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Research Shows Thai Customers Base Buying Decisions on Call Center Experience

November 27, 2007

Research studies conducted on the activities in the call center industry have consistently found that customer satisfaction and customer loyalty are closely related. A customer will make their decision on whether to continue to do business with a particular customer based on their experience with the call center.


The same is true for Thai customers. According to a survey by global market research company Synovate, 73 percent of Thai customers are willing to do more business with a company if they had a great call center experience. Two-thirds of Thai customers would stop dealing with a company if they had a bad experience.

To gather its information, Synovate surveyed 1,007 people across all income levels living in greater Bangkok regarding their call center experience and satisfaction levels.

Steven Britton, managing director of Synovate, noted that while 63 percent of respondents agreed that call centers have improved over the last two years, companies still need to raise the bar to provide better, faster and more effective services when interacting with customers over the phone.

Of those participating in the survey, 64 percent had been in contact with a call center in the past 12 months. The most popular call centers consisted of telecommunications providers, food-delivery companies and financial institutions.

The biggest challenge for these call centers is call waiting. Centers must be able to reduce the wait time as it greatly affects customer satisfaction.

A poor call center experience has prompted 67 percent of Thai customers to stop using a particular company, while 78 percent said they would put down the phone if they had to wait up to five minutes. Another 58 percent of respondents indicated that they would prefer to receive a return call instead of waiting on the phone.

Britton commented: "Call centres need to hire knowledgeable staff that can answer queries directly without needing to refer to another agent, but if that is not possible, nearly all respondents, 94 per cent, preferred to be transferred to someone more knowledgeable if the agent could not assist with their query."

Courtesy calls are also a point of consideration for call centers seeking to improve their performance. While companies rarely called existing and potential customers, 37 percent of respondents did report that they had received a courtesy call.

"It turns out that courtesy calls from a call centre were actually well received, with respondents reacting positively instead of negatively - 36 per cent versus 17 per cent - dispelling fears companies may have had in the past when contacting customers," Britton said.

Customer-satisfaction surveys and their impact on customer perception were also examined. While 88 percent of respondents were willing to participate in a customer satisfaction survey after contacting a call center, 68 percent said that they would feel better about a company after having participated in a survey.

Voice calls continue to be the preferred choice for consumers contacting a company, although the survey revealed that there is a demand among Thai customers for the use of e-mail. The use of SMS to receive information about a company’s products and services was also popular among 51 percent of respondents, while 57 percent indicated that they were willing to provide feedback to a call center via SMS.

Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMC 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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