Resolution, 'Offshoring' Biggest Issues Among Call Center Customers
By Colleen Bohen On Jul 2 2007 - 6:00am
Call resolution and "offshoring" were found to be the two issues that had the most impact on customer satisfaction with call centers in the first Call Center Satisfaction Index, a study released by CFI Group.
The group surveyed customers of call centers in six areas including catalogs, banks, cellphone services, cable and satellite television, insurance and personal computers. Across those areas, it found that almost one-fifth of all callers hung up with their issues unresolved. According to the report, customers whose problems went unsolved were found to be more than eight times likelier to defect.
One of the leading reasons for low customer satisfaction was found to be what CFI dubbed "offshoring." According to the study, customers who thought their call center was located outside the United States rated their satisfaction with their experience at an average of 26 points lower on a 100-point scale and were found to be almost twice as likely to defect than those customers who assumed their call center was in the United States.
"Customer service reps located outside the U.S. are rated lower on communication skills. When communication skills are poor, customers' issues remain unsolved in the majority of cases," said Sheri Teodoru, program director at CFI Group and author of the study.
The study found that reps with poor communication skills were able to solve customer issues only 45 percent of the time, compared with 88 percent of the times for reps who spoke clearly.
A release on the study noted that there are communication problems with some U.S.- based customer service representatives, but that on average U.S.-based call centers scored better than their offshore counterparts when it came to communication skills.
The study surveyed customers using the 100-point University of Michigan's American Customer Satisfaction Index. The groups' ratings follow:
Catalog call centers: 80
Cellphone service call centers: 69
Cable and satellite television call centers: 68
Personal computer call centers: 64
According to a release, PC call centers received such a low rating because it found that nearly a quarter of callers hang up with their issues unresolved.
The report is available free in its entirety at http://cfigroup.com/callsat.