South Africa’s worst customer service is to be found from within government agencies and utility providers, according to new research released by contact centre experts, Interactive Intelligence.
Aiming to determine what customers expect from companies in terms of customer service, the surveys looked at customer experiences and expectations when dealing with company contact centres.
The South Africans polled for the global Consumer Survey felt the best customer service came from hotels (61% ranking them among the best, in line with 61% globally), online retail stores (45% vs 51% globally) and banks (41% vs. 45% globally). The worst service came from government agencies (85% ranking them among the worst, vs. 52% globally) and utility providers (68% ranking them among the worst vs. 34% globally).
South Africans still choose a voice conversation with an agent as their preferred means of interacting with a contact centre. They expect an answer in under three minutes and they want agents to have all the relevant information at hand when they call. Customers said a major frustration when dealing with a contact centre agent is a lack of knowledge on the part of the agent (79% in SA and 66% globally), being transferred multiple times before finding the right person to help (89% in SA vs. 66% globally), or having to repeat information at different points of the interaction (64% in SA vs. 56% globally.). Another major frustration South Africans cited when calling a contact centre is not being able to understand the agent when speaking to them on the phone (86% vs. 75% globally).