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New Survey Shows Londoners Think Companies are Using Covid as Excuse for Poor Customer Communications

Companies Leave Us Hanging on the Telephone
New Survey Shows Londoners Think Companies are Using Covid
as Excuse for Poor Customer Communications

A new survey by leading outsourced communications company Moneypenny  shows that 85% of Londoners believe that 10 months into the pandemic, an increasing number of companies are stating that there will be a delay in answering phone calls, or engaging in live chat, due to unusually high call volumes caused by the pandemic.

However, what is surprising is that Londoners seem understanding of the situation, as 58% said they believe phone delays are acceptable due to Covid, compared with only 37% of those in Plymouth and 42% of those in Manchester who feel these delays are acceptable.  Across the country younger consumers seem more accepting of delays, than older ones: 73% of 16-24 year olds said phone answering delays are acceptable, compared with 46% of the over 55 year olds.

Call answering waiting times
The survey also indicates the average length of time Londoners have to wait for their call or Live Chat request to be answered:

–       17% said they have to wait 1-5 minutes

–       24% have to wait 5-10 minutes

–       24% have to wait 11-20 minutes

–       14% have to wait 21-45 minutes

–       4% have to wait 45-60 minutes

–       20% typically give up waiting altogether, which is high compared with those in Yorkshire – 12%, and the South East – 14%.

Businesses with longest call waiting times
When asked which types of companies and organisations are the worst for answering calls, or not being able to get through to them, banks were most frequently mentioned by Londoners – 31%, followed by utility companies  26%, doctors – 24%, phone companies – 21%.  Those that were mentioned least, were legal companies – 8% and property companies – 8%.

Group CEO of Moneypenny, Joanna Swash, believes companies are not doing enough to resolve waiting times: ‘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 too often being used as a scapegoat for companies delivering unbelievably poor communications, and consumers should not accept this as inevitable.   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, so it’s not good enough for companies to do nothing and to reduce service levels.  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.”

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