Contact Center Solutions Featured Article

Australian Companies Suffering Poor Customer Service Delivery

April 17, 2008

Call centers and contact centers are first and foremost the customer service touch point between the customer and the company. If the center fails to deliver the proper customer service to the customer or fails to properly resolve an issue or answer a question, then the contact between the customer and the company was pointless and could have also contributed to lower satisfaction for the customer.
 
Poor customer service appears to be almost an epidemic for Australian businesses. A new study has shown that almost half of consumers are able to have their problems solved by their service providers. The only hope for these service providers in maintaining their base is that maybe these customers are not jumping ship, as the service is likely to be the same when dealing with the competitor.
 
Commissioned by IT vendor BMC Software (News - Alert), the survey found that 42 percent of respondents said their suppliers could not adequately solve their problems, while another 20 percent had issues with inexperienced staff manning their calls. The survey reported that six out of 10 consumers had changed supplier in the past year.
 
The problem that these providers must deal with, aside from initiating strong changes in their customer service deliverables, is that more customers are changing providers than just those that are unhappy with their service. If only 42 percent are receiving poor service, yet 60 percent are making changes, what is really driving this churn?

Customer churn, according to this survey, was estimated to cost local businesses about $1.5 billion a year, with telecommunications companies as the biggest losers. The study also indicated that the telephone, mobile phone and broadband companies suffered the most from customer turnover, ahead of electricity providers, banks and insurance firms.
 
Pricing was the main factor for leaving a company as cited by 79 percent of respondents. A lack of incentives to stay loyal was in second place with 48 percent of respondents indicating this problem as the reason for making a change. The implementation of both exit interviews for customers that captures their reason for leaving, as well as options for incentives to stay would be strategic moves for companies in fighting this churn.
 
This study indicates that there is still much work to be done within the customer service divisions of local Australian companies. Aside from implementing customer-facing technologies and applications to drive service, these companies would also benefit significantly from investigating further what is driving customer churn and respond accordingly.

Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMC (News - Alert) and has also written for eastbiz.com. To see more of her articles, please visit Susan J. Campbell’s columnist page.

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