Two thirds (65%) of UK consumers have admitted to slamming down the phone in frustration when talking to a call centre, according to research by contact centre solutions provider, Aspect Software.
According to the study, which spoke to 1,000 UK consumers over the age of 16, consumers living in the South East and London are the most likely to lose their temper with customer service departments in this way with 73% confessing to hanging up on a call centre agent.
People in Scotland are the most patient with just 38% admitting to slamming down the phone.
The study also found those aged between 45 and 54 years old and over 55 years old are more likely to hang up than younger age groups, with those over 55 more than 20% likely to do so than those aged between 16 and 24 years old.
While consumers in London are more likely to put down the phone the believe chatting about interests or gossiping with call centre staff makes for a better experience with the brand with 51% agreeing that this is the case versus 17% of consumers in Scotland.
Men are also more receptive to small talk, researchers found. Forty one per of men agree chatting always or usually enhances their experience, versus 30% of women.
“What’s interesting here is that while the further north you go within the UK, the less likely it is that people are losing their temper with poor call centre processes, but they’re also less interested in whiling time away chatting small talk with the person trying to help them,” said Sarah Pallett, head of marketing in Europe & Africa at Aspect.
“Perhaps it suggests those in London are more emotional when it comes to engaging with their favourite brands, are more likely to get frustrated when their query is going unresolved, or they’re kept on hold for longer periods of time, but also love the personal touch of a one-on-one conversation that isn’t necessarily about the issue in question.
“What it highlights is the important factor in any customer service function for any organisation is the people. Brands need to strike a delicate balance between efficient and speedy processes in order to resolve customer queries first time, and adding a personalised service too.
“This is about using technology in the contact centre in the right way and supporting agents with their customer relations skills to leave customers satisfied and maintaining loyalty.”