The introduction of Internet based business has continually evolved the way companies interact with their customers. Many businesses question whether they have the right method in place in order to effectively communicate with customers trying to get in touch with them.

If you, as a business, have ever wondered about how callers feel after they have finished talking to a member of your staff then look no further; Face for Business conducted a survey on that very subject. In total, 1500 respondents were surveyed in order to guage how modern consumers feel after they have contacted businesses.

The first issue raised was caller-waiting times. Respondents were asked how many minutes they believe they spend on hold to businesses on the phone each week. It was found that almost half of respondents surveyed felt they would spend over 10 minutes a week waiting to speak to a business they had called with 10% waiting anywhere between 30-60 minutes. The opportunity here related to these statistics in how businesses can improve and also better their competition is to simply answer the phone, ensure phones are manned and prepared to receive calls.

The next issue surveyed was customer satisfaction. This was measured through 3 factors: length of time before call is answered, friendliness and knowledge and professionalism. Predictably, the length of time before the call is answered scored a below average mark with just 25% of respondents replying with an answer ranging from satisfied to very satisfied with the service and just over 50% ranging from dissatisfied to very dissatisfied.

The other 2 components scored better with 50% of respondents satisfied with the friendly service and just under 50% were satisfied they were dealing with a professional agent while the overall experience of the contact was tainted by the length of time people were made to wait to talk to an agent with a 33% split between satisfied, neutral and dissatisfied.

What can we learn from this set of statistics? While the majority of customers are satisfied that they are dealing with a friendly and knowledgeable agent, their overall effectiveness is affected due to the waiting time attributed to finally managing to talk to them. Customers are no longer willing to wait to be answered due to time limits and overall courtesy. This research also tells us that number of rings the phone makes can also indicate the time customers are willing to wait. For example, it was found that 7 out of every 10 people would hang up after only 3 rings of the telephone.

In order to combat that statistic, the research conducted re-introduced the concept of the “pick up within 3 rings” rule. This ensures people are not waiting an extortionate amount of time waiting and it also reflects well upon your business if you can successfully implement such a rule.

Another interesting piece of information to be produced from the research concerns customers’ preferred methods of contact. It found that customers preferred choice of contact was still by phone despite the advent of new technology and the improvement of existing methods. The research found that that majority of customers still preferred to speak to businesses on the telephone including a whopping 43% of 18-30 year olds who still preferred the phone as their primary choice of contact. These findings come despite the introduction of email, online live chat and social media services. This in fact proves that it is still important to man those phones.

Lastly, we deal with businesses improving phone management. Phone calls are important sources of business as the research proves and the way those calls are effectively managed from answering the phone right through to dealing with the customers’ request has a direct effect on your business. One way that businesses are being smart is to outsource incoming calls to a call answering service that provides an a greater balance for you as the one running the business and also ensures that your customers remain happy that their request is being dealt with in an efficient manner.

The work/life balance is an important definition to make through the use of outsourcing. In any business, time is needed to create and improve a product that customers want, whereas time is taken up by answering calls. Outsourcing provides stability and security in numbers because you have greater call control allowing you to screen incoming calls and also there is opportunity enough for you to relax without you and your business’s reputation being damaged. All in all, this results in happy customers and isn’t that what we all strive for?

Face For Business – UK Caller Satisfaction Survey Infographic

Andy EnglishAndy English is the General Manager at Face for Business. The ethos at Face for Business is all about going the extra mile for their customers. Andy has worked for the company since early 2013, and is responsible for assisting the Sales Team to acquire new customers, as well as ensuring the PA Team provides first class service to their existing client base. Throughout his career Andy has gained over 20 years of experience in dealing in with customers from a broad range of Industry Sectors, and has learnt the valuable lesson that customers truly value ‘good service’ from their suppliers.

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