PC call centers rank worst in customer satisfaction index

By on June 12, 2007, 9:11 AM
Call Centers have become a critical channel for success and building customer relationships for companies across various industries. In the PC industry companies are notorious for maintaining ineffectual call centers and are in effect losing customers due to its poor service, with nearly one-quarter of callers unsatisfied and ready to shop elsewhere.

The study, conducted by consulting firm CFI Group, included six key industries: banking, cable television, catalog retailers, cell phone service, insurance companies and personal computers. At the top of the list catalog retailers scored 80 out of 100 points – based on the University of Michigan’s American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) methodology. PC call centers on the other hand, scored a worrisome rating of 64.

The report cites ‘first call resolution’ and ‘offshoring’ as the issues with major impact on customer satisfaction with call centers. Call resolution is crucial; customers who hang up dissatisfied are likely to defect to a competitor, but even more important, in a time where customers can broadcast complaints or compliments to millions with a click of a mouse, impressions formed by a call center matters more than ever. Also, customer service representatives (CSRs) in the PC industry receive low marks as they are perceived as difficult to understand and ineffective in solving problems – this is related to the frequency of offshoring – combined with the complexity of the product itself and users not being technologically savvy, magnifying communication issues.

“Too many companies treat call centers as cost centers rather than seeing them as an opportunity to solidify the customer relationship, resulting in increased loyalty and retention,” said Sheri Teodoru, Program Director at CFI Group and author of the study. “Based on this research, any company that isn’t putting resources into making sure that the call center is delivering customer satisfaction rather than frustration is taking a huge risk with its customer asset.”
Poor customer service in the PC industry overall provides an opportunity for manufacturers to differentiate themselves based on customer service instead of focusing on a cost-cutting approach, with companies such as Dell – which came under sharp criticism from consumers last year – already investing heavily to improve its customer service capabilities.




User Comments: 4

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avioza said:
Its understandable that people are frustrated with PC call centers, your typical home user call nowadays would be a mess of viruses/spyware with the PC often barely functional. From a customer service representative point of view troubleshooting that can be like a mechanic telling you how to rebuild your car transmission over the phone. People become quickly frustrated with PC's and thus the CSR because they dont understand how a pc works and rely heavily on them, by the time they call they are generally already angry and not ready to go through 300 questions.
fornacis said:
Plus add a Customer Service person that can't speak clear English (India Customer Service) and you get triple frustration.
cfitzarl said:
I think that if they took off their automated system, then the customer satisfaction rating would go up a tremendous amount.
drummerboy said:
The biggest problem honestly lies in the fact that the majority of pc users don't even know the basics that they could learn from their 5 year olds. Like the tranmission analogy above but the person being instructed not knowing what a screwdriver or a wrench is.
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