Which message annoys callers? There’s an interesting article in Which? Magazine this month, asking consumers what they like and don’t like to hear when waiting for a phone call to be answered.
Which message annoys callers?
According to the report the three most irritating call queuing features are ‘being told your call is valued’ (47%), being directed to the website (28%) and then hearing an apology that ‘all operators are busy’ (11%).
Conversely, the three most useful call queuing features are an indication of wait time (33%), an indication of place in the queue, (32%) and the option for a call back (30%).
Having designed 100s of telephone journeys it seems to me that the three negative features all relate to the changing nature of telephone contact. The increase of digital and self-serve options means that a larger percentage of transactional contacts are completed without the need for a call. Many will people will self-serve if they can do it easily enough but it’s my belief (based on experience and backed up various pieces of research) that the phone is still most trusted.
The emotional reaction
When a contact becomes emotionally driven, for whatever reason, many people will reach for the phone and want to talk to you. It is because the contact is more emotional that from the customer point of view being told the call is valued while in a queue seems more irritating to the caller. (‘If it was that important you’d answer it!’) Being directed to the website is irritating because they have probably already been to your website before they called and hearing that all operators are busy means you should get more staff.
Giving your customers options
The three positive factors can all be related to reducing customer effort which is why they are preferred. Knowing how long you will wait means the caller can make a choice and queue position is similar. Call back functions save callers time and reduce effort when implemented well, assuming there are enough staff to call people back.
What the article shows is that telephone experience matters to people who choose to call you and being trusted means the impact of getting it right or wrong is bigger than other channels.
Changing consumer behaviour
Understanding why customers choose each channel for your operation helps to understand how to change behaviour and channel shift successfully. We can help you gather the insight needed to do this and design and implement a customer journey that achieves your operational objectives while delivering a great low effort, customer experience.