by phone companies and Internet providers are the least likely to generate customer satisfaction, according to a survey of 403 call centres in 42 countries undertaken by technology firm Dimension Data.

The waiting times for an answer are generally the longest at 65 seconds and, when a customer does get through, the ‘welcome’ message is also the longest at an average 35 seconds.

The net result of these waiting times is that 20% of callers hang up before they talk to anyone at the firm.

Dimension Data said satisfaction with call centres was down from 82% in 2006 to 68.3% this year. The report’s editor, Cara Diemont, said: “While many companies are looking to automate their call centres, they must grasp that a poorly defined or executed process will not improve the situation.”

Mobile phone user Rachel Jackson said: “I had some problems with my phone and called the number that they optimistically called a ‘helpline’. It was awful and after three minutes I gave up trying to get through.

“For me, phone companies have the worst call centres by far.”

Martin Dove, of Dimension Data’s call centre consultancy Merchants Europe, said: “Poor quality customer service has dogged this sector in recent years.”

 

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