UK ISPs failing to offer basic customer service

Talisma, a customer service specialist, has contacted 50 UK ISP's by email and phone to determine how quick and effective such providers were at responding. They also investigated the overall strengths of other customer service related provisions. The outcome will be nothing new to our regular readers, with 50% of e-mails being completely ignored. Just 12% of providers could track emails once they had been received, while 84% didn't give staff a unified view of customer interactions across multiple channels: Talisma’s audit awarded each ISP a score out of 100, based on a range of customer service criteria, including speed of response, accuracy of information provided, and the personalisation of interactions. Surprisingly, some of the most popular ISPs languished at the bottom of the league table due to their lack of email response, inaccuracies in the information provided, limited personalisation on calls or emails, and not extending communication channels to include live chat. In contrast, some of the smaller ISPs revealed they had grasped the basics of good customer service. The average score overall was an inadequate 54 out of 100. “Selecting a broadband ISP is similar to choosing an electricity or gas provider; customers are primarily concerned about the price rather than who provides the service. In this high-churn commodity market, good customer service is vital for ISPs to differentiate themselves and encourage customer loyalty. Response times are critical and delays in answering calls and emails impact customer satisfaction significantly. This challenge will only increase as channels such as SMS and live chat are demanded as a basic service from increasingly sophisticated customers,” said Jon McNerney, vice president international operations at Talisma. “The key is in providing a consistent customer experience across multiple channels, to support enhanced service efficiency, boost customer confidence, and improve retention efforts. However, only 16% of the ISPs audited have a unified view of customer interactions. Those companies that don’t support multiple communication channels and integrate their data to provide a complete customer service will struggle to compete,” concluded McNerney. Elsewhere only 6% of ISPs personalised telephone calls through addressing the caller by name. Hardly anybody provided online chat facilities (16%) and 78% didn't even offer self-help/frequently answered questions (FAQ's) on their websites. It's a shame that the results won’t surprise our readers, most of which have at one time or another faced the very problems highlighted above. Sadly they don't outline how each individual ISP faired. It may be worth pointing out that we assisted Talisma with some of their research, albeit only a small contribution. Source: ISP review

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