Contact Center Solutions Featured Article

Many of Us Would Rather Sit in a Dentist's Chair than Call a Contact Center

October 29, 2013

What’s your least favorite way to spend an hour or two? If you’re like many people, spending those hours in the dentist’s chair is pretty high up on the avoidance list. For good reason: dental procedures are sometimes painful, always tedious and usually cost you money.

So it really says something about the state of customer service in the nation today when you find that at least some Americans would rather face the dentist than the call center. A recent survey conducted by Zogby Analytics and released this week by customer service solutions provider CorvisaCloud found that one in six consumers would rather sit in a dentist’s chair than deal with a customer service department: that’s 15 percent of us. Ouch!

It gets even worse. Of the 1,000 American consumers interviewed for the study, three percent reported that they would rather face hordes of Black Friday holiday shoppers than interact with customer service, seven percent of Americans would prefer a trip to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) over a virtual trip to the call center, and last (but not least), four percent of us would give up sex for a month rather than face a customer service experience.

So why are we finding interacting with contact centers so very painful? Consumers’ number one complaint is having to repeat the same information multiple times, and their number two gripe is waiting on hold. In third place is speaking to an agent who isn’t knowledgeable, followed by having to speak with multiple agents. Rudeness from agents clocked in at fifth place.

Perhaps most significantly, nearly a third (31 percent) of respondents said they will wait only five minutes before they hang up the phone. This has serious implications for the average customer support center today. The survey found that after a negative customer service experience one-third (34 percent) of consumers complain or ask for a manager, which means that the bad interaction s going to cost a lot. In this era of social media, 16 percent of disgruntled consumers reported that they will tell their friends and family about their poor experience, and 13 percent report that they will never shop with that company again after having a poor experience.

On the flip side, offering an excellent customer service experience can yield very positive results. According to CorvisaCloud, the moment a customer contacts the company, the opportunity exists to create a solid ongoing relationship. Thirty-one percent of customers who have a positive experience say they give positive feedback to the company and twenty-nine percent will continue to shop with them, perhaps even more frequently. Finally, 14 percent of respondents said they share positive experiences with a company with friends and family.

Edited by Blaise McNamee