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Catalog Call Centers Satisfy Customers

BY CSA STAFF

Catalog retailers are the stars in the inaugural Call Center Satisfaction Index, a new study from CFI Group. The survey polled customers of call centers in six specific industries using the methodology of the University of Michigan American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), which annually rates companies on how well they satisfy their customers.

Customer Satisfaction Index

*As measured by the Call Center Customer Satisfaction Index, based on a 100-point scale
Industry Satisfaction With Call Center*
Aggregate of all industries 71
Catalog retailers 80
Banking 77
Cell-phone services 69
Cable and satellite television 68
Insurance 68
Personal computers 64

Of the industries surveyed, catalog retailers scored highest, 80 on the Index’s 100-point scale (banking was a close second, at 77). The study attributed the high marks given to catalog call centers to the superior customer service their representatives provide, along with good first-call resolution. It noted that catalog retailers are leaving money on the table by not taking advantage of the opportunity to upsell and cross-sell merchandise.

The two issues having the most impact on customer satisfaction with contact centers were first-call resolution and offshoring. Across all industries, almost a fifth of all callers, hung up with their issue unresolved. Of those hang-ups, 68% are at risk of defection, according to the study.

With regard to offshoring, customers who think the call center is located outside the United States rate their satisfaction lower and are almost twice as likely to defect compared to those who assume it is a U.S. call center.

“Customer-service reps located outside of the U.S. are rated lower on communication skills,” said Sheri Teodoru, program director, CFI Group, and author of the study. “When communication skills are poor, customers’ issues remain unsolved in a majority of cases.”

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Long lines greet iPhone debut

BY CSA STAFF

CUPERTINO, Calif. The long-awaited debut of Apple’s iPhone was greeted with long lines outside of Apple and AT&T stores on June 29 with some people camping out days to get one. Analysts expected Apple’s new smart phone to sell about 200,000 units during its first weekend in release.

The combination phone and Web browser is selling for $499 for a basic phone and $599 for a version with 8GB of memory. The sleek phone that’s operated with a touch screen also comes with an iPod and a camera. The phones are being sold exclusively at 166 Apple stores and 1,800 stores operated by service provider AT&T. Apple ceo Steve Jobs said he hopes to sell about 10 million iPhones during its first year on the market.

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CE vet Callahan passes on

BY CSA STAFF

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. CE veteran Phil Callahan died from what is believed to be a heart attack June 26 at the age of 57.

Callahan spent several years at Mitsubishi and also held positions at Sumiko, Hitachi and Princeton Graphics Systems. In June 2005 he founded a public relations and consulting firm named Callahan Public Relations and Consulting.

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