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Poor Service Over the Phone Means Lost Customers

TMCnews Featured Article

September 26, 2014

Poor Service Over the Phone Means Lost Customers

By Michelle Amodio, TMCnet Contributor

While this might be stating the obvious, a bad phone experience can turn away customers. This was the basis for a recent survey from Smith & Milton, but this study specifically looks at financial service providers, and what it found was that 36 percent of people would ditch their current provider if they had a negative phone experience.

Fifty-five percent were in the middle, saying that they might change companies after a bad phone experience, but what’s more troubling is that 68 percent of respondents said they already experienced a bad phone conversation with a financial brand. That doesn’t bode well for those in financial services, and perhaps it’s these companies that need to take a look at what’s happening with their customer service departments.

“Financial services brands are responsible for looking after some of the expensive and important possessions we own, whether that’s our home, our car, life insurance, or items of sentimental value,” said Ben Mott, client services director at Smith & Milton. “People pick up the phone for the simple reason of wanting to speak to another human being. If the person they speak to sounds ill-informed, or doesn’t communicate the values that originally attracted the customer, it will do little to reassure people that they’re trusting the right company to look after their possessions. And when this happens, consumers won’t hesitate to switch brands.”

A good place to start is with your call center agents. After all, they are the forefront of your customer service. They hear the good, the bad and the ugly, which can sometimes make them feel as if their jobs are thankless and uninspiring. Offer proper training, a comfortable work environment, and arm them with the tools necessary to handle many types of calls as possible.

Customer service that generates positive reviews and brand loyalty today delivers accurate, relevant and personalized information on an individual basis. The role of the contact center is too often narrowly focused on intake volume rather than the quality and depth of output in the customer relationship.

Knowledge is power, so knowing the ins and outs of your call center will help you keep better tabs on what’s really going down with each phone call. How can you get specific information in real-time? Customer service software can help with all of that. A strong customer service software solution blends all of the functions of the call center, including call recording, workforce management, performance management and e-learning functionality, together. It is designed to help call center managers forecast and schedule agents and measure and analyze their performance.

Excellent customer service, employee satisfaction, enthusiasm and office organization are all desirable characteristics of a company. Bad phone experiences are not. 

Edited by Alisen Downey

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