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Covid Call Waiting Leaves Customers in the Cold

11.02.2021, 14:04

Covid Call Waiting Leaves Customers in the Cold

A recent survey suggests customers remain wholly unimpressed by businesses attributing long call waiting times to demand created by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Eighty-five per cent of 1,000 UK survey participants who were questioned independently for outsourced comms company Moneypenny, believe businesses are blaming long call and live chat wait times on the new coronavirus – even a year into the pandemic.

On the question of how long they have to wait on average for calls or live chat requests to be answered, 18 per cent indicated between one and five minutes, 23 per cent between five and ten minutes, 6 per cent between 45 minutes and an hour, with 19 per cent stating they frequently give up on waiting altogether.

Whilst 55 per cent of people surveyed believe the pandemic is responsible for some phone delays, notable variations recorded for different market sectors, geographical regions, and depending on the the age of callers.

  • Utility companies were most frequently mentioned as being the worst at answering calls (33 per cent) – followed by doctors (27 per cent), banks (25 per cent) and phone companies (21 per cent).  Those mentioned least were legal firms (6 per cent) and estate and letting agents (5 per cent).
  • 73 per cent of 16 to 24 year olds said phone answering delays are acceptable, compared with 45 per cent of over 55s. 
  • 61 per cent of participants from Greater London said phone answering delays are acceptable, compared with 42 per cent in the North East and 48 per cent in the South East.
  • Welsh customers were most likely to give up waiting for their call to be answered (22 per cent), compared with Yorkshire (12 per cent) and the South East (14 per cent).

Moneypenny’s Group CEO, Joanna Swash, comments: “Saying that unprecedented demand due to Covid  is the reason for long wait times is the same as telling customers they are not important – and our data shows that customers recognise this too.  Meeting demand is imperative to business survival, now more than ever.

“It’s interesting that legal and property companies were least likely to be mentioned for poor answering times and we know from our clients in these sectors that they prioritise good customer service. However, the survey shows that the pandemic is being used as a scapegoat for poor customer care.

“Even with reduced staff through redundancies and furloughing, there are so many cost effective solutions available to ensure customer calls and live chat can continue, it’s not good enough for companies to reduce service levels an expect customers to be happy.  As businesses open up there is a real danger that customers will vote with their feet and move to a competitor if poor service levels continue.”

Download an infografic of the results from the downloads section on this page.

Author

  • Staff Reporter

    FMIndustry.com covers the latest news, trends and opinion from the facilities management (FM) and corporate real estate (CRE) sectors. The FM market is currently estimated to be worth USD 1 trillion annually and is projected to grow at a compounded annualised rate of approximately 5% between now and 2026.

CAMFIL HVAC Filtration Solutions

Staff Reporter

FMIndustry.com covers the latest news, trends and opinion from the facilities management (FM) and corporate real estate (CRE) sectors. The FM market is currently estimated to be worth USD 1 trillion annually and is projected to grow at a compounded annualised rate of approximately 5% between now and 2026.
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