Verticals/CIO Agenda

Don’t put me on hold! Brit firms fail in online customer service

CIO Agenda Tineka Smith

07:38, April 3 2012

A survey of over 2,000 business and consumers in Britain revealed a huge gap between consumer public demand of live chat to solve customer service issues and its actual availability by businesses.

Photo Credit: Ed Yourdon

The study, conducted by chat software provider Netop, found that consumers want fast and live engagement when it comes to customer service issues with businesses. Customers prefer, however, to engage online, which offers the benefit of avoiding phone queues, or leaving their home.

However, 93% of UK businesses do not incorporate live chat as a part of their customer's service experience.

The survey reveals that 75% of customers have to queue on the phone in order to receive help and 71% typically wait for a response via email.

When comparing live chat over more traditional customer service channels 73% said being put on hold while on the phone was their biggest issue and 57% said they disliked calls that had to be routed between different departments.

54% of consumers surveyed said that live chat could help with call centre issues where understanding regional or foreign accents was found to sometimes be a problem.

Kurt Bager, CEO of Netop, believes businesses will benefit significantly from implementing live chat as a normal part of customer service; as keeping customers happy and offering convenience can mean loyalty to a brand.

"Live chat resolves almost all the problems of a call centre and does so much more quickly, said Bager. "At the same it allows businesses to give a personalised service experience making customers feel more valued and bringing them closer to their brand. Hands down, live chat beats listening to hold music and saves you having to pop into town to sort something out that could be easily addressed online."


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