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Telcos ranked “most annoying” for customer service in UK – report

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Research has revealed that telecommunications customer service gripes rank top of annoyances for UK consumers in 2015.

The report commissioned by Lithium Technologies found that 34.2% of more than 2,000 respondents polled say that being stuck on hold to speak with communications service providers is the biggest customer service-related frustration this year. The biggest frustrations therein are barriers caused by language differences, automated systems and security checks, and a lack of personalisation from the customer service agent – receiving 56%, 48% and 37% of votes respectively.

Telecoms ranks higher than both utilities companies and financial institutions in terms of customer service frustration, and the CMO of Lithium Technologies, Katy Keim, reckons companies have to evolve away from their traditional customer service approaches to avoid risking customer loyalty.

“This data highlights the ineffectiveness of traditional call centres in meeting customer expectations, as well as the growing need for UK businesses to explore new ways to engage customers, particularly in the digital sphere,” she said. “Today’s customer expects a premium level of customer service and businesses that don’t beyond the traditional call centre risk being left behind.”

Such an evolution towards newer customer-centric service models could be induced as a result of increasingly demanding and savvy consumers. The report suggests more than 80% of consumers are more vocal in their demands than those of three years ago, according to a poll of customer service managers, while more than 50% see digital becoming the primary customer care channel, with social media platforms such as Twitter proving to be a crucial medium in maintaining the customer experience.

The biggest hurdle, for customer service evolution is budgetary, according to the results of the survey. This could be considered unsurprising; however with telecoms sitting top of the tree in terms of customer service dissatisfaction, more consideration and customer insight or intelligence is likely to be required for operators as pressure mounts on them to change the way in which they serve their customers.


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