Customers More Satisfied With PC Call Centers - InformationWeek

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Customers More Satisfied With PC Call Centers

While the industry gets high marks for courteousness, that positive is undermined by low effectiveness in handling customer issues and poor communication, a report says.

Customer satisfaction with PC call centers has improved over the last year, taking the industry out of last place, an annual survey released Tuesday showed.

Satisfaction with PC contact centers rose 8% from 2007 to score a 69 on the CFI Group's second annual Contact Center Satisfaction Index. The index uses a 100-point scale.

The PC industry's performance moved it out of last place and ahead of the cable and satellite TV industry, which scored a 66, CFI said. Nevertheless, the PC industry's customer service representatives remain among the lowest scoring across all the industries tracked by the research firm.

While the PC industry gets high marks for courteousness, that positive is undermined by low effectiveness in handling customer issues and poor communication, CFI said. Almost one in four PC customers who calls a contact center does not have his or her problem resolved.

In addition, CFI's latest study found nearly four in 10 people who have a bad experience with a PC maker's contact center are at risk of defection. As expected, customer satisfaction is significantly lower for customers with unresolved problems versus those who were able to get problems solved.

Customer satisfaction with offshore contact centers is significantly lower than onshore centers, even if problems are solved, the study found. PC companies with perceived onshore contact centers scored 77, while satisfaction with perceived offshore centers scored only 59.

Nearly all customers who tried another channel before calling a contact center went to the PC maker's Web site first. "It is in the best interest of PC companies to direct their customers to the most cost effective channel to resolve their problems," CFI said. "Online support for the PC industry clearly must improve, as it will improve satisfaction and the bottom line."

Customers unable to resolve problems through other channels typically have more difficult issues for the call center, making communication even more important, the consulting company said.

CFI's index is based on the University of Michigan's American Customer Satisfaction Index. Besides PC makers, CFI also scores the banking, cable and satellite TV, cell phone, hotel, and insurance industries, as well as government and multichannel retail.

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