Entanet has called on rival ISP's in the UK to "step up their efforts" and provide higher standards of service in technical support.
The company says that urgent action is needed if the UK Internet industry is to avoid getting a lasting reputation for poor customer service:
Sustained investment by Entanet over the past year has seen the company reduce its average waiting time for support calls to just 37 seconds. Twelve months ago the average time was six minutes 40 seconds. Similarly, a year ago almost 30% of calls were being abandoned by customers. Today it has reduced that to just 3%. Comments posted by customers of other ISPs on popular Internet forums suggest that average waiting times can be in excess of 30 minutes.
Research findings published by call centre specialists Merchants Consulting in July indicated that many customers were abandoning their ISPs because of poor call centre performance. It said that eighteen percent of customers leave a supplier because of their experience in dealing with call centres. Amongst the top five customer complaints, having to wait for a long time before a call was answered came second only to staff having a poor command of English.
Entanet’s Technical Support Manager, Neil Watson added: “The root of the problem is that many ISPs have been paying more attention to customer acquisition than customer retention. It’s a competitive market and too many ISPs have been leading on price. It’s time the industry focused more on service delivery and performance. At the end of the day, that’s what customers really value.”
Though largely designed as a PR exercise, Entanet does make a valid point, albeit one often ignored by some of the biggest providers. Some ISP’s would do well to learn that good support doesn’t just come from being able to pickup the phone when it rings.
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