The top five call centre gripes infuriating UK customers

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Waiting time tolerance threshold is less than 10 minutes for majority of Brits, research finds:

Patronising pre-recorded messages, long waiting times and rude operators are among the biggest bugbears of UK customers, research has revealed.

The survey by Natterbox, the cloud based voice services provider, found just four per cent of customers are patient enough to wait more than 30 minutes to have their query resolved over the phone. The majority of respondents (39 per cent) are onlyprepared to wait up to five minutes, with a further quarter (25 per cent) willing to hold for ten minutes.

In reality, 15 per cent of Brits said they have spent more than an hour on hold, with almost a half (42 per cent) reporting painful waits of more than 40 minutes.

Top five gripes about telephone customer service:

Being on hold for too long – 80%

Not being able to speak to an operator – 63%

Having to repeat customer details – 59%

Too many press one, press two options – 51%

Pre-recorded messages on how valued you are – 48%

Other major gripes highlighted by the study include rude operators (38 per cent), being put through to the wrong department or person (31 per cent), having to call back (27 per cent) and annoying hold music (24 per cent).

The survey also exposed internet providers as having the poorest call centres, with the majority of respondents (31 per cent) naming and shaming them as the worst for customer service. Bycontrast, banks were most likely to get it right, with the majority (34 percent) of customers saying they provide the best telephone experience.

Neil Hammerton, CEO at Natterbox, commented: “In today’s fast-paced and socially connected world, customers don’t have the time or patience to wait on hold to get an issue resolved. A number of minor irritants can build up to a major headache and this can have a devastating effect on customer loyalty and the brand over all. Unhappy customers can lead to unhappy staff, which could result in staff turnover and additional costs in rehiring and training.

“We all know how irritating it is to be passed from operator to operator and repeat details over and over again. But nowadays cloud based technology is available for call centres to streamline the caller resolution process. If they can be automatically put through to the right person, first time, it cuts down the call time and improves their experience. After all, no one really likes to spend their days listening tohold music.”