Telecoms companies’ bad customer service has just got worse, according to research published by eService provider Transversal. If customers cannot find the answers on telcos’ websites, they face delays of up to 52 hours for answers to their emails. A situation made worse because 70 per cent of fixed line and mobile providers’ websites offer no online help, thus forcing their customers to send email.
Transversal’s annual research highlights a worrying trend within the telecoms industry. Key players showed a complete lack of innovation and desire to improve service for their customers. Compared to 2005, telcos’ websites scored considerably lower in usability stakes. Only a third provide an online customer search function today, compared to 70 per cent in 2005, on top of which 10 per cent of telecoms providers have removed their FAQ section.
For the second year running, telcos’ websites could answer an average of just 2 out of 10 most basic customer questions such as ‘What special offers do you have?’ Or ‘How do I upgrade my phone?’ The sector isn’t utilising its online channel effectively in order to improve service for its customers according to Transversal. It could be losing the sector vital sales every day and it will certainly be increasing service costs through customers being pushed to other channels.
“Telecoms providers are in the business of enabling communication, yet they can’t, or won’t, communicate with their customers properly,” said Davin Yap, CEO, Transversal. “The sector is lagging way behind on technology that would improve online service and turn frustration into a positive, interactive customer experience. They would get pay back through increased sales and lower costs. Consumers have put up with bad customer service from telecoms operators for too long.”
Other research from E-Consultancy has also highlighted that the online consumer is becoming less tolerant with more than 80 per cent of UK consumers less likely to return to a site after just one frustrating shopping experience. Perhaps even more worrying for business brands is that frustrating online experiences harms 55 per cent of consumers’ impressions of that retailer.
Furthermore, research has shown 28 per cent of frustrated customers are less likely to shop at that retailer’s physical store.
The overall criterion for the survey was based on the availability and effectiveness of telcos’ online customer service. Factors included FAQs, customer searches, email responses and online question and answer engines. The survey was conducted across a wide selection of industry sectors such as travel, banking, retail and consumer electronics.