By Daniel Hunter

UK customers service departments are struggling to deal with customer complaints, according to a survey by Interactive Intelligence, with a staggering 79% of consumers saying they have to contact between two and five people before getting a single complaint resolved.

The survey found that 42% of those consumers had to wait longer than 20 minutes in a phone queue, with a small percentage even queuing for two hours or more.

More than half of those questioned (54%) said they now preferred to use email as a method of contact rather than the telephone (37%) and, if they did phone a company, the biggest factor to negatively impact their experience was queuing (60%).

When asked about specific industries, the consumer’s surveyed rated utilities (27%) and telecoms (26%) as the worst performing, and the most negative traits were seen as being passed from department to department, not being able to understand the agent and being cut off completely. The sector that provided the best experience for solving customer complaints was retail, with consumers voting for the ‘quick solutions’ and ‘good mannered agents’ from some of Britain’s most well know retailers.

“The survey highlights the importance of focusing on key elements of customer service, such as answering complaints quickly and efficiently, whether that is on the telephone or via a social media channel. The fact that more people are turning to email is both a sign of the times and a reflection that consumers across the UK have simply become fed up of hanging on the telephone,” said Dave Paulding, regional sales director UK, Middle East, Interactive Intelligence.

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