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Voice of the Customer

New research by alldayPA which surveyed 1,000 members of the public, found that 76 per cent had been frustrated with businesses refusing to apologise when things had gone wrong with a product or service.

Just under half (47 per cent ) had an even worse experience being told that problems were their fault when they tried to make what they consider to be legitimate complaints.

Holiday companies were found to be worst at dealing with customer complaints, with 31per cent of respondents saying they had experienced operators refusing to apologise, accept responsibility or help with problems.

These were closely followed by utility providers, with 26 per cent of respondents reporting problems and banks (21per cent) and delivery companies (20 per cent).

The telephone is still the preferred method to make a complaint, favoured by 70 per cent  of people surveyed, and bad telephone experiences often add to the frustrations of complaining customers.

68 per cent of people had experienced problems with rude and unhelpful call handlers whilst 55% said that they had been frustrated with automated call menus when all they wanted to do was reach someone to speak with.

Sue Ratcliffe, spokesperson at alldayPA, said: “Understandably companies don’t want to accept blame for something that isn’t their fault, but it’s important to strike the right balance so that customers feel that you are listening and doing your best to help them.

“Key to this is training staff on how to deal with complaints, especially when customers are angry and needing to let off steam.  With many companies using websites and automated call menus to deal with many customer interactions, it seems the art of listening to complaints may be under threat.”

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