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Want to frustrate your customers? Tell them “Your call is important to us” or “That’s our policy” or “You’ll have to talk to my supervisor.”
These phrases are infuriating customers to the point of loathing, according to a recent survey conducted by
TeleTech Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: TTEC). The global provider of technology-enabled customer experience solutions surveyed more than 500 people for its “Customer Experience Expectations” study and found major consumer services like telecom, health care, financial services and automobile sellers have a long way to go in providing a well regarded customer experience.
With Facebook becoming more popular than Google, and Twitter sharing more than 250 billion tweets a year, companies should be listening to what customers say on social media channels. But, they aren’t. Or at least they aren’t showing customers that they are listening. Two-thirds of the survey respondents said they don’t expect any response when they offer feedback about companies and brands on social media.
“For many consumers, the corn maze of customer service is the most consistent post-purchase interaction they have with a brand, so to receive this kind of negative reaction is pretty discouraging,” said Ken Tuchman, CEO and chairman of TeleTech. “We hope these findings sound a loud alarm, waking companies to the fact that their daily consumer interactions are creating a frustrating customer experience that will hurt their business.”
And, the experience extends beyond traditional telephone customer services. Only 28 percent of survey responders said they preferred speaking to an automated response over more traditional live-person customer service. They even prefer an inept customer service associate, over an automated choice, if the associate is at least friendly. A strong majority (63 percent) said positive word of mouth references were more likely to sway their opinions than any attempt from the company or brand itself.