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by jcp
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  •     New research show we waste an entire month of our life on hold
  •     Eight in ten Brits would stop using a company if their customer service was poor
  •     Over 80% of Brits agree companies should disclose if they are using AI or real people

The covid pandemic has made us more reliant on technology than ever before, yet despite this digital revolution, Brits are still wasting over an entire month of their life on hold thanks to poor customer service.

Research commissioned by the team collaboration and business services provider AnywhereWorks, shows two fifths of consumers (40%) have found it harder to reach businesses via phone since the beginning of lockdown. The survey found consumers wait an average of 15 minutes and 42 seconds before hanging up when calling a company.

It also revealed that the average Brit makes up to four customer service calls a month, which equates to a wait time of over 12 hours a year on hold for companies’ customer service departments. That’s 31 days in a lifetime!

But if there’s anything the pandemic has taught us, it’s the importance of human connection. Almost 8 in 10 (78%) cited a preference to speak with a real person via phone or live chat over bots when contacting a company’s service team.

The top three preferred methods to contact a company’s customer service team when dealing with a query are:

  1.     Phone call – to a real person (61%)
  2.                   E-mail (47%)
  3.                   Live chat with a real person (31%)

The survey found people felt misled when calling a company with a third of people believing they were speaking with a person and then realised it’s an automated service. Over 80% of respondents feel it should be made clear if they’re speaking to a chatbot. As a result, they feel their problems are rarely solved.

The top three industries that respondents think currently provide the best customer service are:

  1.     Hotels (31%)
  2.                   Hospitality (28%)
  3.                   Network providers (15%)

The bottom three industries which scored the lowest for having good customer service are;

  1.     Trainlines (3%)
  2.                   Airlines (7%)
  3.                   Event organisers (8%)

The quality of customer service given can also significantly affect a company’s reputation, with four fifths (80%) mentioning that they have hung up on a company before due to poor customer service, or from waiting too long for their call to be answered. and 85% agree that they would stop using a company if their customer service was poor.

AnywhereWorks, has launched a new initiative ‘Pledge People, Not Bots’. The initiative aims to protect the role of people in business and save customer service from the grip of Artificial Intelligence (AI).

AnywhereWorks founder, Michael Payne, said: “People want human connection when they contact a business. With a people-first approach, businesses can deliver consistently high standards of friendly and professional care and build lasting customer relationships. Technology has done so many amazing things, but our pledge recognises the universal truth – while it can enhance communication, it can never replace it.”

For more information on the Pledge People, Not Bots campaign from AnywhereWorks and to watch the full video, visit: https://youtu.be/N0HvOj_IeNc