Consumers are so adamant about the quality of service they receive over the telephone that 59% would stop doing business with a company that delivered unsatisfactory service, according to a Greenfield Online survey, published by Aspect Communications.
Not only did the online survey's respondents threaten to abandon companies that offer poor telephone service but they also revealed a number of other tactics they would employ when embittered:
- Many would make a point of advising friends and family not to do business with the company (53%).
- Many would take the time to complain to a company representative (48%).
- Some would contact consumer advocacy groups (or consumer watchdog bodies) to file a complaint (16%).
Not all bad
The survey also shows, however, that the benefits of providing good telephone service are clear. The majority of consumers (82%) would recommend a business to family and friends after experiencing good service, and 78% would become repeat customers based on good service experiences.
Consumers also have clear ideas on how businesses can improve service, with 50% saying they would be more satisfied if they didn't get passed from one telephone agent to another when trying to resolve an issue. Additionally, 66% of respondents said they would be more satisfied if they spent less time waiting for service.
The survey also highlighted consumers' clear preference for performing some tasks themselves instead of talking to a service representative:
- Most would rather use a telephone self-service system to check their account balances (80%).
- Many prefer using self-service to track shipments (61%).
- Many prefer being able to check the status of an order themselves (58%).
Room for improvement
According to Aspect Communications, businesses have lots of room for improvement when it comes to telephone-based services. Almost a quarter of respondents (24%) said they were dissatisfied with the service they receive over the telephone, with 5% saying they are 'very dissatisfied' in general. Just over half (52%) said they were only 'somewhat satisfied' in general.
"Companies can expect their fortunes to rise and fall based on the quality of customer interactions," commented David Puglia of Aspect Communications.