Brand Audio asked over 1000 customers to rate their pre agent experience on the phone, this included the welcome message, menu options, hold time and content listened to whilst holding.
The results showed that 71% (strongly agree) and 29% (agree) that the pre agent telephone experience effects their overall satisfaction, impression and mood.
Following this result, Brand Audio decided to set up its own independent research centre headed by Golazin Ardestani to provide independent research on the subject. In the following white paper we will firstly describe how emotion generates human behaviour in general and in the context of a call centre. Then the findings of the project will be reported and discussed. Wider academic references will be drawn on where applicable to further explain the findings’
Furthermore, among the other factors “Rude or inexperienced representatives” was rated by nearly 90% of the sample as the third extremely frustrating issue. “Not getting what I need on the first try” was also chosen by 88.4% of the participants.
Although often people might be unaware of the negative influence that inappropriate messages, music, or voice quality might have on the general satisfaction of the caller experience, our results show that approximately 70% of the contestants rated Inappropriate messages for their enquiry on hold and “Poor sound quality” as extremely frustrating. In addition, nearly 55% reported the inappropriate music to be extremely annoying while being kept on hold.
THE CUSTOMER COST
This is perhaps one of the best examples of the process of human conscious emotion which operates decision making and behavior regulation by influencing the cognitive process (Baumeister et al., 2011). To be more precise, not only does emotion have its primary function which is to effect behavior directly (e.g. hanging up the phone or going through an unpleasant conversation with an agent in the context of call centre), but it may affect individuals’ future decision making and actions (e.g. choosing a different company as a result of going through negative emotions). Therefore, this is possibly why customers are happy to pay a 10% premium for excellent customer service rather than experiencing frustrations and negative emotions (American Express, July 2011). The main question raised here is, can these customers not be replaced? The answer is yes, however, according to Peters (1987) the cost is five times as much to acquire a new customer as it does to keep one. 84% of respondents reported that they are very likely to cease doing business with the company; additionally, 64% rated that they are highly likely to post comments on social network websites after a negative experience. Among the social network websites, facebook with more than 800
The great advantage of this behavior is that it puts the agent in a positive mood, which leads the employee to communicate more effectively with the next caller as a positive mood helps individuals to concentrate better. Also according to research, contact centre representatives often experience hostile and aggressive interactions with callers that over a long period of time, can potentially result in depression (Grandey et al., 2004) and emotion regulation (suppression) a process which has a very negative effect on their well-being (Totterdel et al, 2003). This process is positively associated with the intention to resign (Grebner et al., 2003), psychosocial stress factors and absenteeism (Lewing and Dollard, 2003); and is negatively correlated with job satisfaction (Grebnel et al., 2003), and commitment to an organisation (Grebner et al., 2003). However, positive feedback from the callers helps the agents to overcome the emotional exhaustion they may go through which consequently will increase their job satisfaction, and commitment to the organistaion as well as reducing the percentage of absenteeism and intention to resign (Grebnel et al., 2003).
Attitudinal loyalty usually results in positive behaviors towards the brand such as: positive word of mouth and increased willingness to recommend the brand to others (our result in figure 6, also supports this statement; 80% of the sample indicated that they would share the positive experience with their friends and family; in addition approximately 33% rated that they would post comments on social networks), this also has a positive effect on willingness to pay more, and encourages others to use the products; it is also negatively related to an increase in returning the product.
According to previous research this type of loyalty Influences the processing of behavioural loyalty development (Evanschitzky et al., 2006) which means customers will go back to the brand again. This is the reason is why having loyal customers who can be considered as fans of a brand or company, is one of the most important goals a business may have. A loyal customer does more than any advert can for a business, they become promoters – someone who would answer ‘yes’ to the ultimate question – would you recommend us to a friend.