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UK Customer Service Has Bypassed 'Dismal,' Gone Straight to 'Horrendous'

August 01, 2013

If you’re regularly frustrated by poor customer service, you can feel a little better by knowing you’re not in the U.K., where customer complaints about poor contact center service are currently sky-high.

According to a recent benchmarking report of U.K. customer service released by Aspect (News - Alert), less than half of Britons (47 percent) have had a good experience when dealing with customer service departments in the U.K. About one-third of respondents (32 percent) reported having had a bad customer experience within the previous year, and the average number of bad contact center experiences was two, according to the U.K. call center website CallCentreHelper.

This is bad news for companies operating in the U.K. – fewer customers are remaining silent about their poor experiences. More than two-thirds (67 percent) of disgruntled consumers reported that they filed a formal complaint with a company in the last 12 months. One in five angry customers took to social media to broadcast their displeasure.


Image via Shutterstock 

To add insult to injury, of those that filed complaints, 63 percent said that their complaint was either never resolved or handled in an unsatisfactory way. Given that 30 percent of customers reported that they would switch to a competitor after just one bad experience with a company, one has to wonder what U.K. companies are thinking. Do they want to keep their customers?

The largest complaints U.K. consumers have about contact centers is a lack of “friendly and approachable staff.” The second most common complaint is that companies are failing to live up to their promises to customers.

“With a U.K. population of 62 million people over the age of 16, there are nine million people that have made an unresolved complaint to a company in the last year,” Mark King, Senior VP Europe and Africa at Aspect. “That’s an alarming 14.5 percent of the U.K. population that is extremely unhappy with the way that their providers have treated them. This is more than a wake-up call for organizations to do something about it.”

Given that the most common complaint is the lack of friendly and helpful staff at contact centers, it would appear that U.K.-based call centers would be in desperate need of some better recruiting and training procedures.




Edited by Alisen Downey

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