UK consumers will hang up on poor service
UK consumers need little provocation to move their business according to research conducted by consumer website PleasePress1.com. From mobile network operators to retailers and major banks, the free to access website charts the automated phone menus of some of the UK's most well-known brands.
Survey results from over 3,000 users on the site have revealed that the vast majority of consumers (75%) are actively prepared to move their business after a poor experience with automated phone menus. Ultimately, these lengthy and confusing phone menus just delay the process of connecting with customer services. Beyond the time wasted, complaints include twitchy voice recognition software and ‘dead ends’ which lead you through a host of options before simply cutting you off.
Almost all respondents (96%) contact call centres on at least a monthly basis with 42% making an average of 3 calls per month. This high frequency of calls is considerably higher when including those who have to deal with these centres as business customers. In these situations a fast resolution is vital and delays may have greater implications.
This automated part of the customer journey is being overlooked by companies believes Nigel Clarke, creator of PleasePress1: “Too many organisations are complacent when it comes to existing customers. The emphasis is too frequently on new business, often at the expense of those looking for support. This is actually quite strange as retaining customers is far cheaper than acquiring new ones. Our polling suggests that customer inertia is rapidly becoming a thing of the past. Shoppers are now far savvier and visits to our website are at times of pressing need. If call centres don’t look after their customers, someone else will.”
He added: “With a culture of complex navigation and excessive queue driven systems, existing customers have plenty of time to consider their own options. From the feedback we’ve had, it’s companies who wilfully waste our time that frustrate us the most. In fact, 88% of the people who answered our survey have spent time wading through a menu only to find that the service they require is closed.”
Nigel’s campaign has not gone unnoticed acording to his company and several companies including Saga and Lloyds TSB have contacted the website. These companies are looking at supplying numbers and menu data in order to support their customers.
PleasePress1.com has received an average of 400,000 hits per month since the launch of the service in May. During that time, the website has been inundated with requests for additional features and the integration of customer feedback.