By Daniel Hunter
If you’re under 35 and from the North of Scotland, you will be pleased to know that you’re among the most patient people in the UK when it comes to customer service from brands.
This is according to the latest research from Aspect Software, which found that almost two thirds (65 per cent) of us Brits have admitted to slamming down the phone in frustration at least once when talking to a call centre.
According to the study, which spoke to 1,000 UK consumers over the age of 16, people based in the North of Scotland and the Highlands are the most patient consumers across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. In fact, only 38 per cent claimed to have hung up on a call centre agent!
Those of us living in the South East and London are overwhelmingly the most likely — a staggering 73 per cent — to confess to losing their temper with customer service departments in this way.
Further, those aged between 45 and 54 years old, and over 55 years old, are more than 10 per cent more likely to hang up than younger age groups, with those over 55 more than 20 per cent more likely to do so than those between 16 and 24 years old.
However, on the other end of the spectrum, people based in North Scotland and the Highlands are less likely to agree that chatting about interests or gossiping with call centre staff makes for a better experience with the brand, with only 17 per cent saying it always or usually enhances their experience.
It is in fact those in London that overwhelmingly agree that this is the case, with over half (51 per cent) saying that it usually or always makes them happier with the company in question. Curiously, it is males that respond more positively to small talk with a stranger, as 41 per cent agree that it always or usually enhances their experience, versus 30 per cent for females.
“What’s interesting here is that while the further north you go within the UK, the less likely it is that people are losing their temper with poor call centre processes, but they’re also less interested in whiling time away chatting small talk with the person trying to help them,” said Sarah Pallett, Head of Marketing in Europe & Africa at Aspect.
“Perhaps it suggests those in London are more emotional when it comes to engaging with their favourite brands, are more likely to get frustrated when their query is going unresolved, or they’re kept on hold for longer periods of time, but also love the personal touch of a one-on-one conversation that isn’t necessarily about the issue in question.
“What it highlights is that the important factor in any customer service function for any organisation is the people. Brands need to strike a delicate balance between efficient and speedy processes in order to resolve customer queries first time, and adding a personalised service too. This is about using technology in the contact centre in the right way and supporting agents with their customer relations skills to leave customers satisfied and maintaining loyalty,” she said.
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